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Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra (KMY) is known for its religious importance, cultural significance and arduous nature. The trek through high altitudes in freezing temperature entails hard labour and courting danger. The annual pilgrimage holds religious importance for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists.

Yatra involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet, under inhospitable conditions, including extreme cold and rugged terrain. It may prove hazardous for those who are not physically and medically fit.

Mansarovar Lake is located at an altitude of 14,950 ft (4,558 m) is said to be the highest freshwater lake in the world. It is located in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China, 940 kilometres (580 mi) from Lhasa. To the west of it is Lake Rakshastal and to the north is Mount Kailash.

The yatra is organized by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) annually. The Yatra is organized in close cooperation with the Government of the People’s Republic of China. State Governments of Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Delhi, and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (KMVN) are other major Indian partners of the Ministrny organizing the Yatra.

Strategy for Geography Optional By Shweta Chauhan, Rank: 8, CSE- 2016

General overview of Geography preparation: 

  1. Read the syllabus thoroughly, nothing would be asked beyond the syllabus.
  2. Try to read topics common to Paper I and Paper II together. Like, if you are reading a topic of population Geography in Paper I, then the Indian population can be read together.
  3.   After completing a topic, I would try to answer the question paper of last 10 years related to that topic. Eg.  If I have completed Geomorphology, I would write questions on that topic before moving to another topic. This increases the confidence and  fills the gap in preparation.
  4. I had diagrams for almost every topic and practiced them regularly.
  5. I prepared notes for the topics which were not given directly in the standard books, otherwise I would underline them in the books itself. And revise from the books number of times possible.
  6. For map practice, I first tried to mark all the places asked in last 20 years. This helped as number of places are repeated. Then I tried to practice at least two places daily from the newspaper.
  7. Indian Geography is more related to GS, thus while preparing current affairs, Geography Paper II should also be kept in mind.
  8. Revision is most important to get used to with geographical terms. This is possible only if you have limited sources and notes prepared.

Book list for Geography Mains

  1. Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Che Leong
  2. NCERT 11th & 12th geography textbooks (can be downloaded free online from official NCERT website).

Paper I

Physical Geography:

Geomorphology:  Geomorphology by Savinder Singh

Climatology, Oceanography: Physical Geography by Savinder Singh

Biogeography and Environmental Geography: Physical Geography by Savinder Singh, Rupa made simple book on environment, Current events from Shankar  IAS notes , Down to earth magazine and newspaper.

Human Geography

Thoughts : Majid Husain Geographical thoughts, RD Dikshit, Shabbir Sir notes

Economic Geography: Rupa series on economic geography

Population and settlement Geography: Human Geography by Majid Husain

Regional Geography: Shabbir sir notes

Paper II (Indian Geography)

Static portion from D R Khullar, rest is mostly related to current issues and can be prepared along with GS.

Along with the sources, I have also subscribed to ExamRace channel on You tube. Videos are available on almost all the topics of syllabus and are also very simple to understand. I would suggest to visit the channel.

Another thing is that answer writing practice is must for Geography. I took test series from Shabbir Sir this year. In 2013, I was able to score 66+121 and in 2015 the score was 106+117, and this year it was 171+155.

Answer writing in Exam:

There are two types of questions asked in exam:

Direct: These questions require direct knowledge of geography. So they cannot be answered without revision or without using geographical terms. Edge over others can only be taken if the language is more similar to the geographical language and has more number of relevant diagram.

Open Ended: These questions can be answered mostly based on having more number of dimensions. For example dimensions can be increased by including theoretical portion of Paper I in Indian Geography. Then using current examples can increase the dimensions.

It is important to distinguish between geography answer writing and GS answer writing. Geography’s answer cannot be similar though the questions may seem so. Answer’s in geography according to me should have relevant diagrams, maps, examples to support from world and India, use of thoughts of philosophers, and geographical terminology.

This all things can only become part of answer only by reading, revising and practicing answer writing.

Map Questions: Map questions not only requires pointing out places in the map but also few words on those places. To write those words, few things can be applied like economic, social, environmental or historical importance of that place. It is not necessary that every place is known to everyone but few words can always be written about that place, if one has even bleak idea about it. I may not know where Kudankulum is but if i have read it in newspaper I can write few words on it.  So the point is that when you read about a place in newspaper try to remember it from Geography’s perspective too.

These were the few things I wanted to share. If anything is left and I am capable of answering, I would surely like to help. Please post your queries in the comments below.

Thank you,

Shweta Chauhan

Books, Study Material and Strategy for Prelims and Mains (Geography)


Geography is a very straight forward and simple but interesting subject. A key to solve many Non Geography questions in Prelims lies in thorough study of Geography. “Duniya mein kahan kya chal raha hai, Uski Geography pata honi chahiye” There are 4 parts of geography.

  1. Physical Geography
  2. Indian Geography (Physical, Economical, Human all three)
  3. World Geography
  4. Maps


For prelims you should have in depth knowledge about all 4 parts. You can read these books-

  1. Fundamentals of Physical Geography
  2. India’s Physical Environment
  3. GC Leong
  4. Majid Hussain (Climatology and Oceanography)
  5. Oxford Map


For Mains nothing special is needed but smart work. All you need to do is to understand core topics like Indian Monsoon, Ocean Currents, Sea Floor Spreading, Cyclones, Effects of Global Warming on precipitation, Air Mass Movement etc. But remember, you need your basics rock solid because you can’t write wrong facts.


  • Read Physical Geography first, them GC Leong.
  • Then read Indian Geography .
  • Focus on these ares extra-
  1. Indian Monsoon and its pattern
  2. Rivers and tributaries
  3. Mountain ranges and Passes
  4. Wetlands
  5. Soil types
  6. Vegetation
  7. State specific important geographic elements 
  • For World Geography, Read Continent wise. You need to study important legends of every continent and memorize it. Read according to these points-
  1. Rivers system
  2. Mountains and their location
  3. Vegetation and names of grasslands
  4. Study of geographic regions (Like Savanna, Sahel, Patagonia, Gran Chaco etc.)
  5. Climate of different regions
  • Further, mapping should be done along with World Geography. Every Sunday should be allotted to World Geo+Mapping. 
  • Important area to map-
  1. Area around Mediterranean Sea
  2. Middle East
  3. South East Asia
  4. Scandinavia and Baltic sea
  5. South American Countries
  6. Africa


Hydroelectric Power Plants in J&K

I never liked to mug up things in preparation but unfortunately we can’t afford to do that. Can we ? Here I’m providing a list of some important projects of J&K with their feeding rivers.  See the meme below for a trick.

Project Name River
1 Baglihar Hydroelectric Project Chenab
2 Chenani Hydroelectric Project Tawi tributary of Chenab
3 Chutak Hydroelectric Project Suru
4 Dulhasti Hydroelectric Project Chenab
5 Ganderbal Hydroelectric Project Sindh Nallah tributary of Jhelum
6 Iqbal (Kargil) Hydroelectric Project Wakharong
7 Kishenganga Hydroelectric Project Kishanganga
8 Nimmo-Bazgo Hydroelectric Project Indus
9 Ranjit Sagar Dam Hydroelectric Project Ravi
10 Salal Hydroelectric Project Chenab
11 Stakna Hydroelectric Project Indus
12 Uri Hydroelectric Project Jhelum
13 Ratle Hydroelectric Project Chenab


Location of UTs

Location of UTs, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman $ Diu. A lot of people don’t know the real location. They just know it is somewhere near Gujrat or maybe Maharashtra (उधर ही साइड है कहीं, वेस्ट में है)

Convergent Boundaries and Divergent Boundaries


Convergent Boundaries

  • Explosive Volcanoes
  • High Silicic Magma: The magma comes from the subduction of lithospheric crust so it has more of silicate.
  • Stratovolcanoes
  • Consumption of the Ocean Floor
  • Shallow, Intermediate as well as Deep Focus Earthquakes
          Divergent Boundaries

  • Quite, Non explosive volcanoes
  • High Basaltic Magma: Oceanic crust is created at the mid-oceanic ridges; it forms from up welling magma that cools and solidifies to igneous rock. Most of this is Basaltic.
  • Shield Volcanoes
  • Creation of Ocean Floor
  • Shallow Focus earthquakes only


Rip tides

The phenomenon of ‘killer rip tides’ is being studied by ISRO in collaboration with a private lifeguard agency appointed by the Goa government to safeguard its beaches.

The study Ripex 2017 is being conducted by a team of scientists at Space Applications Centre, ISRO Ahmedabad, along with Drishti Lifesaving, a private agency appointed by the state tourism ministry to maintain a lifeguard force.

What are Rip Tides ?

A Rip tide is a strong sea current which pulls the water away from the shore, often catching unawares swimmers and people enjoying the sea in the shallows and can drag them into the sea.

Rip currents are one of the most common problem-causing currents witnessed along Goa’s coast. Rip tides are one of the most common causes for drowning in the shallow waters off Goa’s popular coastline.


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