Deccan

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Deccan (dĕ´kän´), region of India. Sometimes defined as all India S of the Narmada River, it is in a more limited sense the plateau of central peninsular India, including approximately all Karnataka and Telangana, S Andhra Pradesh, SE Maharashtra, and NW Tamil Nadu. The rich volcanic soil is used for growing cotton. The last of the great Mughal emperors, Aurangzeb, exhausted the power of his empire in a futile attempt (1683–1707) to absorb the region. It was in the Deccan that the Hindus began to regain (early 18th cent.) political and military power in India under Śivaji, leader of the Marathas. There in the late 18th cent. the British decisively defeated the French in their struggle for India. The Deccan Traps, in the NW Deccan, is a region of flood basalts, in some places as much as 1.8 mi (3 km) thick, laid down over several hundred thousand years in a series of massive volcanic eruptions around the end of the Cretaceous period. It has been suggested that the volcanic gases and the climate changes associated with release were responsible in whole or part for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

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Deccan Plateau in central India, s of the River Narmada. It has been a region of conflict since early times. In attempting to conquer it in the 17th century, Aurangzeb fatally weakened the Mogul dynasty. In the late 18th century, the British defeated the French here. On its e and w edges, the Deccan rises to the Ghats. The plateau is covered with rich volcanic soils. Cotton, cereal, coffee, and tea are grown.