(i) Introduction

Coal deposits in India are of two distinct geological ages. The earliest coal deposits are of Permian age formed about 270 million years ago. At that time South Africa , South America , Antarctica , Australia , India and Madagascar formed a landmass called Gondwanaland. Coal formed in Gondwanaland are known as Gondwana Coal . Other deposits of Tertiary age (30-60 million years) have been formed comparatively recently. These are known as Tertiary Coal .

Gondwana or Gondwanaland was a composite continent made up of South America , Africa , Antarctica , India , and Australia ,
and even at one time included Florida and part of southwest Europe.
Gondwanaland is named after the Upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic formations of the Gondwana district of central India , which display a number of shared geologic features, the "Gondwana beds". On comparative geological evidence, that the continents of Africa , South America , Australia and India were once part of a single supercontinent, which he called "Gondwanaland".

Science tells us that the Continents of Australia, India , South America , Africa , and Antarctica , existed together as a separate landmass as long as 650 million years ago. And as these continents only began to break up some 130 million years ago, this great supercontinent had a life of around 520 million years; making it perhaps the most important geological structure of the last billion years.


At the end of the Jurassic Age Gondwanaland began to break up and, during the Tertiary Age approximately 20 million years ago, Antarctica completely broke away from South America . Due to its isolation, an ocean current formed around the continent, fed by conductive motions caused by water masses of different temperatures, favored by cyclonic type atmospheric circulation, and influenced by the Earth's rotation . The breaking up of Gondwanaland, the dispersion of the various continental blocks, the drifting of the Antarctic continent towards polar latitudes and its isolation, are all relatively recent events by the scale of geological time.

Up until the Jurassic Age 140 million years ago, Antarctica formed part of the supercontinent of Gondwanaland, In the Jurassic Age 140 million years ago, Antarctica formed part of the supercontinent of Gondwanaland, which also included Africa , Arabia , India , Ceylon , Australia , New Zealand and South America , and occupied temperate latitudes.


(ii) Geological Distribution of Coalfields of India


The geological distribution of Indian coalfields is shown in Table below


Tertiary Coalfields




Upper Gondwana Coalfields



Lower Gondwana

 Early Pleistocene to Upper  Pliocene
Lignites in the Kashmir Valley-Nichahom lignite
Lignites of South Arcot , Tamilnadu and of Kerala
 Oligocene to Upper Eocene
Jaipur, Nazira and Makum coalfields of Assam ; Namchick and Namphuk coalfields of Arunachal Pradesh.
 Middle Eocene
Lignites of Palana, Rajasthan; and Kutch
 Lower Eocene
Coals of Darranggiri, Rongrenggiri in the Garo Hills; Cherapunji, Mawlong and Shilong in Meghalaya, Mikir Hills in Upper Assam, and Coals of Jammu coalfields– Kalkot, Metka, Mahogala, Chakar Dhanwal Sawalkot-Lodhra, Kura and Chinkah
 Upper Jurassic
Chikiala and Kota in the Kota Stage in Maharashtra ; Satpura region in Jabalpur Stage, Madhya Pradesh; Ghuneri in Kutch below the Umia Stage

Upper Permian

Raniganj, Jharia, Bokaro and Karanpura coalfields of the Damodar valley in West Bengal and Bihar

Lower Permian

All Lower Gondwana coalfields of the Indian Peninsula, including Damodar Valley, Mahanadi Valley, Brahmani Valley, Son Valley, Pench-Kanhan Valley, Pranhita - Godavari Valley and Wardha Valley, coalfields of Himalayas; Darjeeling district of W. Bengal; Ranjit Valley of Sikkim; Abur, Daphla and Aka hills of Arunchal Pradesh
  The State wise distribution of coalfields in India is given in Table below  
State Coalfields


  1. West Bengal



 2. Jharkhand & Bihar





  3. Chhattisgarh & Madhya Pradesh





 4. Maharashtra



 5.Andhra Pradesh


6. Orissa

 7. Uttar Pradesh

 8. North-eastern States

 9. Sikkim

 10.Upper Gondwana Fields of Gujarat


 North-East Region

 1. Arunachal Pradesh

 2. Assam

 3. Meghalaya

 4. Jammu & Kashmir


1. Tamilnadu

2. Rajasthan

3. Gujarat

4. Kerala

5. Jammu& Kashmir

6. Other States



  1. Raniganj Coalfield (East of Barkar)
  2. Barjora Coalfield
  3. Domra Panagarh basin
  4. Deocha basin
  5. Darjeeling Coalfield
  1. Raniganj (West of Barkar)
  2. Jharia
  3. East Bokaro
  4. West Bokaro
  5. Ramgarh
  6. North Karanpura
  7. South Karanpura
  8. Auranga
  9. Hutar
  10. Daltonganj
  11. Deogarh
  12. Rajmahal
  1. Central Indian Coalfields- Singrauli, Sohagpur, Umaria, Johilla etc.
  2. Satpura Coalfields- Mohpani,Pathakhera, Kanhan Valley , Pench Valley etc.
  3. North Chhattisgarh Coalfields- Tatapani Ramkola, Jhilmilli, Sonhat, Chirimiri, Kurasia, Bisrampur, etc.
  4. South Chhattisgarh Coalfields- Hasdo-Rampur or Arand, Korba, Mand-Raigarh etc.


  1. Nagpur Region Coalfields- Kamptee, Bokhara , Umrer.
  2. Wardha Valley Coalfields- Bhandar, Warora, Rajur-wun, Chandrapur, Balalarpur, Wamanpalli etc.
  1. Pranhita-Godawari Valley Coalfields- Tandur, North Godavari , South Godavri , Chinnur- Sendrapalli, Bandala, Kannegiri, Beddadanuru etc.

- Talcher, Ib River

- Kota , Part of Singrauli

- Abor, Aka and Daphla hills coalfields, Singrimari

- Ranjit Valley

- Ghuneri, Surendranagar



- Namchik-Namphuk

- Dayang Valley , Disai Valley , Dikhau Valley (Nazira), Saffrai Valley , Makum, Mikir hills etc.

- Khasi &Jaintia Hills- Mawbehlarkar, Mawsynram, Mawlong, Cherrapunjee-Laitryngrew Pynursala, Lakadong Garo hills West Darranggiri etc.

- Chakkar, Kura , Kalakot etc.


- Cuddalore-Pondicherry, Tanjavour and Trichirapallli regions
- Barmer, Bikaner and Nagaur

- Kutch , Bhavnagar , Surat and Bharuch region

- Quilon, Trivendrum and Kannanore region

- Kupwara region

- Karnataka, Maharashtra , West Bengal and Assam .
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