A number of villages appear as brown patches dotting the green landscape of the Punjab plains in India. These verdant plains are fed by five rivers that originate in the Himalayan Mountains to the northeast. The sandy-bottomed Sutlej River is the winding white line that travels from the bottom (left) of the frame to the top. The muddy waters of a secondary river, the Amritsar River, also flow from the bottom (right) but are partially diverted into a linear irrigation canal at the top. The thin linear features throughout the scene are roads and railroads.
The apparent lack of any organized pattern of agriculture in this scene contrasts sharply with some of the patterns observed in other regions, such as the circular patterns associated with center-pivot irrigation, long rectangular plots similar to French long farms, or large square collective farms. This seems to be partly a function of the very small size of traditional farms. This pattern of agricultural development is typical of much of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
February–March 1990, image STS-36-151-69.