Jharkhand is located in the eastern part of India bordering the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, and Chattisgarh. Tropic of Cancer passes through Kanke, few kilometers away from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, making it the only state in India touched by Tropic of Cancer. Most of the Jharkhand region is part of Chotanagpur plateau, which also extends to some parts of West Bengal, Chattisgarh, and Orissa. This region is made up of ancient stone Arkiyan Granite Tatanis.
The most prominent physical feature of Jharkhand is the Chota Nagpurplateau, part of the vast Deccan plateau that occupies most of peninsular India. Chota Nagpur, actually a series of plateaus, hills, and valleys, covers nearly the entire state and consists primarily of crystalline rocks.
The main plateaus, Hazaribag and Ranchi, are separated by the faulted sedimentary coal-bearing basin of the Damodar River, and they average about 2,000 feet (610 metres) in elevation. In the west there are more than 300 dissected but flat-topped plateaus (called pats), many with elevations of more than 3,000 feet (900 metres).
The highest point in Jharkhand is formed by the conical granite peak of Parasnath, which rises to 4,477 feet (1,365 metres) on the Hazaribag plateau; it is sacred in the Jain religion and to the Santhal people. Lowland plains flank the plateaus in the northwestern and northeastern parts of the state.
In addition to the Damodar River in the northeast, the state is drained by the Subarnarekha River in the southeast and by the Brahmani River in the south. A third major river, the Son, runs along much of the northwestern state boundary. The soil in the Damodar valley is sandy, but heavier red soils are typical of the plateau regions.