The entire city of Indore, having a Municipal area of 276 Sq. Km. lies in Kanh & Sarswati River basin. The river and its tributaries traverse through the densely-populated area of the city. The city occupies a relatively flat plateau having a gentle slope towards north. The hinterland of the city is scattered with some hillocks. There are no physical constraints except Pipaliyapala Tank on the southeastern side and Sirpur Tank in the southwest, which may limit or condition the growth of the city. The highest and the lowest contour levels in the city are 590 m and 540 m, respectively.

The city has black cotton soil varying in depth from place to place. The cross section at various places shows an order of soft soil till 5 ft., hard soil till 15 ft., red-soils till 30 ft, after this the rocky terrain extends oil 100 ft and below.