If you are travelling to India then you might wish to learn a few things about the geography of India. So here’s a brief introduction to the geographical features of India.
Being the seventh largest country in the world, no wonder India has a speckled and diversified Geographical features. The area of India which covers nearly 3.28 million sq km is divided into 29 states depending on the languages, cultures and traditions of the people of which Rajasthan is the largest state, whereas Goa is the smallest. 35% of the Indian land is irrigated by farmers, which has made agriculture to be the main occupation of Indians.
As among the people, the land of India is greatly diversified. There are deep valleys, plains, islands, mountains, desert, snowy lands, lofty peaks and Ghats strewn across the country.
The Geography of India
Border of India
India shares its land border with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China and Nepal, and marine border with Maldives and Sri Lanka. India also shares maritime borders with Indonesia and Thailand though they are not in close vicinity. Many a time the question arises as to whether India shares its border with Afghanistan. At present the area of Khyber Pass, which was shared by India and Afghanistan lies in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, hence it cannot be considered to border India. The southern part of India is covered by water which forms a coastline of 7,517 km.
India on the Globe
India forms the major part of the Indian subcontinent which includes six countries. Besides India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are part of it. The sub-continent lies on top of the Indian tectonic Plate, which is the northern part of the Indo-Australian tectonic plate; a major tectonic plate formed nearly 43 million ago.
Geographically on the globe India sits between 8° 4 ‘ N and 37° 6’ North Latitude and 68° 7 ‘ and 97° 25 ‘ East Longitude on the north of the Equator. The Tropic of Cancer 23° 30 ‘ N passes right through the midpoint of India, dividing the country into 2 halves.
The second half of India tapers into a forming a triangle that divides the Indian ocean beneath into Bay of Bengal on east and Arabian Sea on west.
India has a wide range of landforms with physical features that boasts of highest mountain range, plains, and plateaus which has come into existence during different geological periods. Later on the effects of weathering, soil erosion, deposition, natural calamities and other factors have resulted in the present diversified landform on the country.
The physical features of India have been broadly divided into six units as follows:
• The Great Mountain Range of Northern India stretching from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.
• The Northern Plains drained by the Brahmaputra Basin, the Ganga Basin and the Satluj Basin. These plains that stretch from Punjab to Assam is formed of alluvial soil which is very fertile.
• The Peninsular Plateau also known as the Southern plains are a tableland formed due to the breaking and drifting of the once single Gondwana landmass. Composed of crystalline , ingenious and metamorphic rocks this plateau is further divided into Central highlands and Deccan plateau.
• The Islands of India are mainly of the Lakshadweep group of Islands, the Andaman and Nicobar and some other smaller islands.
• The Indian Desert, known by the name Thar Desert, lies to the west of Aravali range. This part of India gets low rainfall, has arid climate with not much irrigation taking place.
• The Coastal Plains of India run across the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea along the peninsular border of India.
Rivers and Forests of India
The rivers of India are not just water bodies, but are revered and worshipped as deities by the people. Every major river of India has a mythological background and story about its birth. The River Ganges is not only the longest, but also the most worshipped river of India. Millions of people take dip to wash away their sins in River Ganges every year. Other popular rivers of India are the Brahmaputra, Sutlej, Yamuna, Gomti, Chenab, Narmada, Tapti, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri. The rivers of India have given it the inland navigable waterways which extend to around 14,500 km.
India is abundant in different types of forests and woodlands, which houses wide range of flora and fauna. The types of forests vary from place to place with the dense rainforests in the south to the Alpine forests of the north. The forests of India can be divided into un-demarcated and demarcated, based on whether they are protected or not. Madhya Pradesh composes nearly 20% of the total forest area of India.
I hope you liked the brief tutorial on geography of India. I hope it will guide you to decide which places to visit in India. Feel free to ask any questions related to geography of India in the comments below.