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1UpTravel - Geography Info and Facts of Countries : . - India


India Geography and Facts

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan

Geographic coordinates: 20 00 N, 77 00 E

Map references: Asia

Area:
total: 3,287,590 sq km
land: 2,973,190 sq km
water: 314,400 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly more than one-third the size of the US

Land boundaries:
total: 14,103 km
border countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km

Coastline: 7,000 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north

Terrain: upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m

Natural resources: coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land

Land use:
arable land: 56%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 4%
forests and woodland: 23%
other: 16% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 480,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: droughts, flash floods, severe thunderstorms common; earthquakes

Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country; huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: dominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes


 India the seventh largest country in the world , is well marked with off from the rest of Asia by mountains and the sea, which gives the country a distinct geographical entity.It covers an area of 32,87,2631 sq.km. Bounded by the great Himalayas to the north , it stretches southwards and at the tropic of cancer,tapers off in the Indian ocean between the bay of bengal on the east and the Arabian sea to the west.

        Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere the mainland extends measures 3214 km from north south between extreme latitudes and about 2933 km from east to west between extreme longitudes.It has a land frontier of about 15200 km.The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshwadeep group of islands and Andaman and Nicobar group of islands is 7,516.5 km.

        The Himalayas and the other mountain ranges -Mustagh Ata , Aghil Kunlun mountains to the north of Kashmir and to south eastern portion of Zaskar mountains to the east of Himachal Pradesh- form indian northern boundry except in Nepal region. She is adjoined to the north by China Nepal and Bhutan.A series of mountain ranges separate India from Burma. Also , in the east lies the Bangladesh.In the north west Afganisthan and Pakistan border India.The Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Straits separate India from Sri lanka. The Andaman and Nicobar island in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshwadeep in the Arabian sea are parts of the territory of India.


       The Indian sub-continent is characterised by great diversity in its physical features .It may be divided into three broadly defined physical units:

  • The Himalayas and the associated mountain ranges
  • The Indus Ganga-Bramha-putra plain
  • The Peninsular Plateau.


            Himalayan Mountain complex:The Himalayas and the associated mountains arcs gridling the sub continent on the stretch in a consistent north west- south east direction for about 2400 km between the gorges of the indus and the Tsango-Bhramaputra.The section between the Indus and the Sutlej and the Kali is termed as Kumaon Himalayas. The other two sections between the Kali and the Tista and between the latter river and the Dihangare described as the Nepal and the Assam Himalayas.The Greater Himalayas which have an average altitude of 6000 m have within them almost all the prominent peaks such the Everest (8848m) , Kanchenjunga (8598m) Nanga Parbat (8126m) ,Nanda devi (7817m) and Namcha parbat (7756m).


            The Indus-Ganga-Brahmaputra Plain:The great plain of india is formed by the Indus, ganga and the Brahmaputra rivers. the plain extends for 3200 km between the mouths of the Ganga and the indus, all along the foot of the mountain rim, with a width varying from 150 to 300 km. The longitudinal extent from the banks of the Ravi and the Sutlej to the ganga delta alone is of 2400km. The plain is narrowest in Assam and broadens towards the west . It is 160 km wide near the Rajmahal Hills and 280 km near Allahabad. The plains are alluvial in nature.

            Peninsular plateau: Rising from the alluvial plains of uttar pradesh and Bihar, south of the Yamuna Ganga line, the great indian plateau extends towards the south to encompass the whole of Peninsula. With a general elevation of 600-900m,the plateau makes an irregular tringale with its concave base lying between Delhi ridge and Rajmahal hills and the Apex formed by Kanya Kumari . The outlying projections of the peninsular plateau presented by the Aravallis,Rajmahal and Shillong hills convey some idea of its original northerly limits.


            The location of another fragment of the peninsular block in the Shillong plateau gives the indication of the possible connection. The Shillong Plateau a highly dissected and jungly tract, descends in a deep slope towards the Surma valley.The northern outliers are represented by the Mikir and the Rengma hills.

            Western ghats:The topography of the Deccan and the Karnataka Plateau is dominated by the Western Ghats, which stretch uninterruptedly to the southern tip of Peninsula.They have a general altitude of 900-1100 m but occassionally rise upto 1600 m or even more.Near Goa the highly dissected relief of the lava rocks is replaced by smoothly rounded hills of Granite and Gnesis.In this stretch the ghats dip but rise once again in the Nilgiris.Further south the continuity of the ghats is distributed by the palghat gap and the Shencottah gap.The Cardamom Hills may be regarded as the continuation of the Western ghats.


            The east of Nagpur ,the Deccan lava rergion is flanked by the plateau surfaced containing the Wainganga valley and the upper Mahandi basin in Chhatiagrah, a region interposed between the Mikir andthe Orissa hills.

            Eastern Ghats:The eastern Ghats are generally less impressive than theWestern Ghats and form a discontinous crest on the eastern peripheryof the plateau.They are repesented by an irregular line of hills, such as the Nallamalais, Velikondas,Palkondas and the Pachaimalais. This hills are often referred to as the northern hills in the northern sector,Cuddapah ranges in the middle and the Tamil nadu hills in the south.

            The Coastal Plains and the Islands:The plateau is flanked by coastal plains of varid width extending from Kutch to Orissa. There are striking difference between the eastern and the western coastal plains; with notable exception of Gujarat the west coast has narrow alluvial margin interspersed by hillty terrain .It has indentation except in the south where the beautiful Lagoons introduce an element of diversity.

            The eastern coast on the other hand has a wide plain with well developed deltas of the major rivers. The climatic transition between the south west monsoon regime of the north and the north -east monsoon regime of the south has given rise to interesting differences in the alluvial features in the two different stretches of the east coastal plain.

            The Indian islands in the Bay of Bengal consist of the Andamans and the Nicobar group,some of which are of volcanic origin.There are as many as 200 islands in Andaman alone, extending for 350km.There are 19 island in Nicobar group.

            The Arabian sea consist of the Lakshadweep group. They are formed on a coral deposit off the Kerala coast .The southern most of this lies just to the north of the Maldive island which is an independent territory.


 

 


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