Indian Geography

Introduction :

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 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 country lies between 8º4' and 37º6' north of the Equator and is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean to the south.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.

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.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.

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

Physical Features :

Himalayan Mountain
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.Kanchanjunga (8598 Mtrs) is the highest mountain peak in India.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.