Our country India is a country of vast geographical expanse. Generally in the north, it is bound by the lofty Himalayas and in the west by the Arabian Sea, in the east by the Bay of Bengal, and in the south by the Indian Ocean.
India has an area of about 3.28 million sq. km. The north-south extent from Kashmir to Kanyakumari is about 3,200 km. And the east-west extent from Arunachal Pradesh to Kuchchh is about 2,900 km. And also india is the second-most populous country in the world after China.
India is located in the northern hemisphere. The Tropic of Cancer (23°30’N) passes almost halfway through the country. From south to north, the mainland of India extends between 8°4’N and 37°6’N latitudes. From west to east, India extends between 68°7’E and 97°25’E longitudes. The difference between the two extreme points of India would be of about two hours.
Generally there are seven countries that share land boundaries with India. There are China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Further across the sea to the south, lie our island neighbors- Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Palk Strait is separating Sri Lanka from India.
For administrative purposes, India is generally divided into 29 states and 8 Union Territories. Telangana became the 29th state of India on 2nd June 2014. However it was previously a part of Andhra Pradesh. Delhi is the national capital. The states have been formed mainly on the basis of languages. Rajasthan is the largest state and Goa is the smallest state in terms of area.
In the north of India, there are the lofty snow-capped Himalayas. Him+alaya means ‘the abode of snow’. The Himalayan Mountains are generally divided into three main parallel ranges. The northernmost is the Great Himalaya or Himadri. The world’s highest peaks are also located in this range. Middle Himalaya or Himachal lies to the south of Himadri. Many popular hill stations are also situated here. The Shivalik is the southernmost range.
The Northern Indian plains lie to the south of the Himalayas. In addition alluvial deposits have formed the Northern Indian plains. The rivers- the Indus, the Ganga, the Brahmaputra, and their tributaries laid down the alluvial deposits.
These river plains provide fertile land for cultivation. That is the reason for high concentration of population in these plains.
In the western part of India lies the Great Indian Desert. Meanwhile o the south of the northern plains lies the peninsular plateau. It is triangular in shape. Aravali hills border it on the northwest side.
The rivers Narmada and Tapi flow through the Vindhyas and the Satpuras ranges. And these rivers drain into the Arabian Sea.
The Western Ghats or Sahyadris border the plateau in the west and the Eastern Ghats provide the eastern boundary. The plateau is rich in minerals like coal and iron – ore.
Further to the West of the Western Ghats and to the East of Eastern Ghats lie the Coastal plains. The western coastal plains are very narrow. But the eastern Coastal plains are much broader. The rivers Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri drain into the Bay of Bengal. These rivers have also formed fertile deltas at their mouth. For example the Sunderban Delta which is formed where the Ganga and Brahmaputra flow into the Bay of Bengal.
Two groups of islands also form part of India.
Lakshadweep Islands are located in the Arabian Sea. These are coral islands located off the coast of Kerala. The Andaman and the Nicobar Islands lie to the Southeast of the Indian mainland in the Bay of Bengal.
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