Physical Geography of India #1
India is a vast country with varied climatic & physical features changing approximately at every 1000 km. The diverse geographic conditions ranging from beautiful Himalayas to thirsty deserts to rich plateaus make its description attractive to study & explore.
Let’s have a brief look at India’s physical features along with description about border it shares with neighbours.
Topography of India
India at a Glance:
- Continent: Asia
- Region : South Asia; Indian subcontinent
- Coordinates: 21°N 78°E
- Area Ranked : 7TH
- Total 3,287,264 km2 (1,269,220 sq mi)
- Land 90.08%
- Water 9.92%
- Coastline: 7,516.6 km (4,670.6 mi)
- Borders: Total land borders:15,106.70 km
- Bangladesh: 4,096.70 km (2,545.57 mi)
- China (PRC): 3,488 km (2,167 mi)
- Pakistan: 2,910 km (1,808 mi)
- Nepal: 1,751 km (1,088 mi)
- Burma: 1,643 km (1,021 mi)
- Bhutan: 699 km (434 mi)
- Highest point Kangchenjunga: 8,598 m
- Lowest point Kuttanad: −2.2 m (−7.2 ft)
- Longest river: Ganges Brahmaputra
- Largest lake: Chilka Lake
Origin of Indian Subcontinent
- Indian Plate, was formed when it split off from the ancient continent Gondwanaland
- The IndoAustralian is subdivided into the Indian and Australian plates. About 90 million years ago,the Indian Plate began moving north at about 15 cm/year (6 in/yr).
- About 50 to 55 million years ago, in the Eocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era, the plate collided with Asia after covering a distance of 2,000 to 3,000 km (1,243 to 1,864 mi)
- The collision with the Eurasian Plate along the modern border between India and Nepal formed the orogenic belt that created the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas.
- As of 2009, the Indian Plate is moving northeast at 5 cm/yr (2 in/yr), while the Eurasian Plate is moving north at only 2 cm/yr (0.8 in/yr) & thus referred to as the “fastest continent”.
India Physical Features
- Situated north of the equator between 8°4′ and 37°6′ north latitude and 68°7‘ and 97°25′ east longitude.
- The Tropic of Cancer passes almost halfway through the country. Thus half of the country to the south of the Tropic of Cancer is situated in the Tropical or Torrid zone and the other half lying north of the Tropic of Cancer falls in the Sub-tropical zone.
- Total area of 3,166,414 square kilometres (1,222,559 sq mi).
- 3,214 km (1,997 mi) from north to south and 2,933 km (1,822 mi) from east to west.
- land frontier of 15,200 km (9,445 mi) and a coastline of 7,517 km (4,671 mi)
- Indian Ocean –
- Arabian Sea on the southwest,
- Laccadive Sea to the south,
- the Bay of Bengal on the southeast.
- The Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar separate India from Sri Lanka to its immediate southeast, and the Maldives are some 400 kilometres (250 mi) to the southwest.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) southeast of mainland, share maritime borders with Burma, Thailand and Indonesia.
- Kanyakumari at 8°4′41″N and 77°32′28″E is the southernmost tip of the Indian Mainland
- Southernmost point in India is Indira Point on Great Nicobar Island
- Himalayan mountain range, where the country borders China, Bhutan, and Nepal
- Western border with Pakistan lies in the Punjab Plain and the Thar Desert
- Northeast, the Chin Hills and Kachin Hills, deeply forested mountainous regions, separate India from Burma
- East, its border with Bangladesh is largely defined by the Khasi Hills and Mizo Hills, and the watershed region of the IndoGangetic Plain.
- Kangchenjunga, on the border between Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim, is the highest point in India at 8,598 m (28,209 ft) and the world’s 3rd highest peak.
India and its Neighbours
India & Pakistan
- Borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh were delineated according to the Radcliffe Line, which was created in 1947 during Partition of India.
- Western border with Pakistan extends up to 3,323 km (2,065 mi), dividing the Punjab region and running along the boundaries of the Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch; runs along the Indian states of Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Punjab.
- Both nations delineated a Line of Control (LoC) to serve as the informal boundary between the Indian and Pakistan administered areas of Kashmir.
- According to India’s claim, it also shares a 106 km (66 mi) border with Afghanistan in northwestern Kashmir, which is under Pakistani control
India & Bangladesh
- India’s border with Bangladesh runs 4,096.70 km (2,545.57 mi).
- West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram share the border with Bangladesh.
- 92 enclaves of Bangladesh on Indian soil and 106 enclaves of India are on Bangladeshi soil.
- The Teen Bigha Corridor is a strip of land formerly belonging to India on the West Bengal–Bangladesh border which has been leased indefinitely to Bangladesh so that it can access its Dehgram–Angalpota enclaves.
India & Other Neighbours
- The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the effective border between India and the People’s Republic of China. It traverses 4,057 km along the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
- The border with Burma (Myanmar) extends up to 1,643 km (1,021 mi) along the southern borders of India’s northeastern states viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.
- Located amidst the Himalayan range, India’s border with Bhutan runs 699 km (434 mi). Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are the States, which share the border with Bhutan.
- The border with Nepal runs 1,751 km (1,088 mi) along the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India; Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim are the States, which share the border with Nepal.
- The Siliguri Corridor, narrowed sharply by the borders of Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh, connects peninsular India with the northeastern states.
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