Indian Geography

India is the seventh largest country in the world, deriving its name from the river Indus which flows through the north western part of the country. Indian mainland extends in the tropical and subtropical zones. The southern most point in Indian territory, the Indira Point (formerly called pygmalion Point), is situated at
the Nicobar Islands. 

Boundaries:

North: The Himalayan range and Nepal separate India from Tibet. The protected state of Bhutan also lies in the
North - East: The boundary line between India and China is called MacMahon Line.
East: Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh forming an enclave within India and the Bay ofBengal.
West: In the north-west India shares a boundary mainly with Pakistan and_thc Arabian Sea in the west.
North-West: Afghanistan and Pakistan are situated on the north-west of India.
South: To the south of India are the Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka. The Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait separate India from Sri Lanka on the eastern side.

Physical Features:

India comprises five well-marked physical divisions. 
    (i) The Himalayan range
    (ii) The Northern Plains
    (iii) The Deccan Plateau
    (iv) The Coastal Plateau
    (v) The Deccan Mountains  

Indian Geography:

India's northem frontiers are distinctly marked out by an are shaped huge mountain wall comprising the snow capped mountain ranges of the Karakoram and the Himalayas. The Karakoram mountain ranges rise from the Pamir Knot in the north-west and stretches towards south-east up to the Indus Gorge in Jammu and Kashmir. The world’s second highest mountain peak K2 (Godwin Austen), which has a height of 8, 610 metres, belongs to this chain of mountains. Famous Baltoro Glacier also lies in the high valleys of Karakoram ranges. To the south of the Karakoram mountains is the Ladakh range and further below southwards is the Zaskar range of mountains, both of which lies in Jammu and Kashmir. 

The Himalayas, which form almost a 2,500 kilometre long continuous mountain wall on India's north, extending from Indus in the west to Brahmaputra in the east, can be divided into western, central and eastem Himalayas. The western Himalayas encompass Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The central Himalayas are spread over northern Uttar Pradesh and Nepal the West Bengal and extend into Sikkim, Bhuttan and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Himalayas broadly consist of three parallel ranges of mountains, viz., the Himadri, the Himachal and the Siwaliks.

Greater Himalayas (Himadri Range):

The Himadri or the Greater Himalayas comprise the northern most range and lie on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. It is the highest mountain peak, Mount Everest (8,848 metres) in Nepal belongs to the Greater Himalayas. Kanchenjunga (8,597 metres), Nanga Parbat (8,125 metres) and Nanda Devi (7,816 metres) are the highest peaks of the Greater Himalayas in India.

Lesser (or) Middle Himalayas:

South of the Himadri lies the Himachal range, which is also known as the middle or
Lesser Himalayas, which has a height varying between 3,700 and 4,500 metres above sea level.

The Siwalik Range:

The Siwalik range is the southern most range of Himalayas which is the lowest among the
Himalayan ranges with a height of between 900 to l,200 metres above the sea level. Made up of mud and soft rocks, it is a,discontinuous range which lies on the northern border of the Ganga plain and extends towards east to merge with the main mountains. The important passes in the Himalayas are the Khyber the Bolan, Shipki la, Nathu la, Bomdi la.

The Northern Plains:

India has world's most extensive and fertile plains, made up of alluvial soil.
These Great Northern Plains consist of the Indus basin, the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin. This is divided into two parts:
(i) the upland plain which lies above the flood level and is made up of old alluvium. This plain is called the Bangar Land
(ii) the lowland plain, which is liable to inundation during floods and thus acquires fresh doses of
new alluvium. This is also called the Khadar Land.

The Deccan (Peninsular) Plateau:

The Great Plateau of Peninsular India: To the south of the Great Plains of northern India lies the old landmass of
the Peninsular India which is made up of hard metamorphic rocks. This part of land adjoining northern plains, is known as the Great Plateau of Peninsular India. This Great Plateau has two distinct parts, viz., the Malwa Plateau and the Deccan Plateau.

The Malwa Plateau which comprises the northern region of the Great Plateau of Peninsular India is bounded by the Aravalli hills in the north-west and the Vindhyas in the south. The valley of the river Narmada forms the southern boundary of the Malwa Plateau. The Malwa Plateau, particularly its north-eastern part called Chota Nagpur plateau is the richest mineral producing region of India.
The Deccan Plateau, extends from the Satpura hills in the north to Kanyakumari the southem most tip of India ending in the Indian Ocean. On the western edge ofthe Plateau lie the Sahyadri, the Nilgiri, the
Annamalai and the Cardamom Hills, commonly known as the Western Ghats. The average height of the Western Ghats, which run along the Arabian Sea, goes on increasing towards the south. Anaimudi peak in Kerala, with a height of 2,695 metres above the sea level, is the highest peak of the Peninsular India. 
The eastern edge of the Deccan Plateauis less marked as the Eastern Ghats have discontinuous low hills called Mahendra Giri. All the major river of the Deccan Plateau, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery, flow from west to east into the Bay of Bengal. Only Narmada and Tapti are the two major rivers which flow from east to west and fall in the Arabian Sea.

The Great Desert of Rajasthan:

To the north-west of the Malwa Plateau lies the Thar desert. Only the river Luni drains off into the Rann of Kutch.

Coastal (Plains) Strips:

The western Coastal Plain lies between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The southern part of the Western
coastal plain, Called the Malabar Coast. The northern part of the Western Coastal Plains, called the
Konkan coast and the southern portion is called the Malabar Coast, gets wider as it moves further northwards and encompasses plains of Gujarat.
The easter coastal plain, lying between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal. It contains some of the most fertile and well-watered deltas formed by Krishna, Cauvery, Godavari and Mahanadi rivers. The
southern part of the Eastern Coastal Plain is known as Coromandel Coast and its northern part is known as the Northern Sircars.

The Deccan Mountains:

The mountains of peninsular India include: -
(a) The Aravallis: The oldest mountain range in India, reach an elevation of 5650.
(b) The Vindhyas: Separate the southern part of India from its northern part, with an average height of 2500-4000 ft.
(c) The Satpuras are situated between the river Narmada and Tapti.
(d) Western Ghats: Present in western part of Deccan plateau, a portion of which is called the Sahyadari hills.
(e) Eastem Ghats: Eastern part of peninsular India.

Indian Islands:

There are two groups of Islands. (l)Andaman and Nicobar -The northern cluster of 204 small islands are the
Andaman and the southern cluster of l9 small islands are the Nicobar islands. Together they form the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar with Port Blair as its capital.
Laskshadweep: Group of 27 coral islands scattered in the Arabian sea, 300 km to the west of Kerala coast only 10 of which are inhabited. Together they form the Union Territory of Lakshadweep with Kavaratti island as its capital.


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