India - Size, Location & Physical Features

India – Size & Location

Ø  India lies in the Northern Hemisphere.

Ø  The main land extends between latitudes 8°4’N and 37°6’N and longitudes 68°7’E and 97°25’E.

Ø  Tropic of Cancer (23°30’N) divides the country into two equal parts.

Ø  Size: The landmass of India has an area of 3.28 million sq. km which is 2.4% of the total geographical area of the world.

Ø  India is seventh largest country of the world.

Ø  Indian has a land boundary of 15,200 km.

Ø  Total length of the coastline of the mainland including Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep is 7516.6 km.

Ø  Distance from east to west and west to east is 2933 km and 3214 km respectively.

Ø  Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea formed by Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

Physical features of India

Ø  Major Physiographic features of India are

ü  The Himalayan Mountain
ü  The Northern Plains
ü  The Peninsular Plateau
ü  The Indian Desert
ü  The Coastal Plains
ü  The Islands

Ø  The Himalayas represents the loftiest and one of the most rugged barriers of the world. They form an arc, which covers a distance of about 2400 Km.  Their width varies from 400 Km in Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh.

Ø  The northern plain has been formed by interplay of three major river systems namely - the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra along with their tributaries.

Ø  ‘Majuli’ in Brahmaputra River is the largest inhabited riverine island in the world.

Ø  The Peninsular plateau is a tableland composed of the old crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks. It was formed due to the breaking and drifting of the Gondwana land and thus, making it a part of the oldest landmass. The Part of the peninsular plateau lying to the north of Narmada River covering a major area of the Malwa plateau is known as the Central Highlands.

ü  Gondwana land: It is the southernmost part of the ancient super continent Pangaea and Angara Island in the northern part. The Gondwana Land included India, Australia, South America, South Africa and Antarctica as one single land mass.

Ø  The Indian desert lies towards the western margins of the Aravali Hills. It is an undulating sandy plain covered with dunes. This region receives very low rainfall below 150 mm per year. ‘Luni’ is the large river in this region. 

Ø  Western Ghats are higher than Eastern Ghats. The average elevation of the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats is 900-1600 meter and 600 meters respectively.

Ø  Highest peak in the Western Ghats is Anaimudi with an elevation of 2695 meters.

Ø  Highest peak in the Eastern Ghats is Mahendragiri with an elevation of 1501 meters.

Ø  Lakshadweep covers small area of 32 square kilometers.

Ø  Kavarati Island is the administrative headquarter of Lakshadweep.

Ø  The Pitti Island, which is uninhabited, has a bird sanctuary.

Ø  India’s only active volcano is found on Barren Island in Andaman & Nicobar group Islands.       

Ø  The Chilka Lake is the largest salt water lake in India. It lies in the state of Orissa, to the south of the Mahanadi delta.

What are corals?

Answer: Coral polyps are short-lived microscopic organisms, which live in colonies. They flourish in shallow, mud free warm water. They secrete calcium carbonate. The coral secretion and their skeletons from coral deposits in the form of reefs: they are mainly of three kinds: barrier reef, fringing reef and atolls. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia is a good example of the first kind of coral reef. Atolls are circular or horse shoe shaped coral reefs. 

Source: NCERT Books

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