Geography of India
The mainland stretches from latitude 8'4' north to 37°6' north and from longitude 68°7' east to 97°25' east of Greenwhich. The longitudinal and latitudinal extent of the country is about 30°. The southernmost point in Indian Territory, (in Nicobar Islands) is the Indira Point (6°45'), while Kanyakumari, is the s0uthernmost point of Indian mainland. India thus lies wholly in the northern and eastern hemispheres. The country is of a huge size and measures about 3214 kilometers from north to south and about 2933 kilometers from west to east.
Coastline: 7,516.6 km encompassing the mainland, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands,.
Indian Standard Time: GMT +05:30
Telephone Country Code: +91
The mainland, in geographical terms is broadly divided into a) the great mountains, b) the river and the plains, c) the desert and d) the peninsula.
The mountains extend for more than 2400 kilometars. They are 7.
- the Himalayas,
- the Patkai and other ranges bordering India in the north and north east,
- the Vindhyas, which separate the Indo-Gangetic plain from the Deccan Plateau,
- the Satpura
- the Aravalli
- the Sahyadri, which covers the eastern fringe of the West Coast plains and
- the Eastern Ghats, irregularly scattered on the East Coast and forming the boundary of the East Coast plains.
There are main three watersheds.
- Himalayan range with its Karakoram branch in the north,
- Vindhyan and Satpura ranges in Central India &
- Western Ghats (Sahyadri)on the west coast.
Rivers and Plains
The main rivers of the Himalayan group are the Indus, the Brahmaputra and the Ganga. These rivers are both snow-fed and rain-fed and have therefore continuous flow throughout the year. Himalayan rivers discharge about 70 of their inflow into the sea. This includes about 5 from central Indian rivers. They j0in the Ganga and drain into the Bay of Bengal.
The plains of Ganga and Indus run for about 2400km with a width ranging from 240 to 320km. They are formed in the river basins of Indus, Ganga-Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Kaveri, Godavari, etc.
The desert region is located in the western and north western part of the country. It can be divided into two parts: the great desert and the small desert. The great desert extends from the edge of the Rann of Kuchch beyond the Luni river northward. The entire of Rajasthan-Sind Frontier runs through this. The small desert extends from the Luni between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur up to northern wastes (dry and rocky land).
The Peninsula is marked by elevated landmass with height ranging from 460 to 1220m. The Deccan Plate and the Southern part surrounded by water on three sides make the peninsula. It is bordered by Eastern Ghats on the east and Western Ghat on the west. Between the Ghats and the Sea lies the narrow coastal belt.
Traditionally, seasons in India are divided into six-Vasanta (Mar-Apt), Grishma (May-Jun), Varsha (Jul-Auq), Sharada (Sept-Ort), Hemanta (Nov-Dec) and Shishira (Jan-Feb). In broad terms, India experiences 3 main seasons, (a) Winter - Dec to March, (b) Summer - Apr to May and (c) Monsoon - South West Jun to Sept, and NE (retreating SW monsoon) - Octo to Nove. Between the 2 main seasons are Spring and Autumn.
India receives 86% of the rain during SW monsoon. NE monsoon is a very restricted one - experienced in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and sometimes AP and Karnataka.
India has six types of forests.
- Evergreen (Tropical Forests) - is found in areas with 200cm to 300cm rainfall; average annual temp. 20°C to 27°C; average annual humidity >80%
- Deciduous (Monsoon Forests) are found in places with less rainfall between 150 to 200 cm; mean annual temp between 24°C and 28°C; humidity 75%
- Dry Forest - are found where rainfall is scanty between 75 to 100 cm; mean annual temp 23°C to 29°C; humidity 50 to 60
- Hill Forests are c0mmon in South India and Himalayas
- Tidal Forests (Mangrove) are found in the coastal submerged plains of Ganges (Sundarbans), Godavari, Mahanadi and Kerala and
- Grasslands (hilly Himalaya and Deccan hills above 100m, lowland- as in Haryana, Utter Prades, Bihar, Punjab, NW Assam and riverine grasslands- found along rivers).
Available data places India in the tenth position in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. From about 70% geographical area surveyed till date, 47000 species of plants have been identified by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Kolkata.
India has three crop seasons.
- Kharif: Rice, Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Maize, Cotton, Sugarcane, Soyabean, Grounnut, Jute, Sowing -Iun/lul, Harvest - Sep/Oct
- Rabi: Wheat, Barley, Peas, Rapeseed, Mustard, Gram, Tur. Sowing – Oct/Dec, Harvest - Apr/May.
- Zayad crops: Water melon, Vegetables, Moong, etc., Sowing - Mar/June
Commercial Crops: Oil seeds, Sugar crops, Fibre crops, Narcotic crops, Beverage crops. They are cultivated for trade purposes and not for self-consumption of farmers.