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Topography of India


India the seventh largest country in the world , is well marked with off from the rest of Asia by mountains and the sea, which gives the country a distinct geographical entity. It covers an area of 32,87,2631 sq.km. Bounded by the great Himalayas to the north , it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off in the Indian ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian sea to the west.

Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere the mainland extends measures 3214 km from north south between extreme latitudes and about 2933 km from east to west between extreme longitudes. It has a land frontier of about 15200 km. The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshwadeep group of islands and Andaman and Nicobar group of islands is 7,516.5 km.

The Himalayas and the other mountain ranges -Mustagh Ata , Aghil Kunlun mountains to the north of Kashmir and to south eastern portion of Zaskar mountains to the east of Himachal Pradesh- form Indian northern boundary except in Nepal region. She is adjoined to the north by China Nepal and Bhutan. A series of mountain ranges separate India from Burma. Also, in the east lies the Bangladesh. In the north west Afghanistan and Pakistan border India. The Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Straits separate India from Sri lanka.

The Andaman and Nicobar island in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshwadeep in the Arabian sea are parts of the territory of India.

The Indian sub-continent is characterised by great diversity in its physical features .It may be divided into three broadly defined physical units :

  • The Himalayas and the associated mountain ranges.
  • The Indus Ganga-Bramha-putra plain.
  • The Peninsular Plateau.

The land is very diverse and covers an area of about 3.3 million square kilometres. This large landmass encompasses several varied climatic and ecological zones. India has the highest snowbound mountain range of the world, the Himalayas to its north, the humid tropical forests on the south-west coast, the fertile Brahamaputra valley, the low mangrove swamps of the Sunderbans, the Garo Hills of Meghalaya which is the wettest spot on the universe all lying on its east, the barren marshes of the Rann of Kutch, and the Thar desert with its shifting sand dunes lies towards the west.

To the north, the Himalayas stretches approximately 2400 kilometers and has the world's highest mountain peaks including Mt. Everest, Mt. K2 and Mt. Kanchenjunga. These mountains form the source of mighty rivers like Indus and Brahmaputra which flow into the Gangetic plains. These rivers cause constant erosion of the lofty mountains to build the vast alluvial plains of the Indus, Ganga and Brahamaputra. The latter two rivers form the world's largest and most fertile delta called the Brahmaputra valley before it flows out into the Bay of Bengal.

The Deccan Plateau is formed by prehistoric crystalline and lava rocks. Between the Deccan Plateau and the Gangetic plain lies a series of low mountain ranges like the Aravallis and Vindhyas. The plateau has the Eastern and Western Ghats flanking its sides. The western coastal plain is uneven and swift rivers flow through it which forms beautiful lagoons and backwaters, examples of which can be found in the state of Kerala.

The east coast is wide with deltas formed by the rivers Godavari, Mahanadi and Kavery. Flanking the Indian peninsula on the western side are the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea and on the eastern side lies the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

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