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India- Physical Features

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India- Physical Features: India has an area of 32.8 lakh square Kms. This is the largest democracy in the world. Being situated in the no...

India- Physical Features:

India has an area of 32.8 lakh square Kms. This is the largest democracy in the world. Being situated in the north of the equator, India belongs to the Northern Hemisphere. The tropic of Cancer (23° 1/2 North) divides the country into almost two equal parts. Situated to the east of the Prime Meridian, India also belongs to the Eastern Hemisphere. Since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, its distance from Europe has been reduced to 7000 Km.. The oceanic routes serving East and South-east Asia and Australia pass through the Indian Ocean. India is connected with Europe, North America and South America through both the routes, the Suez Canal and the Cape of Good Hope.

The Indian Sub - Continent:-
Countries:- The countries that form the.Indian subcontinent today are Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are republics. Nepal and Bhutan are kingdoms. The island states of Sri Lanka, and Maldives are our Southern Neighbours in the Indian Ocean but these two are not the part of Indian Subcontinent. The area where the Himalaya and Northern Plains of India are. situated today was occupied by a sea, called ‘Tethys’. ‘The Angaraland’ was in the North and ‘the Gondwanaland’ was in the South of the Tethys Sea. The Northern Plains spread over India and Pakistan are known as Indo-Ganagatic Plains.

The Major Physiographic Divisions of India:-
(1) The Great Mountain wall of the North.
(2) Northern Plains.
(3) Great Peninsular Plateau.

1. The Great Mountain wall of the North:- In the Central Asia, not far from India, lies the well-known Pamir knot. It is often called the ‘Roof of the world’. From this knot run several mountain ranges. One of them is the Kunlun which moves eastwards into Tibet. Another range, i.e., the Karakoram enters into Kashmir and runs South-east and includes the plateau of Aksai Chin. It extends further east and is known as the Kailash Range in Tibet. The Karakoram contains k2, the first highest mountain peak Of India and the second highest peak of the world after the mount Everest of Nepal. The Baltoro and the Siachin are some of the glaciers of this range. In Kashmir there is Karakoram pass lying in Karakoram range.
The Himalayas extend from the Indus to Brahmaputra. Its length is 2,500 km. The Himalayas are widest in Kashmir and become narrow towards the east. The Himalayas are young fold mountains. There are three distinct ranges running parallel to one another. The Northernmost range is the loftiest of all. All the high peaks of the Himalayas belong to this range. The “Mount Everest or Sargarmatha is the highest peak in the world. Its height is 8848 metres. It is located in Nepal. Kanchenjunga is the aecond highest peak of the Himalayas and lies in Sikkim in India. The Namcha Barwa is an important peak in the east overlooking the Brahmaputra where Brahmputra takes a sudden turn towards south to enter India. This Northernmost and the loftiest range is known as the Great Himalaya or the Himadri.
To the South of the Great Himalaya lies the Middle or lesser Himalaya. They are called the Himachal. All the important hill stations such as Dalhousie, Dharmshala, Shimla, Mussorie, Nainital and Darjeeling belong to this range.
The southernmost ranges of the Himalayas are known as outer Himalaya or the Shiwalik ranges. These are made of unconsolidated river deposits, and are prone to earthquakes. Soil Erosion is at its worst in these youngest of the Himalayan family.

Passes of the Himalayas:- Shipkila pass is located on the Tibet-Himalaya road in Himachal Pradesh. The Pass in Sikkim is known as Nathula and is on the way from India to Lhasa, the Capital of Tibet and Bomdila pass lies in Arunachal Pradesh.
Valleys of Himalayas - Kashmir Valley is described as ‘Paradise on the Earth’ Kulu and Kangra vallies are in Himachal Pradesh.. The Doons Vallies in the Kumayun Himachal of Utterpradesh are known for fruit orchards.

Rivers of Himalayas.:- Three major rivers of the Sub Continent, the Indus, Satluj and the Brahmaputra originate beyond the Himalaya in a region surroundings Kailas and Mansarower in Tibet. Brahmaputra marks the Easternmost Geographical limit of the Himalaya Mountains along the Eastern boundary of India are called Purvanchal. They comprise the Patkoibum, and the Naga Hills in the North, and the Mizo Hills in the south. They are on the border of Bangladesh-India in Meghalaya and are known as Jainitia, Khasi and Garo Hills from east to west.

2. The Northern Plains.:- The Northern Plains are divided into two river systems - the Indus in the west and Ganga-Brahmaputra in the East.

The Indus Basin:- Large part of the Indus Basin is located in India in Jammu & kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Its main tributaries are the.Satluj,’Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum.
Due to these rivers this is considered as the densest network of Canals. Its length is 2900km.

The Ganga Basin:- The Ganga rises in Utteranchal Himalaya at Gaumukh near Gangotri. After reaching Hardwar it enters the northern plains. Yamuna river joins it at Allahabad, known as Triveni. The tributories of Yamauna are Chambal, Sind, Betwa, Ken, Son, Damodar, Gomati, Ghaghara, Gandak and Kosi. Its length is 1900 km.

The Brahmaputra valley:- It originates in Tibet at Kailash and. Mansarovar lake . Most of its course lies in Tibet. It flows parallel to the Himalayan Mountains in. Tibet, where it is known as Tsangpo. In Arunachal Pradesh it is known as Dihang, in northern Bangladesh it is known as Jamuria and in the central part it is known as Padma. After the confluence of Lohit, Dihing and Dibang, it is called the Brahmaputra. In the south where it meets Ganga, the joint stream is called Meghna. Its length is 2900km. The Brahmaputra river takes a hairpin turn around Namcha Barwa, (7757 metres), the under cutting done by this powerful river is of the order of 5500 metres. Ambala is located on the water divide between the Indus and the Ganga river systems.

The Ganga -Brahmaputra Delta:- It is the largest and the fastest growing delta of the world. The delta is of a triangular shape. This region is famous for the production of rice and jute.

(3) The Great Peninsular Plateau:- In the south of the northern plains there is the great peninsular plateau. It is the oldest structure of the Indian subcontinent. It is subdivided into the Central Highlands and the Deccan Plateau.

(i) The Central Highlands:- The northern part of the peninsular block is called the Central Highlands. It is made of hard igneous and metamorphic rocks. The Malva Plateau and the Chotanagpur plateau are the parts of it.

(ii) The Deccan Plateau:- The Deccan Plateau extends from the Vindhyas to the southern tip of the peninsula. This is triangular. This plateau is at its widest in the north and it its narrowest in the south. The Vindhya Range is towards its north, the Eastern Ghats are towards its east and the western Ghats are towards its west.
The Western Ghats mountain range runs parallel to the Arabian Sea. The Western Ghats are known by different local names. In Maharashtra and Karnataka they are called Sahyadri, they are called Nilgiris in Tamil nadu and along the Kerala and Tamil nadu border, they are known as Anaimalai and Cardamom Hills. The Decaan Plateau is the highest along its western edge and gently slopes towards the Bay of Bengal. Anaimudi is its highest peak. Udagamandalam (Ooti) is a well known hill station of the South located in Tamil Nadu. Unlike the western edge, the eastern edge of the Deccan Plateau is less sharp. It is in fact widely broken into small hills by the rivers such as the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri The North-West part of the Deccan Plateau is made up of igneous rocks of volcanic origin and its central part is made up of metamorphic rocks.
The Peninsular Rivers:- Only two rivers of the Peninsular Block, Narmada and Tapti flow from east to ; west and fall in the Arabian sea and form Estuaries, while all the remaining rivers of this part flow from west to east and fall in the bay of Bengal and form Deltas. The Narmada valley is bounded by the Vindhyas on the North and the Satpuras in the South. It is meant that Narmada flows between these two. To the South of Satpura lies the Tapti River. These two river valleys are said to be old rift valleys.
The Coastal Plains:- The Deccan Plateau has a coastal strip in the east and the west. The west coastal plain extends from Gujarat to Kerala. The coastal strip along the Arabian Sea in the West is known as Konkan in the North(Goa and Maharashtra) and Malabar in the south (Kerala) This coast is important for international sea trade as it is blessed with deep natural harbours like Bombay and Marmagao.

The Indian Island:- In the Arbian Sea, towards the west of Kerala coast there are 36 small islands. These islands are known as Lakshadweep Islands. Its capital is Kavarati. Malayalam is spoken here. The Andaman Nicobar Island, on the other hand, are bigger in size and are as many as 300. The last and southernmost point of the Andaman Nicobar Isalnd is known as Indira Point. Here the mother tongue is Hindi. The only active volcano of India is located on these islands. The capital city of Andaman Nicobar Island is Port Blair where in the British period there was a jail named Kalapani which now has been transformed as a National Memorial. These island are far away from India and nearer to Indonesia.

The Face of Our Motherland:-
(1) Situation:- India lies between latitude 8°.4. and 37°.6. North and longitudes 68°.7 and 97°.25 East. In the extreme east India have Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat is the extreme west, Kanyakumari is at its southern tip and Kashmir is at its extreme north. Tropic of Cancer running almost halfway through India. It passes across Durgapur (West Bengal), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Jabalpur and Vidisha (Madhaya Pradesh) and Gandhi Nagar ( Gujarat). The Tropic of Cancer is at an angular distance of 23°1/2 North from the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn is at an angular of distance of 23°1/2 South from the equator. The equator is known by many names as the Zero degree latitude and zero degree parallel. Due to the vertical rays of the sun on the equator, the equator is most heated. Andaman Nicobor island is more heated because it is nearer to the equator and Jammu and Kashmir is comparatively less heated because it is far from the equator. The day and night are always equal at the equator. The climate at the equator remains hot and humid.

(2) Our Neighbour Countries.:- Our neighbours are:- Pakistan (Red Cliff border line), Afganistan, China (Mackmohan border line) Nepal, Bhutan, Burma (Mynmar), Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Between India and Sri Lanka there is not boundary line but there is Palk Street in the Indian Ocean which is considered as the divider between both the countries.
Aravali Hills-are the oldest mountain ranges of India which pass through Northen-India-Delhi,Haryana, Rajasthan and reach till Gujrat. These ranges lie parallel to the south West monsoon so these ranges are not able to obstruct the monsoon. This is the reason why there is low rainfall in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

(3) Rivers:- Narmada river.originates from Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh) and Tapti also orginates from Madhya Pradesh. Cavery river flows through Karnataka and Tamilnadu. This river forms delta in Tamilnadu at the Bay of Bengal. This is the bone of contention between both the states. Shiv Samundram water fall lies on it. The Satpura ranges fall between Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Both Narmada and Tapti rivers flow through Satpura ranges and ended in Arabian Sea in Gujrat. Loni is the rainy river in Rajasthan. Mahanadi river flows through Madhya Pradesh and Orissa and falls into the Bay of Bengal. Godavari river originates form Maharasthra and is the longest river of the south.
(4) Sikkim state is surrounded by Nepal, China and Bhutan. West Bengal is at its South.
(5) Russia, China, Canada, U.S.A., Brazil and Australia havethe bigger area than that of India. India is the Seventh largest country in the world in terms of area while it is second largest country after China in terms of population.

Indian Standard Time:- Indian standard time is measured by 82°.5 East longitude which passes through Alahabad. Zero Degree Longitude or Prime Meridian Passes through British Royal Observatory at Greenwich in London. The difference between Indian Standard Time and London is 5 1/2 hours. It is meant that when it is 8 A.M in London then in India it will be 11/2 P.M.

So far as India is concerned, Nicobar Island is nearer to the Zero degree latitude or equator. So the difference between the duration of day and night in Nicobar Island is only 45 minutes. However in the extreme north (Kashmir) of India the difference in the duration of day and night becomes 5 hours. It means, in India, the difference of the duration of day and night is 45 minutes as minimum and 5 hours as maximum. The north -south extent of India is 3200 km. The boundary of India is 15200Km. and its coast line is 7500 km. While Gujrat has the largest coast line. The coast area of Tamil Nadu is known as Koromandal coast.


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