India : Geography
India : Geography 1200x630bb

India is a vast country and that is why this region (which also includes Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal) is popularly known as the "Indian Sub-continent". The term gives an idea about the vastness and diversity found in this region. India borders Pakistan at the Punjab Plain and the Thar desert in the west, China, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan in the north in the Himalayas and Bangladesh, along the watershed region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the Khasi hills and Mizo Hillsand, and Myanmar, along the Chin Hills and Kachin Hills, in the east. India is bounded to the southwest by the Arabian Sea, to the southeast by the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean to the south. The southernmost part of India however is Indira Point in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. South of India are both Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The Lakshadweep islands to the west are another main island group.

India hosts a major portion of the highest mountain ranges in the world, the Himalayas (Kanchenjunga in Sikkim at 8,598 metres is the highest point), located in the northern end of the country. Going south, the land gradually descends into low lying areas with few mountains, but some hilly areas.

The Ganges is the longest river in India and forms the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The Ganges-Brahmaputra system occupies most of northern, central and eastern India. The Central Highlands is divided into three main plateaus - the Malwa Plateau in the west, the Deccan Plateau in the south (covering much of the Indian peninsula) and the Chota Nagpur Plateau in the east. The Malwa Plateau is spread across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The Chota Nagpur Plateau is situated in eastern India, covering much of Jharkhand and adjacent parts of Orissa, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. The Deccan Plateau occupies most of southern India.

On the southern end, India has a coastline which measures over 7,600 kilometres, from Gujarat in the west via Mumbai, Goa and Kerala to the south and up north again to Chennai, Orissa and Kolkata. Especially in the southern portions, like Cochi and Goa, there are great beaches.