Geographically, India occupies a central position in South Asia. Sharing its borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan (in the north-west), China, Bhutan and Nepal (in the north), Myanmar and Bangladesh (in the east). India extends from the snow-clad Himalayas in the north to the blue waters of the Indian Ocean in the south, and from the desert sands of Rajasthan in the west, to the dense forests of Arunachal Pradesh in the east.
The southwest of India is rinsed by the Arabian Sea, whereas in the southeast of India there is Bay of Bengal. With immense natural beauty and an amazing architectural heritage, India’s geographic and cultural riches are a must-see for every traveler.
The landscape of the Indian subcontinent offers an amazing series of contrasts. For lovers of the mountains, the towering Himalayas in the north, and the verdant hills of the Western and Eastern Ghats in south India, offer beautiful locales for mountaineering and trekking. For beach and water sports enthusiasts, India’s long coastline offers many idyllic palm-fringed beaches. The sun-kissed beaches in Goa and Kerala are world famous, and there are many lesser-known but beautiful beaches on the coasts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. The island groups of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar are also home to many pristine beaches. From sandy beaches to sand dunes, a traveler can find plenty of both in India. The Thar desert in Rajasthan offers views of undulating sand dunes stretching as far as the eye can see, an ethereal sight which is most enjoyed on a camel safari. In contrast are the thick jungles and tropical vegetation of the forests of India. Precious natural resources, India’s forests are home to many species of rare and exotic flora and fauna.
Geography of India has many rivers and river systems, which are the major sources of country’s irrigation and electricity. Some of the major rivers of India are Ganga, Yamuna, Narmada, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and Mahanadi. Besides these, the mighty Brahmaputra and Indus rivers also flow through India. Ganga, Brahmaputra and Indus originate from Himalayas, and these rivers are perennial as they get water from the rainfall as well as the melting of ice. Narmada, Godavari, Krishna, Mahanadi and Kaveri are known as peninsular rivers, as they originate in peninsular India. A large number of peninsular rivers forms a prominent part of Geography of India and are seasonal as their flow is dependent on rainfall.
Some of the important natural resources found in the geography of India are coal, manganese, mica, iron ore, bauxite, Titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum and limestone, whose production and export propels the country’s economic growth. India has the fourth largest coal reserves in the world. Another important reservoir of natural resources in the geography of India are the forests. However, according to 2003 estimates, only 6,78,333 sq km of the area of India is under forest cover, which comprises 20.63 percentage of the country’s total area. Efforts are on to preserve and enhance our forest cover.
Indian Climate. On an average, as per the Geography of India the climate oscillates from tropical monsoon in South to temperate in north, but there are many points of extreme weather. One can say that all seasons leave their intensity on the Indian soil. From sultry Chennai, where one doesn’t need a sweater even in January, to perennially chilling Leh… from wet Cherrapunji (Meghalaya) to dry Jaisalmer, Geography of India offers a wide variety of climatic patterns. Overall, India, due to its vast size, does not fit into any one climatic zone. Geography of India can be divided mainly into four climatic zones namely Alpine, Subtropical, Tropical and Arid. However, though divided into different climatic zones, India seems to be unified by primarily four seasons, that is winter, summer, advancing monsoon and retreating monsoon.
In terms of climate, the geography of India, with the exception of Tamil Nadu, shows a fairly set pattern. Most of India experiences winter during December to February, whereas March-June are its summer months. Months of June, July, August and September form the core of advancing monsoon in almost all parts of the country. The monsoon approaches with moisture laden winds; this sudden approach is marked with violent thunderstorms and lightening, known as the ‘break’ of the monsoon. In the Geography of India, the season of retreating monsoon starts, when after drenching all of India, monsoon winds begin to retreat. With the month of September, the rainfall begins to decrease and with the approach of November, the monsoon dwindles from major parts of India, except for Tamil Nadu and some other southern states, which also receive rain from western disturbances.