India Physical Map
About India Physical Map
Explore the above physical map of India showing the geographical or physical features of India.
Geography of India
To be precise, India is located north of the equator. The coordinates of India are 20.5937° N, 78.9629° E. India is also known as the seventh-largest nation in the world, with a total area of 3,287,263 square kilometres or 1,269,219 square miles. The total distance between India’s northernmost and southernmost areas is 3,214 kilometres (1,997 miles). On the other hand, the total distance between the easternmost and westernmost areas is 2,933 kilometres (1,882 miles). Moreover, the coastline of India is approximately 7,517 kilometres (4,671 miles). The total land frontier of India is 15,200 kilometres (9,445 miles).
India is a peninsula and thus surrounded by seas and oceans on all three sides. For instance, India is surrounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west and the Bay of Bengal on the east. It also has the Lakshadweep Sea situated to the southwest. Both the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar separates India from the island nation, Sri Lanka. On the other hand, Maldives is situated at a distance of 125 kilometres (78 miles) from India’s Lakshadweep Islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands belong to India and share maritime borders with Indonesia and Myanmar. The southernmost tip of India is Kanyakumari.
On the other hand, the southernmost point is commonly referred to as the Indira Point. The Indira Point is situated on the Great Nicobar Island. On the contrary, the northernmost point of India is Indira Col located in Siachen Glacier. The territorial waters of India extend to a distance of 12 nautical miles (13.8 miles and 22.2 kilometres respectively) from the Indian coastline. In the whole world, India has the 18th largest EEZ or Exclusive Economic Zone of 2,305,143 square kilometres or 890,021 square miles.
India’s northern boundaries are defined mainly by the Himalayan mountain ranges. India has China, Pakistan, Bhutan and Nepal as its Himalayan neighbors. The western border of India with Pakistan lies in the Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch. It also has the Punjab Plains and Karakoram Range located on the western border with Pakistan. India’s immediate northeast neighbor is Burma. The densely forested Chin Hills and Kachin Hills separates India from Burma. On the east, India has Bangladesh as its neighbor. The border of India with Bangladesh is defined by the Indo-Gangetic plain along with the Mizo and Khasi Hills.
One of the longest rivers of India is the Ganges. The Ganges-Brahmaputra system is present in the maximum areas of north, eastern and central India. On the other hand, the Deccan Plateau covers a large majority of areas under south India. Kangchenjunga, located in Sikkim, is known as the highest point of India. It is 8,586 meters or (28,169 feet) high, which makes it the third highest peak in the world. India is often known as the land of diversity in unity. Even the weather conditions of India vary from location to location. For instance, the weather conditions in South India are equatorial. On the other hand, the Himalayan upper areas have alpine and tundra weather conditions. Geologically, India is situated on the India plate. It also lies partially on the Indo-Australian tectonic plate.
India’s Physiographic Regions
Craton refers to the stable and oldest part of the continental lithosphere. It usually comprises the two top layers of Earth in the form of mantle and crust. The shield refers to a specific part of the craton where the basement rock projects out of the ground. It is also an area that stays unaffected by the motion of plate tectonics. India comprises five major cratons in the form of:
- Bastar Craton
- Bundelkhand Craton
- Aravalli Craton or the West India Craton
- Dharwar Craton
- Singhbhum Craton
When the context is about regions, India can be segregated into six physiographic regions. They are as follows:
- The Thar Desert
- The Indo-Gangetic Plain
- The Northern Mountains: this in the form of the Himalayas.
- Islands: this is in the form of the Lakshadweep islands and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Peninsular Plateau: it comprises mountain ranges in the form of Aravalli, Satpura, and Vindhayachal. It also contains the Eastern and Western Ghats plateaus in the form of the Chhota Nagpur Plateau, Deccan Plateau, Kutch Kathiawar plateau, Southern Granulite Terrain, and the Malwa Plateau.
- Coastal Plains: India also has coastal plains in the form of Western Ghat Folds and the Eastern Ghat Folds.
India’s Natural Resources
Here are the environmental resources of India.
Water Bodies of India
India possesses around 14,500 kilometres of inland waters that are navigable. India comprises twelve significant rivers with a total catchment area of more than 2,528,000 square kilometres or 976,000 square miles. To be precise, the major rivers of India originate from the following three significant watersheds:
- The Satpura and the Vindhya Range located in Central India
- The Himalaya and the Karakoram Ranges
- The Western Ghats or Sahyadri located in the western part of India
Wetlands of India
The wetland ecosystem of India is widely distributed and situated in the Ladakh area of Jammu and Kashmir. The wetland ecosystem of India also spans across the humid and wet climate of peninsular India. A majority of these wetlands are associated directly or indirectly with the network of rivers. The Government of India has recognized a total of 71 wetlands for conservation.
These 71 wetlands are an integral component of national parks as well as sanctuaries. Quite interestingly, the mangrove forests are situated across the coastline of India. They are present in the form of creeks, backwaters, sheltered estuaries, mudflats, and salt marshes. India has a total mangrove area of 4,461 square kilometres or 1,722 square miles.
In short, India constitutes 7% of the total mangrove area in the world. The popular mangrove areas are situated in the Sunderbans Delta, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Gulf of Kutch, along with the significant deltas of rivers Krishna, Godavari, and Mahanadi.
The Sunderbans Delta is the largest mangrove forest on the earth. It is located at the mouth of the Ganges and covers West Bengal and Bangladesh. The Sunderbans is also known as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.However, it is recognized separately in both India and Bangladesh. For instance, in Bangladesh, it is commonly referred to as the Sunderbans. On the other hand, it is known as Sunderbans National Park in India. The Sunderbans comprise a complicated channel of tidal waterways along with mudflats. It is also common to encounter a range of small islands comprising salt-tolerant mangroves. The Sunderbans is well-known for its diverse fauna. This is because it comprises a large variety of species of birds, crocodiles, deer, and reptiles. The most popular wild animal of the Sunderbans is the Royal Bengal Tiger. As per the latest estimations, the Sunderbans comprise about 400 Bengal tigers and 30,000 spotted deer.
The Rann of Kutch is a marshy location situated in northwestern Gujarat. The Rann of Kutch also borders the Sindh region of Pakistan. The Rann of Kutch has a total area of 27,900 square kilometres or 10,800 square miles. The location was an integral part of the Arabian Sea. Geological forces in the form of earthquakes resulted in the damming up of the location. This made it turn the location into a seasonal salt marsh. When monsoons arrive in this location, the Rann of Kutch turns into a shallow marsh. But after the monsoon, the region turns into a dry area.
Renewable Water Resources
The renewable water resources of India are estimated at 1,907.8 cubic kilometres per year. India’s yearly supply of usable and replenishable groundwater is 350 billion cubic liters. However, only 35% of the groundwater resources are being utilized. Approximately 44 million tons of cargo is moved yearly through India’s waterways. In the irrigation channels of India, groundwater supplies 40% of water. 56% of land in India is suitable for agriculture.
A majority of India’s 5.4 million oil barrels equates to 860,000,000 cubic meters are situated in Assam, Mumbai High, Cambay, and the Cauvery Basins and Krishna and Godavari. India has almost seventeen trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Uranium is primarily sourced from mines in Andhra Pradesh. India comprises 400 mid-to-high enthalpy thermal springs for developing geothermal energy in seven areas. These seven areas are the Himalayas, the delta of Narmada-Tapti, Godavari, Cambay, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Sohana.
Minerals and Ores
India is one of the biggest producers of mica. India is also the second-largest producer of chromite and barite. The Pleistocene system is what makes India rich in minerals. India is the third-largest producer of coal in the world. It is also the fourth-largest producer of iron ore in the world. The fifth-largest producer of bauxite in the world is India. In 2018, it replaced Japan as the second-largest producer of crude steel. It ranks seventh and eighth in the production of manganese and aluminum. India has large deposits of diamonds, limestone and titanium ore. India has 24% of thorium. Gold is also found in the mines of Karnataka.
Climate of India
On the basis of the Koppen system, India has six main climatic subtypes. For instance, it has dried desert in the west, glaciers and alpine tundra in the north, island territories, and humid tropical regions supporting rainforests in the southwest. India has four primary seasons. They are winter (lasts from January to February), summer (lasts from March to May), monsoon (June to September), and post-monsoon (October to December).
Geology of India
The geological features of India are differentiated on the basis of their formation. The Precambrian formations of the Vindhyan and the Cudappah systems span across the eastern and southern states of India. To be precise, a small part is also located in western and central India. The Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian systems are formed by the Paleozoic formations. These formations are usually situated in the western Himalayan region of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. On the other hand, the Mesozoic Deccan Traps formation is prevalent over the top part of northern Deccan. They are believed to be the outcome of sub-aerial volcanic activity. The trap soil is black colored and supports agriculture to a great extent. Also, the Carboniferous, Permian, and Triassic systems are prevalent in the western Himalayas. The Jurassic system is also present in the western Himalayas, Rajasthan, and other geological areas of India.
The tertiary imprints are usually witnessed in major parts of Nagaland, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh, and the Himalayan belt. The Cretaceous system is quite prevalent in the central part of India in the Vindhyas and Satpuras. The Eocene system is quite prominent in Assam and the western Himalayas. Also, the Oligocene formations are present in Assam and Rann of Kutch. The Pleistocene system is present mainly in central India. The Andaman and the Nicobar Islands are formed because of the volcanoes. The Himalayas have been believed to be formed by the deformation and convergence of Eurasian and Indo-Australian plates. The continued convergence of these plates continues to raise the height of the Himalayas by one centimeter each year.
The souls present in India can be differentiated into eight categories. They are alluvial, red, black, laterite, arid and desert, forest, saline and alkaline, organic and peaty soils. The largest soil group in India is the alluvial soil. It constitutes 80% of the total land surface of India. The alluvial soil is usually produced by the silt deposits carried by rivers. It is present commonly in the Great Northern Plains located in Punjab to the state of Assam. Alluvial soil is fertile but lacks nitrogen. They also tend to be phosphoric. India’s National Disaster Management Authority claims that 60% of the landmass of India is susceptible to earthquakes. On the other hand, 8% of the total landmass of India is prone to cyclones.
In the Deccan lava region of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, Black Soil is commonly found. The black soil contains higher percentages of clay and retains moisture to a great extent. The red soil is found in Tamil Nadu, Andhra plateau, the Chota Nagpur plateau, and the Aravallis. To be precise, the red soil is deficient in humus, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The laterite soil is formed in the regions which encounter heavy rainfall. The heavy rains result in the leaching out of soluble material of the soil’s top layer. This is usually present in the Western Ghats, hilly areas of northeastern states, and the Eastern Ghats. The forest soil occurs on the slopes of hills and mountains in the Himalayas, Eastern Ghats, and the Western Ghats. The forest soil usually comprises large amounts of dead leaves and other organic materials known as humus.