Sample Material of Our Online Coaching Programme
Subject: India & World Geography
Topic: Land and the People
“India is the cradle of the human race, the irthplace of
human speech, the mother of history, the grand mother of legend and the great
grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in
the history of man are treasured up in India only.”-Mark Twain India has a
unique culture and is one of the oldest and greatest civilizations of the world.
It stretches from the snow-capped Himalayas in the North to sun drenched coastal
villages of the South, the humid tropical forests on the south–west coast, the
fertile Brahamputra valley on its East to the Thar desert in the West .It covers
an area of 32,87,263 sq .km. it has achieved all–round socio– economic progress
during the last 63 years of its Independence. India is the seventh largest
country in the world and ranks second in population. The country stands apart
from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give
her a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north,
it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian
Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.
Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere, the mainland
extends between latitudes 8°4’ and 37°6’ north longitudes 68°7’ and 97°25’ east
and measures about 3,214 km from north to south between the extreme latitudes
and about 2,933 km from east to west between the extreme longitudes. It has a
land frontier of about 15,200 km. The total length of the coastline of the
mainland, Lakshadweep, Isiands and Andaman &Nicobar islands is 7,516.6 km.
Countries having common border with India are Afghanistan and
Pakistan to the north-west, China, Bhutan and Nepal to the north, Myanmar to the
far east and Bangladesh to the Wast Bengal. Sri Lanka is separated from India by
a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar. The
country can be divided into six zones mainly North, South, East, West, Central
and North–east zone. It has 28 states and seven union territories.
The mainland comprises four regions, namely, the great mountain zone, plains
of the Ganga and the Indus, the desert region and the southern peninsula.
The Himalayas comprise three almost parallel ranges
interspersed with large plateaus and valley, some of which, like the Kashmir and
Kullu valleys, are fertile, extensive and of great scenic beauty. Some of the
highest peaks in the world are found in these ranges. The high attitudes admit
travel only to a few passes, notably the Jelep La and Nathu La on the main
Indo-Tibet route through the Chumbi Valley, north-east of Darjeeling and Shipki
La in the Satluj valley, north-east of Kalpa (Kinnaur). The mountain wall
extends over a distance of about 2,400 km with a varying depth of 240 to 320 km.
In the east, between India and Myanmar and India and Bangladesh, hill ranges are
much lower. Garo, Khasi, Jaintia and Naga Hills, running almost east-west, join
the chain to Mizo and Rkhine Hills running north-south.
The plains of the Ganga and the Indus, about 2,400 km long
and 240 to 320 km broad, are formed by basins of three distinct river
systems-the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. They are one of the world’s
greatest stretches of flat alluvium and also one of the most densely populated
area on the earth. Between the Yamuna at Delhi and the Bay of Bengal, nearly
1,600 km away, there is a drop of only 200 meters in elevation.
The desert region can be divided into two parts – the great
desert and the little desert. The great desert extends from the edge of the Rann
of Kuchch beyond the Luni river northward. The whole of the Rajasthan-Sind
frontier runs through this. The little desert extends from the Luni between
Jaisalmer and Jodhpur up to the northern wastes. Between the great and the
little desert lies a zone of absolutely sterile country, consisting of rocky
land, cut up by limestone ridges.
The Peninsular Plateau is marked off from the plains of the
Ganga and the Indus by a mass of Mountain and hill ranges varying from460 to
1,220 meters in height. Prominent among these are the Aravalli, Vindhya, Satpura,
Maikala and Ajanta. The Peninsula is flanked on the one side by the Eastern
Ghats where it is generally from 915 to 1,220 meters, rising in the places to
over 2,440 metres. Between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea lies a narrow
coastal strip, while between Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal, there is a
broader coastal area. The southern point of plateau is formed by the Nilgiri
Hills where the Eastern and the Western Ghats meet. The Cardamom Hills lying
beyond may be regarded as a continuation of the Western Ghats.
The geological regions broadly follow the physical features
and may be grouped into three regions: the Himalayas and their associated group
of mountains, the Indo-Ganga Plain and the Peninsular Shield. The Himalayan
mountain belt to the north and the Nega-Lushai mountain in the east, are the
regions of mountain-building movement. Most of this area, now presenting some of
the most magnificent mountain scenery in the world, was under marine conditions
about 60 crore years ago. In a series of mountain-building movements commencing
about seven crore years ago, the sediments and the basement rocks rose to great
heights. The weathering and erosive agencies worked on these to produce the
relief seen today. The Indo-Ganga plains are a great alluvial tract that
separate the Himalayas in the north from the Peninsula in the south.
The Peninsula is region of relative stability and occasional
seismic disturbances. Highly metamorphosed rocks of the earliest periods, dating
back as far as 380 crore years, occur in the area; the rest being covered by the
coastal-bearing Gondwana formations, lava flows belonging to the Deccan Trap
formation and younger sediments.