Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere, India is located in
the southern peninsula of the Asian continent. The Tropic of Cancer
(23?30') divides the country into two almost equal parts. The Indian
mainland measures about 3,200 km from north to south, between
latitudes 8?4' and 37?6' and about 2,900 km from east to west,
between longitudes 68?7' and 97?25'. Situated to the east of the
Prime Meridian, India also belongs to the eastern hemisphere. It has
a land frontier of about 15,000km, a coastline of about 6,100km and
an area of 3.29 million sq. km.
India is bordered on the north by China and Nepal and in the
north-east by Bhutan. The Himalayas form India's northern frontier,
except in the Nepal region. To the east lies Myanmar (formerly
Burma) and Bangladesh, the latter wedged in between the surrounding
Indian states. In the north-west lies Pakistan. The southern part of
India tapers off into a peninsula, with the Arabian Sea on the west
and the Bay of Bengal on the east. The Gulf of Mannar and Palk
Strait separate India from Sri Lanka.
The Indian subcontinent consists of three structural components:
the great mountain zone in the north; the Indo-Gangetic plains,
about 2,400 km long and 240 km to 320 km wide; and the southern
peninsula, consisting of the fairly high Deccan Plateau, the
mountains and coastal strips. There is also a desert region in the
Natural hazards such as droughts, floods, thunderstorms and
earthquakes have all been known.
1 billion (est. 2000)
There are estimated to be 25 Cities/Towns with a population
greater than 1 million.
India has a great variation of climate, with striking contrasts
of meteorological conditions, the climate is mainly monsoon
tropical. The contrast between Assam in the east and Rajasthan in
the west presents extremes of dampness and dryness. In the Thar
desert in Rajasthan the average annual rainfall is less than 13 cm,
while in Cherrapunji in Assam it can be as high as 1,100 cm. India's
climate is affected greatly by the monsoons.
On the whole summers (March-June) are hot and dry except in the
hills and along the coast where it is humid. Temperatures in
May/June can soar as high as 47°C. During the monsoon
(July-September), the sub-continent is awash with its annual quota
of rain. The winters (November-February) are cool and bright except
for parts of the south-east where it is rainy.
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