12/24/2014 08:00:00 pm

Historically, India is an ancient country and it was known as 'Bharatvarsh'. It is surrounded by the sea on three sides, separated from the rest of Asia by a lofty mountain chain. Hence, India has become an independent entity and called as 'Indian Subcontinent'.
India is the seventh largest country in the world in area. It is a vast country characterized by great diversity in its physical feature.

Location, Extent and Boundaries of India-

Indian sub continent-

A huge landmass of South Asia is flanked by new fold towering mountains on the northwest, north and northeast. The Arabian sea lies to its southwest, the Bay of Bengal to its southeast and the Indian Ocean to its south. This well defined South Asian landmass is called Indian sub continent.

Countries of Indian sub-continent-

  • India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, although Sri Lanka is an island which is narrowly separated by the Palk Strait.

  • India alone covers about three fourths of the area of Indian sub-continent and has common frontier with each one of them.

  •  India along with its five neighbours, forms a clearly identifiable geographical unit, with certain common cultural parameters.
  • Since old times, the country has been known by various names such as Aryavarta, Bharat, Hindustan and lately India. The Indian Ocean or Hind Mahasagar has also been named after India - the only country to be so.
  • According to the Constitution of India, the country is known as Bharat or India.
  • India lies wholly in the Northern Hemisphere.

l  Exetention-

  • The Indian mainland extends between 8°4' N to 37°6' N latitudes and from 68°7' E to 97°25' E longitudes.
  • Thus the latitudinal and longitudinal extent of India is of about 29 degrees.
  • It measures about 3,214 km from north to south and 2,933 km from east to west.

Though the latitudinal extent (37°6' N - 8°4' N = 29°2') and longitudinal extent (97°25' E - 68°7' N = 29°18') is almost the same, the actual distances do differ considerably. Why is it so?
This is because the east-west distance between two successive meridians of longitude along the equator is at its maximum - 111 km. This, however, goes on decreasing as one moves from the equator to the poles, where it is zero. This is because all the meridians of longitude merge in a single point at the poles- both North and South. On the other hand, the north-south distance between any two successive parallels of latitude along any meridian of longitude remains almost uniform, i.e., 111 km. The following table may further clarify this point:-
Degrees of Latitude
Distance between two
successive longitudes
in kms.

  • The northern most point of the Indian mainland lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The southern most point of Indian mainland is Kanyakumari in Tamilnadu. However, the southern most point of the country as a whole lies further south in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is now called Indira Point. It is situated at 6°30'N latitude.
  • The westernmost point of lndia lies in Gujarat.
  •  The eastern most of lndia lies in Arunachal Pradesh.
What is the impact of large latitudinal extent (8°4' N to 37°6' N latitudes and 68°7' E to 97°25' E longitudes) upon the people of India?
 The northern parts of the country are quite far off from the equator. Therefore, the rays of the sun strike those parts more obliquely. Consequently, this part of the country receives lesser amount of insolation and has cold climate unlike the southern parts.
Secondly, the difference between the length of day and night in southern most part of India is much less only about 45 minutes as they are situated near the equator, This difference between day and night in the northern parts of India steadily goes on increasing till it becomes as much as 5 hours.

Zones in which India lies-

The Tropic of Cancer passes almost halfway through the country. Thus half of the country to the south of the Tropic of Cancer is situated in the Tropical or Torrid zone and the other half lying north of the Tropic of Cancer falls in the Sub-tropical zone.

Real time difference between eastern and western extremities-

 The earth takes 24 hours to complete one rotation on its axis. The Sun rises first in the east and then in the west because the earth rotates from west to east. The earth’s longitudinal expansion of 360° is thus covered in 24 hours, at the pace of 15° per hour. As the longitudinal extent of India is nearly 29°, the real time difference in India between its eastern and western extremities is roughly of two hours. While at the eastern extremity of India the day may have just broken out, the western extremity would take nearly another two full hours to do so.

The standard meridian of India-

To iron out this big chunk of time difference i.e. of 2 hours, India, like all other countries of the world, follows the local time of its relatively central meridian as the standard time for the whole country. For the convenience of all, each country chooses its standard meridian in a multiple of 7°30'. Accordingly, the standard meridian of India has been chosen to be 82°30' E.
The coastline-
  • The north-central part of India is broad while the southern part tapers down towards the Indian Ocean in the south. Thus, the northern part of the Indian Ocean has been divided into two, by the sheer presence of Indian Peninsula. The western part of northern Indian Ocean is called the Arabian Sea while the eastern part is called the Bay of Bengal.
  • The total length of the coastline of India including the island groups is about 7,516.6 km.
  • The Palk Strait separates Indian mainland from Sri Lanka. Structurally, Sri Lanka is an extension of the peninsular block of India.

Facts about Size of India-

  • India holds for 2.42 percent of the world’s total land area; whereas it contains 16 percent of the world population.
  • In area, India is the seventh largest country in the world. 
  • In population , India stands at second position, next only to China.
  • The land frontiers of India measure 15,200 km.
  • Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh share common boundaries with India. 
  • The kingdom of Bhutan is situated in the Eastern Himalaya. It is a small country and the responsibility of its defense rests with India.
  • Most of our boundary with Pakistan and Bangladesh is almost man-made. There is no mountain range or river to form a natural boundary.
  • India stands at the head of the Indian Ocean that spans the continents of Asia, Africa and Oceania providing further links to other continents through the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • India is the only country which shares its land frontiers with every member country of the Indian subcontinent.
  • Calculation of Indian standard time- The variation in local time between the eastern and western extremities of India is of two hours. This has been minimized to a certain extent by adopting 82°30' E longitude as the Standard Meridian of India for calculating Indian standard time which we follow through our watches.

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राजस्थान के प्रामाणिक ज्ञान की एकमात्र वेब पत्रिका पर आपका स्वागत है।
"राजस्थान की कला, संस्कृति, इतिहास, भूगोल और समसामयिक दृश्यों के विविध रंगों से युक्त प्रामाणिक एवं मूलभूत जानकारियों की एकमात्र वेब पत्रिका"

"विद्यार्थियों के उपयोग हेतु राजस्थान से संबंधित प्रामाणिक तथ्यों को हिंदी माध्यम से देने के लिए किया गया यह प्रथम विनम्र प्रयास है।"

राजस्थान सम्बन्धी प्रामाणिक ज्ञान को साझा करने के इस प्रयास को आप सब पाठकों का पूरा समर्थन प्राप्त हो रहा है। कृपया आगे भी सहयोग देते रहे। आपके सुझावों का हार्दिक स्वागत है। कृपया प्रतिक्रिया अवश्य दें। धन्यवाद।

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