Geography of India


The geography of pre-independent India under British rule was very different compared to present times. Earlier the nation was administrated by British India and princely states existed that were ruled by different individual rulers who were under the influence of the then British Crown.

The British Empire of India expanded to regions of present-day Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Burma (Upper and Lower), Singapore and Sri Lanka. The major provinces of this period included Burma, Bengal (comprising of West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and present-day Bangladesh), Assam, Punjab, Bombay, Madras, Central provinces and United Provinces. The minor provinces comprised of Ajmer-Merwara, North-West Frontier province, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Coorg and British Baluchistan.

On gaining political freedom from the British, India experienced a major divide or partition. It got divided into two nations, India and Pakistan (1947). In 1905, there was a partition of Bengal whereby Bengal got divided into East Bengal and West Bengal whereby the former later on became East Pakistan and much later an independent nation called Bangladesh. Punjab province also got divided into Punjab (India) and Punjab (West Pakistan).

In the year 1950, India comprised of Governor’s states, Rajgramukh’s states and Centrally Administered states. Some of these included Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Vindhya Pradesh, Bombay, Saurashtra, Hyderabad, Manipur, Mysore, Travancore and others.

In the current scenario, India is declared to be a federal republic comprising of 7 Union Territories and 28 states. There are almost 600 districts in the country which are further subdivided into tehsils and finally into villages. The current states are Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Meghalaya, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Sikkim, Haryana, Manipur and Odisha.

The Union territories include the following:

  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli

  • Puducherry

  • National Capital Territory of Delhi

  • Daman and Diu

  • Chandigarh

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands

  • Lakshadweep


The physical geography of India can be outlined as follows:


The Indo-Gangetic Plains of India

The Indus and the Ganga-Brahmaputra rivers comprise of the large flood plains-The Indo Gangetic Plains. They are parallel to the Himalayas, travelling from Jammu and Kashmir in the west to Assam in the east, enriching and covering the states of Punjab, Haryana, parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The main water bodies of this area are the Ganges and Indus along with its tributaries: Beas, Yamuna, Gomti, Ravi, Chambal, Sutlej and Chenab.


Deserts of India

The main desert of India is the Thar Desert. It is the Great Indian Desert that forms a significant portion of the western India. It comes under four states namely Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat.


Highlands of India


The Highlands of India located centrally comprises of three main plateaus such as the Malwa Plateau in the west, Deccan Plateau in the south and the Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkand towards the east. The Deccan Plateau is a triangular plateau, bordered by Vindhyas to the north and covered by Eastern and Western Ghats. The sloping nature of the plateaus gives rise to various peninsula rivers such as the Godavari, the Krishna, The Kaveri and the Narmada. The Chota Nagpur Plateau in the east covers Jharkand and is adjacent to parts of Odisha , Bihar and Chhatisgarh. The Kathiawar Peninsula in Gujarat is also a large peninsula of India.
 

East coast of India


The wide stretch of land between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal is the Eastern coastal Plain. It starts from Tamil Nadu in the south to West Bengal in the north. The rivers in this area are the Mahandi, Godavari, Kaveri and Krishna. The plains are divided into six regions: the Mahanadi Delta, the southern part of Andhra Pradesh, Krishna Godavari deltas, the Kanyakumari coast, Coromondel coast and Sandy coastal.
 

West Coast of India


The narrow area of land between the Western Ghats and Arabian Sea is the Western Coastal Plain. The plain sets off from Gujarat in the north continuing till the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. The rivers flowing into the sea are the Tapi, Narmada, Mandovi and Zuari.
 

Islands of India


India’s two major offshore possessions of islands are the Lakshadweep islands and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The union territories govern both these islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands consist of 572 isles that lie in the Bay of Bengal near the Myanmar coast.

India’s most densely populated island is in Mumbai, Elephanta in Bombay Harbour and Sriharikota Island in Andhra Pradesh.
 


Click on a specific state below to get geography of the state.

 

 

 

   
 
 

 

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