Geography & Climate
is set apart from the rest of Asia by the Himalayas, the highest,
youngest and still evolving mountain chain on the planet. The
subcontinent as it is rightly called, touches three large water bodies
and is immediately recognizable on any world map. This thick, roughly
triangular peninsula defines the Bay of Bengal to the east, the Arabian
Sea to the west, and the India Ocean to the south.
India holds virtually every kind of landscape imaginable. An abundance
of mountain ranges and national parks provide ample opportunity for
eco-tourism and trekking, and its sheer size promises something for
everyone. From north to south India extends a good 2000 miles (3200 km),
where the island nation of Sri Lanka seems to be squeezed out of India
like a great tear, the synapse forming the Gulf of Mannar.
Himalayas, the world's highest mountain chain and Nepal as its
Neighbouring country dominate India's northern border. Following the
sweeping mountains to the northeast, its borders narrow to a small
channel that passes between Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, then
spreads out again to meet Burma in the "eastern triangle." Apart from
the Arabian Sea, its western border is defined exclusively by Pakistan.
North India is the country's largest region begins with Jammu and
Kashmir, with terrain varying from arid mountains in the far north to
the lake country and forests near Srinagar and Jammu. Moving south along
the Indus river, the North becomes flatter and more hospitable, widening
into the fertile plains of Punjab to the west and the Himalayan
foothills of Uttar Pradesh and the Ganges river valley to the East.
Cramped between these two states is the capital city, Delhi.
The states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, and part of the massive,
central state of Madhya Pradesh constitute West India. Extending from
the Gujarat peninsula down to Goa, the west coast is lined with some of
India's best beaches. The land along the coast is typically lush with
rainforests. The Western Ghats separate the verdant coast from the
Vindya Mountains and the dry Deccan plateau further inland.
India is the home of the sacred River Ganges and the majority of
Himalayan foothills, East India begins with the states of Madhya
Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, which comprise the westernmost part of the
region. East India also contains an area known as the eastern triangle,
which is entirely distinct. This is the last gulp of land that extends
beyond Bangladesh, culminating in the Naga Hills along the Burmese
India reaches its peninsular tip with South India, which begins with the
Deccan in the north and ends with Cape Comorin. The states in South
India are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, a favourite
leisure destination. The southeast coast, mirroring the west, also rests
snugly beneath a mountain range---the Eastern Ghats.