• India is the largest country in the Indian subcontinent lying entirely in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The mainland extends from latitude 8°4’ north to 37°6’ north and from longitude 68° 7’ east to 97°25’ east. 
  • The southernmost point in Indian territory, the Indira Point is situated at 6°30’ north in the Nicobar Islands.
  • India stretches 3,214 km from north to south and 2,933 km from east to west.
  • The total length of the mainland coastline is nearly 6,100 km and that of the land frontier is about 15,200km. The total length of the coastline including that of the islands is about 7,500 km. 
  • With an area of about 32,87,263, India is the seventh largest country in the world, accounting for about 2.4% of the total world area. 
  • The northernmost point of the country lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and it is known as Indira Col.
  • The Indian mainland can be divided into five physiographic units namely
             i. The Great Mountains of the North
             ii. The North Indian Plains
             iii. The Peninsular Plateau
             iv. The Coastal Plains
             v. The Islands

 Northern Mountains
  • The mountains of the north are young fold mountains.
  • The Himalayas are the most prominent among these mountain ranges. Besides this, the trans-Himalayan ranges and the hill ranges of Purvachal are the important units.

The Himalayas
  • It is one of the youngest mountain systems in the world and comprises mainly sedimentary rocks.
  • The Indus valley in Kashmir and the Brahmaputra valley in Arunachal Pradesh are
  • accepted as the western and the eastern limits of the Himalayas in India.
  • The Himalayan region is considered the largest snowfield in the world outside the polar ice caps.
  • The Himalayan chain measures about 2,500 km from west to east and width of this folding system vary between 150 and 400km.
  • According to the plate tectonics theory, the Indian plate moved northwards and its forward edge penetrated below the southern edge of the Tibetan plate. This resulted in the folding and uplift of the Himalayas.
  • The Himalayas consist of three parallel ranges.

           (i) The southernmost range, called the Siwalik is the lowest.

           (ii) The ranges lying north of the Siwalik are known as the middle Himalayas or the                   Himachal.
        (iii) The northernmost ranges of the Himalayas, known as the Himadri, are the highest with an average height of more than 6,000 metres above the sea level.

  • The Himadri contain some of the world's highest peaks.
  • Mt. Everest (8848 m) in Nepal is the world's highest peak.

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