Geographical Location of India

Geographical Location of India
Posted on 14-08-2023

India's Geographical Significance: Bridging Continents and Seas

The geographical expanse of the Indian mainland spans from 8°4′ North to 37°6′ North latitudes and 68°7′ East to 97°25′ East longitudes. Consequently, India stretches about 3214 km from north to south and 2933 km from east to west. Notably, India's landmass constitutes approximately 2.42% of the global land area.

Geographically, India finds itself within the confines of the northern and eastern hemispheres. Cutting through the heart of the country is the Tropic of Cancer (23°30′ North), which bifurcates the nation into nearly equal northern and southern segments. North of this demarcation is referred to as North India, while the region to the south is termed South India. Additionally, the 82°30′ East longitude passes almost through the geographical midpoint of the country and holds the designation of the Standard Meridian of India.

In the context of South Asia, India boasts the largest land area and population. The nation is encompassed by the vastness of the ocean, with a particularly strategic location in the Indian Ocean. This positioning affords India control over vital maritime routes connecting Europe and Africa to Southeast Asia, the Far East, and Oceania. This geographical advantage has fostered robust trade relations with numerous nations since ancient times.

India is located in South Asia, situated primarily on the Indian subcontinent. It is bordered by several countries and bodies of water. Here are its geographical coordinates and bordering countries:

  • Latitude: Approximately 20.5937° N

  • Longitude: Approximately 78.9629° E

India shares its borders with the following countries:

  1. Pakistan to the northwest.

  2. China to the north and northeast.

  3. Nepal to the north.

  4. Bhutan to the northeast.

  5. Bangladesh to the east.

  6. Myanmar (Burma) to the east.

  7. Sri Lanka, which is separated by the Palk Strait, to the southeast.

The southern coastline of India is bounded by the Indian Ocean, while the western coastline is bordered by the Arabian Sea.

India's geographical diversity includes the Himalayan mountain range to the north, the Thar Desert in the west, fertile plains in the central region, and coastal areas to the east and south. The country is known for its varied landscapes, ranging from mountains and forests to rivers and coastline.

India is positioned north of the equator, spanning between 8°4' north to 37°6' north latitude and 68°7' to 97°25' east longitude. It holds the distinction of being the seventh-largest country globally, covering an area of 3,287,263 square kilometers (1,269,219 square miles). The country stretches approximately 3,214 kilometers (1,997 miles) from north to south and about 2,933 kilometers (1,822 miles) from east to west. India boasts a land boundary of 15,200 kilometers (9,445 miles) and a coastline extending over 7,516.6 kilometers (4,671 miles).

To the south, India is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, specifically bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, the Lakshadweep Sea to the southwest, the Bay of Bengal to the east, and the Indian Ocean proper to the south. Separating India from Sri Lanka, the Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar lie to the southeast, while the Maldives are situated approximately 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of India's Lakshadweep Islands across the Eight Degree Channel.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located around 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) southeast of the mainland, share maritime boundaries with Myanmar, Thailand, and Indonesia. Kanyakumari, situated at 8°4'41" N and 77°55'230" E, marks the southernmost tip of the Indian mainland. Meanwhile, the southernmost point in India is Indira Point on Great Nicobar Island. On India's northern edge under its administration lies the Indira Col in the Siachen Glacier.

India's territorial waters extend up to 12 nautical miles (13.8 miles or 22.2 kilometers) from the coast's baseline.

The Himalayan mountain range predominantly defines India's northern frontiers, acting as a border with China, Bhutan, and Nepal. To the west, India shares a border with Pakistan encompassing the Karakoram range, Punjab Plains, Thar Desert, and the Rann of Kutch salt marshes. The eastern border with Bangladesh is notably marked by the Khasi Hills, Mizo Hills, and the watershed region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.

India's geographical location can be understood in three primary ways:

  1. Latitude and Longitude: India's mainland stretches from approximately 8°04′ north latitude (Kanyakumari) to 37°06′ north latitude (Kashmir) and between 68°07′ east longitude (western Gujarat) to 97°25′ east longitude (eastern Arunachal Pradesh).

  2. Proximity to the Sea: India is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal to the east, the Arabian Sea to the west, the Indian Ocean to the south, and the Lakshadweep Sea to the southwest. No part of India is distant from the sea beyond 900 kilometers.

  3. Neighboring Countries: India shares its borders with various countries, including China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Maldives lies to the southeast of India.

India's strategic location holds several significant implications:

  1. Central Position in the Indian Ocean: India's central location at the head of the Indian Ocean makes it a crucial hub for trade routes connecting various regions. With coastlines along the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Indian Ocean, India has been historically engaged in vibrant maritime trade.

  2. Location in the Eastern Hemisphere: Occupying a central position in the Eastern hemisphere, India enjoys advantageous economic connections with Eurasia, Africa, and Australia.

  3. Link Between the Far East and the Middle East: India's strategic location between the Far East and the Middle East is pivotal for global trade, positioning it as a key trade route and transit point for various regions.

In essence, India's geographical location plays a pivotal role in its historical, economic, and strategic significance on the global stage.

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