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India Geographical Information

From the highest point of the Kanchenjunga peak at 8598 meters to the lowest point at 0 meters at the Indian Ocean, India is the land that spells variety.

The 7th largest country in the world, it covers a total area of 3,287,590 sq km in area. It lies in south Asia jutting into the Indian Ocean in its south, undulating over the frozen wasteland of the Himalayas in the north, braving drought in its desert-like west and surviving fierce floods in its east. A substantial portion of northern India is the fertile plain where the great Gangetic riverine system irrigates vast expanses of the land bringing agrarian well being. The Deccan Plateau in Central India is rich in minerals. The Western and Eastern Ghats fringe the southern peninsula and are the setting for coffee, tea, cashew plantations, the Nilgiri langur and gaur, and the silversmith Toda tribal.

In the north-west, Pakistan borders India, and to the east lie China, Nepal, Burma, Bhutan and Bangladesh. To the south lies the teardrop shaped island nation of Sri Lanka. Beyond the peninsula the waters of the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean at the very south wet the shores of India’s 7000 km long coastline. Great vanquishing rivers are worshipped. The Narmada, Godavari, Krishna, Cauveri, the Brahmaputra, Ganga and Yamuna criss-cross the terrain bringing prosperity and fertility and often wreaking havoc in flood. They inspire songs and they bring misery; increasingly they are bringing hydroelectric power to millions across the country.

The Tropic of Cancer splits India in half. Sub tropical jungles house the Royal Bengal tiger, multiple species of deer and antelope, the Asian elephant, the Common, Golden and Nilgiri langurs, the one horned rhino in the forests of Assam, prides of Asiatic lions in the dry wilds of Sasan Gir in the west. And there is much more: river dolphins in the Ganges and Brahmaputra, crocodiles, waters that are teeming with mahseer, trout, carp, fresh water prawns, woods with fishing cat, civets, leopard, the cobra, krait and python, the grey mongoose, the gaur, the sloth bear.

There are over 1200 bird species including the Great Indian Bustard, the Malabar hornbill, Paradise Flycatcher, cormorants, egrets, darters and migratory Siberian cranes in the winter. India’s jungles, rivers, streams are simply bursting with wildlife, much of it protected in her 80 National Parks and 441 Sanctuaries. Camels in the deserts of Rajasthan, stoic yaks, sure-footed Himalayan Tahr and mountain goats in the north extend the scope beyond just that which is typical to Asian sub tropical forests of sal, shisham and teak. There are mangrove forests in the east and evergreen conifers in the upper climes of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Common flowers include roses, bougainvilleas, sunny marigold, water lilies, lotus and fragrant jasmine. In the breathtaking Valley of Flowers a sea of lilies, poppy, daisies, holly, pansy, geranium, zinnia, petunia, fox, caryopsis dianthus, saxifrage and calendula stretches out in the shadow of towering snowbound Himalayan peaks.

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