Introduction

India lies on the Indian Plate, the northern part of the Indo-Australian Plate, whose continental crust forms the Indian subcontinent. The country is situated north of the equator and is the seventh-largest country in the world.

Bounded by the Himalayas in the north, Hindukush and Sulaiman ranges in the northwest, Purvachal hills in the north-east and by the large expanse of the Indian ocean in the south, it forms a great geographic entity known as the Indian subcontinent. It includes the countries — Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India. Except for a few mountain passes such as the Khyber, the Bolan, the Shipkila, the Nathula, the Bomdila, etc. it was difficult to cross it. It has contributed towards the evolving of a unique regional identity of Indian subcontinent.

How Big is India?

  • Area: of 32,87,263 sq. km. and accounts for 2.4 per cent of the world’s land. India is world's 7th largest country in terms of area. 
  • North to south expanse: 3,214 kms of the mainland
  • East to west expanse: 2,933 kms
Peninsular part of India extends towards the Indian Ocean. This has provided the country with a long coastline.
  • Coastline of mainland: 6,100 km 
  • Entire coastline (mainland plus island groups): 7,517 km 

    Latitudinal verses Longitudinal Extents of India
    Latitude and Longitude

    The latitudinal and longitudinal extent of India are roughly about 30 degrees. The actual distance measured from north to south extremity is 3,214 km, and that from east to west is only 2,933 km. 

    What is the reason for this difference despite the same latitudinal and longitudinal extents
    The reason is that, the distance between two longitudes decreases towards the poles whereas the distance between two latitudes remains the same everywhere.

    From the values of latitude, it is understood that the southern part of the country lies within the tropics and the northern part lies in sub-tropical zone or warm temperate  zone. This location is responsible for large variations in land forms, climate, soil types and natural vegetation in the country.

    Largest Countries of World

    Below given are the seven largest countries of world (Country and % of world landmass).

    1. Russia - 11.0 %
    2. Canada - 6.1 %
    3. China - 6.3 %
    4. United States - 6.1 %
    5. Brazil - 5.6 %
    6. Australia - 5.2 %
    7. India - 2.0 %