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India : General Introduction

India : General Introduction


Location: India is located latitudinally in the Northern Hemisphere and logitudenly, in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Latitudinal expanse - From 6°45’N to 37°6’N latitude

Longitudinal expanse - From 68°7'E to 97°25'E longitude

The Indira Col which is in the state of Jammu & Kashmir is considered as the northernmost point of India . The southernmost point of India is the Indira Point which is the southern point (6°45'N latitude) of  Great Nicobar Island of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. The Indira Point was previously known as the Pyamalion Point or the Parson Point.  It is 876 km far from the equator, The southernmost point of India's mainland is Kanyakumari (8°4'N latitude) in Tamil Nadu. 

The Indira Col is in the northern part of the Saltoro Mountains in Jammu and Kashmir. There are situated the Siachen Glacier in its southern part, and the Urdok Glacier in its northern part. A col is a mountain pass which is in semi-circular form between two peaks of a mountain range. In local language it is called 'la'. For example- Nathu La.

Shape and size :

The shape of India is not totay triangular but quadrangular. It measures 2,933 km from east to west and 3,214 km from north to south. Its total land area is 32,87,263 sg. km. It has a land frontier of 15,200 km and a coastline of 7516.6 km (It includes the coastline of the mainland, the Lakshadweep islands and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands). The coastline of the mainland is 5422.6 km. The land frontier touches 17 states of India and the coastline touches 13 states and union territories. Gujarat has the longest coastline in comparison to other coastal states followed by Andhra Pradesh.

India's Coastal States /Union Territories and Their Coastline Length.

States /Union Territories

Coastline Length (in km)

1. Gujarat


2. Andhra Pradesh


3. Tamil Nadu


4. Maharashtra


5. Kerala


6. Odisha


7. Karnataka


8. Goa, Daman and Diu


9. West Bengal


10. Puducherry




Coastline Length (in km)

1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands


2. Lakshadweep



India's territorial sea is 12 nautical miles from the main coastline. India has absolute rights to use this area. The area ahead of the territorial sea frontier and 24 nautical miles from the main coastline is known as the Contiguous Zone. In this area India has got the fiscal rights, excise duty rights, rights related to pollution control and right to implement immigration laws. The nautical region ahead of the contiguous zone which is up to 200 nautical miles from the main coastline is known as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In this region India has the rights to survey, exploitation, conservation and research on mineral resources, marine power, marine life etc. India’ Exclusive Economic Zone is spread over 2.02 million sq. km.

Territorial sea, contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of india.

The tropic of Cancer passes from  the middle  of India through 8 states. These are Gujarat,  Rajasthan,Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh,  Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura and Mizoram.


The longitudinal expanse of India is little more so It could be divided into two time zones. But it was not done because it would increase administrative and other problems. Therefore, 82°30’E longitude Is considered as the Standard Meridian which Passes through Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh. The Indian Standard Time (IST) is 5 hours 30 minutes ahead of the Greenwich Mean time (GST).

Administrative Composition

There are 28 states and 9 union territories  in India, at present.

Area Wise the four largest States in descending order are:

Rajasthan > Madhya Pradesh > Maharashtra > Andhra Pradesh

In area, Goa is the smallest state of India.

Important Facts:

Puducherry (Pondicherry) is the only union territory which is spread in three states. It includes Puducherry (main), Yanam, Karaikal and Mahe.


=> Puducherry (main) - situated in Tamil Nadu

Karaikal - situated in Tamil Nadu

Yanam - situated in Tamil Nadu

Mahe - situated in Andhra Pradesh

It is to be noted that all the four territories coming under Puducherry union territory were French exclaves before Independence. They were completely transferred to the Republic of India defacto on 1 November, 1954.

Georaphical location of Pudu Cherry

=> Telangana - On June 2, 2014 Telangana, the 29th state of India was formed with 10 north-western districts separated from Andhra Pradesh. According to administrative agreements, Hyderabad will be the common capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for the next ten years, though it is situated in Telangana and is far away from the geographical area of Andhra Pradesh. The new capital of Andhra Pradesh is being built in Amaravati which is situated near Vijayawada, on the bank of the Krishna river. Telangana is a landlocked state surrounded by four states-Andhra Pradesh in the east and the south, Chattisgarh in the north-east, Maharashtra in the north and north-west and Karnataka in the west. (See Fig. 1.6 The Geographical Situation of Telangana).

The area of Telangana is 1,12,077 sq. km. At present it has 31 districts. According to the 2011 census, its population is 350.04 lakh. Its population density is 312 persons per sq. km. The decadal (2001-2011) population growth rate is 13.58%. Its sex ratio is 988 and literacy rate is 66.54%. 

Geographical Location of Telangana

=> The main islands that come under the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are : North Andaman, Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Great Nicobar. 

  • Port Blair, the capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands is situated in South Andaman.
  • The Indira Point, the southernmost point of India is the southern point of Great Nicobar Island.
  • The Barren Island which is India's only active volcano is situated in the easter part of Middle Andaman.
  • Narcondam Island (situated in the north-eastern part of North Andaman) is a volcanic island.
  • 10° Channel (10° N latitude) separates Andaman from Nicobar.
  • Duncan pass is between South Andaman and Little Andaman.
  • Coco Strait is between Coco Islands (Myanmar) and North Andaman. [ Strait is that narrow sea which connects two large bodies of ocean.]
  • The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are also known as the 'Emerald Islands'.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

=>The Lakshadweep is a group of islands made of coral reefs.

  • 8° Channel (8°N latitude) is between Minicoy and Maldives.
  • 9° Channel (9° N latitude) separates Minicoy from the main archipelago of Lakshadweep.

=>The Palk Strait is situated between Tamil Nadu (India) and Sri Lanka and connects the Palk Bay and the Bay of Bengal.

=>The Adam's Bridge is situated between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Pamban Island is a part of the Adam's Bridge. Rameshwaram is situated on this island.

=>The Palk Bay is to the north and the Gulf of Mannar is to the south of the Adam's Bridge.

Adam's Bridge, Palk bay and Gulf of Myanmar

Frontiers of India :

India is situated in South Asia. It is the largest.country in South Asia in area and population. There are seven neighbouring countries on the frontiers of India.

Neighbouring country

Length of the common border 

(in km)

No. of Indian states having common borders

Names of Indian states having common borders




West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram




Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh




Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujrat




Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim




Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram




Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam,Arunachal Pradesh




Jammu & Kashmir (POK)

=> 7 states of India have common land borders with neighbouring countries.

Radcliffe Line -Border line between India and Pakistan, and India and Bangladesh. The border between India and Pakistan was decided by Sir Cyril Radcliffe in 1947. Since Bangladesh was East Pakistan at that time, the border between India and Bangladesh is still decided by the Radcliffe Line.

McMahon Line -Border line between India and China. This line was decided by Sir Henry McMahon in 1914.

Durand Line -Border line between India and Afghanistan. This line was decided by Sir Henry Mortimer Durand in 1896.

Since India and Pakistan both were called India at that time, the border line between Pakistan and Afghanistan, at present is decided by the same line, i.e., Durand line. The border between India and Afghanistan is very short. At present this line is between Pak Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Afghanistan.

[POK-In 1947, after independence Pakistan invaded the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir with the help of local tribesmen and occupied some of its areas. Later on the princely state mu & Kashmir declared accession to India. India did not take back the occupied territory because the matter had been referred to the UNO. Thus, this territory of Jammu & Kashmir which belongs properly to India, is still under the control of Pakistan and is known as Pak Occupied Kashmir (POK).]


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