India is one of the oldest civilisations and have a remarkable history. After Independence from British rule, it achieved multi-faceted socio-economic progress. Also made a remarkable progress in the field of agriculture, industry, technology and overall economic development.
Topics covered in Chapter 1 India – Size and Location
➣ India’s Location
➣ India’s Size
➣ India’s neighbours.
➣ India and the World
| ➤ India is a vast country lying entirely in the Northern Hemisphere. The mainland extends between latitudes 8° 4′ N and 37° 6′ N and Longitudes 68° 7’E and 97° 25′ E
➤ The Tropic of Cancer (23° 30′ N) divides the country into almost two equal parts.
➤ To the South-East and South-West of the mainland, lie the Andaman and Nicobar
(i) The landmass of India has an area of 3.28 million square km.
(ii) India’s total area accounts for about 2.4 % of the total geographical area of the world.
(iii) India is the 7th largest country of the world.
(iv) India has a land boundary of about 15,200 km and the total length of the coast line including Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep is 7,516.6 km.
(v) India is bounded by young fold mountains in the North-West, North and North-East.
(vi) South of about 22° North latitude, the Indian peninsula begins to taper, and extends towards the Indian ocean dividing it into two seas, the, Arabian Sea on the West and the Bay of Bengal on the East.
(vii) Both the latitudinal and longitudinal extent of the mainland are about 30°. However, the East-West extent is 2,933 km. the North-South extent is 3,214 km.
(viii) From Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh there is a time lag of two hours. Hence, the time along the Standard Meridian of India. (82° 30′ E) passing through Mirzapur (in Uttar Pradesh) is taken as the standard time for the whole country.
(ix) As the same standard time for the whole country has been adopted, watches show the same time in Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat and in all parts of the country.
(x) The latitudinal extent influences the duration of the day and night as one moves from South to North.
(xi) The Indian landmass has a central location between East and West Asia.
(xi) India is a Southward extension of the Asian continent.
(xii) The trans Indian routes which connect the countries of Europe in the West and the countries of the East Asia provide a strategic central location to India.
(xiv) The Deccan peninsula protrudes into the Indian ocean, thus helping India to establish close contact with West Asia, Africa and Europe from the Western coast and with South-East and East Asia from the Eastern coast.
(xv) No country has as long a coastline on the Indian ocean as India has and it is Indian’s eminent position Indian ocean which justifies the naming of an ocean after it.
(xvi) India’s Contact with the World has continued through the ages but her relationships through the land routes are much older than maritime contacts.
(xvii) The various passes across the mountains in the North have provided passages to ancient travellers, while the oceans restricted such interaction for a long time.
Contribution of Trade Routes
(i) These trade routes through the mountain passes contributed to the exchange of ideas and commodities since ancient times.
(ii) The ideas of the upanishads and the Ramayana, the stories of Panchatantra, Indian numerals and the decimal system could reach many parts of the world through these trade routes.
(iii) The spices, muslin and other marchandise were taken from India to different countries.
(iv) The influence of Greek sculpture and architectural styles of domes and minarets from West Asia can be seen in different parts of our country.
(i) India occupies an important strategic position in South Asia. India has 28 States and 9 Union Territories.
(ii) India shares its land boundaries with Pakistan and Afghanistan in the North-West, China, Nepal and Bhutan in the North and Myanmar and Bangladesh in the East. Our Southern neighbours across the sea consist of the two island countries, namely Sri Lanka and Maldives.
(iii) Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar. The Maldives are situated to the South of the Lakshadweep Islands.
(iv) India has strong geographical and historical links with her neighbours.
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