India is located in the south of Asian continent. The country is bordered by
the Arabian sea to its west, the Bay of Bengal to its east and the Indian
Ocean to its south. The Himalayan ranges from Kashmir in the north to
Arunachal Pradesh in the east forms a natural barrier. Protected by such
natural barriers like mountains and oceans, India stands separated from the
rest of Asian continent.
Speaking in geographical terms, India lies to the north of the equator
between 8.4 and 37.6 degrees north latitude and 68.7 and 97.25 degrees east
longitude. The total land area of India is 2,973,190 sq km. The country
measures 3214 kms from north to south and 2933 kms from east to west. It
shares land boundaries worth 15,200 kms and the coastline of India is 7516.5
kms long. Forested land constitutes 21.6% of the total land area.India
shares her boundaries with Bangladesh (4,053 kms) Bhutan (605 kms) Burma
(1,463 kms) China (3,380 kms) Nepal (1,690 kms) and Pakistan( 2,912 kms).
The highest elevated point in India is Kanchenjunga at an altitude of 8,598
meters while the lowest elevation point is regarded as Indian Ocean at 0
The sheer size of India means that the country has a varied climate
and terrain. The diversity could be understood from the fact that the
Himalayan mountain ranges are in the north, the deserts of Thar is in the
west, there are plains in the central region and plateaus in the south.
There is also a 7,500 km long coastline and rain-fed tropical forests.
The seasons in India are distinct but the intensity of seasonal variations
in the weather differs from region to region. The subcontinent has been
divided into eight climatic zones. Although monsoon rains are common to all
areas, the wet season occurs at different times across the country. In
general, the mountainous regions to the north enjoy cold weather conditions
while the plains are dry and hot and the coastal regions enjoy a relatively
moderate climate during the year.
Summers in India are generally from April to the middle of June.
Temperatures may rise above 40 degrees centigrade in many parts of northern,
central and southern India. But recent developments show that even eastern
parts like West Bengal and Orissa experience temperatures in excess of 40
degrees. The monsoons normally hit India during late June and the rainy
season may prevail till August. The rainfall is also not uniform and the
north eastern part of the country receives the highest rainfall. The advent
of winter in India is late November and lasts till February. Variations in
temperatures may also be seen during the winter season. The temperatures may
drop nearer to zero in northern India but southern India rarely experiences
temperatures below 15 degrees in winters.