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Home>>Facts of India

Facts of India

Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan

coordinates: 20 00 N, 77 00 E
Area: total: 3,287,590 sq km
land: 2,973,190 sq km
water: 314,400 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly more than one-third the size of the US

Land boundaries: total: 14,103 km

Border countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km

Coastline: 7,000 km

Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM

Territorial sea: 12 NM

Continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin

Exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

Climate: varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north

Terrain: upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m

Irrigated land: 590,000 sq km (1998 est.)

India has hot tropical weather with variations occurring region to region. Because of India's size, its climate depends not only on the time of year, but also the location. In general, temperatures tend to be cooler in the north, especially between September and March. The south is coolest between November to January. In June, winds and warm surface currents begin to move northwards and westwards, heading out of the Indian Ocean and into the Arabian Gulf. This creates a phenomenon known as the south-west monsoon, and it brings heavy rains to the west coast. Between October and December, a similar climatic pattern called the north-east monsoon appears in the Bay of Bengal, bringing rains to the east coast. In addition to the two monsoons, there are two other seasons, spring and autumn.

The subcontinent has eight climatic zones all of which only have the monsoon rains in common. But even the monsoon comes to different parts of the country at different times. And you can fly in the space of a couple of hours through a range of weather from the cold crisp air of the mountains to the burning dry heat of the Rajasthan Desert where summer temperature regularly reach 45C and beyond.

Northern Plains of India, to the north of River Ganga, has the extreme climate. Summers are hot, humid, and extremely harsh. Do not forget to carry with you light cottons for this season. From July to September, Monsoon brings with it most of the rain received in this region. Winters are the most favoured season to visit North India, but the travelers are expected to bring with them woollens, as nights can be freezing cold.

The summers are the best time to explore Western Himalayas, as the climate remains pleasant with slightly cold evenings and plenty of sunny days. For the adventure lovers, Western Himalayas is the best bait with plenty of trekking, hiking, white water rafting, and mountaineering options during the summers. Heavy snowfall and steep fall in temperature, makes many areas in the region inaccessible during the winters. But, one can enjoy the winter sports like skiing in destinations like Auli, Manali, and Kufri.

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the two Central Indian states, escape very worst of hot season but monsoons are heavy between July and September. Temperatures fall at night during winter. For clothing, bring lightweights most of the year with warmer clothes during evenings particularly in winter. Waterproofing during monsoon rains is essential.

The most comfortable months in Western India are from November to February; although evenings can be cold. Summer can be extremely hot with monsoon rainfall between mid-June and mid-September. Lightweight cottons and linen is required most of the year with warmer clothes for cooler winter and waterproofing essential in monsoon.


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