India is the seventh largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, China, United States, Brazil and Australia. The country is also the second largest populous country after China. India is located at the Northern Hemisphere. The country extends from latitude 20.5937° North to longitude 78.9629° East. India measures 3,214 km from north to south and measures 2.933 km from east to west. The country has a land frontier of about 15,200 km ((9,445 mi). The coastline distance of India is about 7,516.6 km. The largest coast line is in Gujarat. The smallest coast line is in Goa. State with longest coast line of South India is Andhra Pradesh.
The northern most dead end of India is Indira col and the southernmost point lies at Indira point in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The southernmost tip of the main land is situated on the three seas - The Arabian sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The western most point of India – Ghuar Mota in Gujarat is the last inhabitated village at the western most point and the eastern most point - Kibithu of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Indian peninsula is bounded on the west by Arabian Sea, on the east by the Bay of Bengal, on the north by Himalayas and on the South by the Indian Ocean. The country shares its political borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan to the northwest, to the north with China, Nepal and Bhutan and to the east with Bangladesh and Myanmar. The largest border that the country shares, is with Bangladesh.
The Tropic of Cancer passes right through the centre of India and divides roughly into two halves. 82°30'E latitude is considered as the Indian Standard Meridian. The local time is taken as the Indian Standard Time (IST). IST is calculated at Mirzapur in Allahabad of Uttar Pradesh. This standard meridian passes through Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. Tropic of cancer and India standard meridian intersect at Madhya Pradesh. This is 5½ hours a head of the Greenwich Mean Time.
Indian States on International boundaries
Chilka Lake : This is the largest salt waterlake in India. It is in Orissa. The lake was derived from the silting act of the Mahanadi River. Chika lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar convention in 1981.
Dal Lake : The Dal lake is a famous lake in Srinagar of Jammu arid kashmir. The lake is associated to a number of further lakes of the valley. The lake is well known for its house boats.
Kolleru Lake : Kolleru Lake is a biggest fresh-water lake in the state, Andhra Pradesh. It is located between the deltas of the Krishna and Godavari rivers. Kolleru was designated a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar convention in November 2002.
Loktak Lake : Loktak Lake is the biggest fresh water lake in north - eastern part of the country. It is located near Moirang in Manipur. It serves as a source of water for hydro-power generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. It is characterized by the floating vegetation called ‘phumdi’. Loktak Lake is considered as the only floating lake in the world.
Pulikat Lake : Pulikat lake is a brackish - water lake on the Coromandel coast of India. It lies at the border of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The barrier island of Sriharikota divides the Pulikat Lake from the Bay of Bengal. The Lake is shallow. It is the site of Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
Wular Lake : Wular Lake is one of the largest freshwater lake in India. It is situated in Jammu Kashmir. The lake was formed as a result of tectonic activity.
Sambhar Lake : Sambhar Lake is India's largest inland lake. It is situated in the district of Jaipur in Rajasthan.
The wild life reserves of the country are of two types. They are Wild life sanctuaries and National parks. Presently, the country has over 515 wildlife sanctuaries, 166 national parks and 47 Tiger reserves. Keibul Lamjao is the only floating national park in the country, is located in Manipur in Loktak Lake. Some of the endangered species are Asiatic Lion, one horned rhinocerous, HanguI, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild - Ass etc. The Animal Welfare Board of the country was launched in 1962. Research programmes in are carried out by the Wild life Institute of India, Dehradun and the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore.
India's first national park was opened in 1936 and it is Halley National Park. Today it is known in the name of Jim Corbett National Park. It is located in Uttarakhanad. The only national park in India at the north of the Himalayas is Hemis National Park in Ladakh, Jammu Kashmir. Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal is also known as the largest Mangrove Forest in the World. Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan was set up in 1955 with the name Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary.
Project Tiger is introduced on April 1, 1973 to protect the tigers from extinction on the country. The project was launched in the Palamau Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand. The largest tiger reserve is Nagarjuna Sagar - Srisailam Tiger Reserve in Andhra Pradesh. Project Elephant was launched in 1992 to protect the wild life and elephant population. Project snow leopard was launched in 2009 to safeguard and conserve India's high attitude wildlife populations. Most of the country’s rhinos now survive in the Kaziranga National Park. Every Year, the first week of October is observed as wild life week.
India is an agricultural country. About 70 percent of the country's working population still finds employment in the agricultural sector.
Types of Cultivation
India is the world's leading producer of milk, cashewnuts, coconuts, tea, ginger, turmeric and black pepper. The country is the second leading producer of wheat, paddy, sugar, groundnut and domestic fish. It is the third largest producer of tobacco. India contributes 10% of the global fruit production and it is first in the production of banana and sapota. Punjab is known as the Granary of India or India's bread-basket.
Kharif (rainy) crops are sown in the month of June or July and produce the crops in September or October. Rice, Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Maize, Cotton and Jute are the important Kharif crops. Rabi (winter) crops are sown in the month of October or December and produced in the month of April or May. Wheat, Barley, Peas, Rape-seed, Mustard and Grams are the important Rabi crops. Zaid (Summer) crops are grown in the short periods after the production of the kharif and rabi crops. Zaid crops are sown in April, May and June. Products are mostly fruits and vegetables.
Green revolution is a programme to increase the yield per hectar. It was launched in 1967-68. Dr. Norman Borlaug is the father of Green Revolution and the father of Green Revolution in India is Dr.M.S. Swaminathan. White Revolution was launched to increase the quality and quantity of milk and dairy products. It has been achieved by means of operation flood. Father of White Revolution in India is Dr. Varghese Kurian.
Natural silk is produced from the cocoons of the silk worms. Rearing of silkworms and yield of silk from it is called sericulture. Sericulture is the biggest village industry in India after handloom and khadi. India is the second largest silk producer of silk in India. Karnataka is the leading producer of silk in the country. Bihar and Jharkhand are the leading producers of tasar silk. India is considered as being the only country that is yielding all the five kinds of silk – Mulberry, Tropical Tasar, Muga, Eri, and Temperate Tasar. Mulberry silk is the most popular variety in India, contributing more than 87% of the country’s production. Agriculture of mulberry plants is known as Moriculture.