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Q1. Where do Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep islands lie?
To the southeast and southwest of the mainland, lie the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep Islands in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea respectively.
Andaman and Nicobar Island
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.
The total length of the coastline of the mainland including Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep is 7,516.6 km.
The landmass of India has an area of 3.28 million square km. India’s total area accounts for about 2.4 percent of the total geographical area of the world. India is the seventh-largest country in the world. India has a land boundary of about 15,200 km.
Area of India
India is bounded by the young fold mountains in the northwest, north, and northeast. South of about 22° N latitude, it 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 its east.
The latitudinal and longitudinal extent of the mainland is about 30°. Despite this fact, the east-west extent appears to be smaller than the north-south extent.
From Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh there is a time lag of two hours. Hence, 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.
The Trans Indian Ocean routes which connect the countries of Europe in the West and the countries of East Asia provide a strategic central location to India.
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 Southeast and East Asia from the eastern coast.
Since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, India’s distance from Europe has been reduced by 7,000 km.
The land routes have contributed to the exchange of ideas and commodities since ancient times:
- The ideas of the Upanishads and the Ramayana, the stories of Panchtantra, the Indian numerals, and the decimal system thus could reach many parts of the world.
- The spices, muslin, and other merchandise were taken from India to different countries.
- On the other hand, the influence of Greek sculpture, and the architectural styles of dome and minarets from West Asia can be seen in different parts of India.
India has 28 states and 8 Union Territories.
India shares its land boundaries with Pakistan and Afghanistan in the northwest, China (Tibet), Nepal and Bhutan in the north, and Myanmar and Bangladesh in the east.
India’s southern neighbours across the sea consist of the two island countries, namely Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.
Q15. Distinguish between Latitudes and Longitudes.