Geography of India

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The geography of India describes the physical features of India, a country in South Asia that lies entirely on the Indian Plate in the northern portion of the Indo-Australian Plate. The country lies to the north of the equator between 8°4' and 37°6' north latitude and 68°7' and 97°25' east longitude.[2] It is the seventh-largest country in the world, with a total land area of 3,287,263 square kilometres (1,269,219 sq mi).[3] India measures 3,214 km (1,997 mi) from north to south and 2,993 km (1,860 mi) from east to west. It has a land frontier of 15,200 km (9,445 mi) and a coastline of 7,517 km (4,671 mi).[4]

India is bounded to the southwest by the Arabian Sea, to the southeast by the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean to the south. Kanyakumari constitutes the southern tip of the Indian peninsula, which narrows before ending in the Indian Ocean. The southernmost part of India is Indira Point in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.[4] The Maldives, Sri Lanka and Indonesia are island nations to the south of India with Sri Lanka separated from India by a narrow channel of sea formed by Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar. The territorial waters of India extend into the sea to a distance of 12 nautical miles (13.8 mi; 22.2 km) measured from the appropriate baseline.[5]

The northern frontiers of India are defined largely by the Himalayan mountain range where its political boundaries with China, Bhutan, and Nepal lie. Its western borders with Pakistan lie in the Punjab Plain and the Thar desert. In the far northeast, the Chin Hills and Kachin Hills, deeply forested mountainous regions, separate India from Burma while its political border with Bangladesh is defined by the watershed region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the Khasi hills and Mizo Hills.

The Ganges is the longest river originating in India and forms the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The Ganges-Brahmaputra system occupies most of northern, central and eastern India, while the Deccan Plateau occupies most of southern India. Along its western frontier is the Thar Desert, which is the seventh-largest desert in the world.

Officially, India's highest point is K2[citation needed] at 8,611 m (28,251 ft), though it lies in Gilgit-Baltistan, part of the disputed Kashmir region.[6] Kanchenjunga in Sikkim at 8,598 m (28,209 ft) is the highest point within India's current geographic boundaries. Climate across India ranges from equatorial in the far south, to Alpine in the upper reaches of the Himalayas.

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