India is the 7th largest country in the world. It measures 1800 (29000) miles from East to West, and about 2000 miles (32000 km) from North to South.
India is mostly surrounded by ocean, but it also borders on 7 other countries. These are, from West to East: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh.
India consists of 29 states. The people living in these states are often referred by their state name:
‘She’s a Goan. He’s a Bengali’.
Some of the most famous Indian States are:
Kashmir (troubled border area)
Rajastan (meaning: Land of Kings),
Goa (popular tourist destination)
Assam (tea country)
Politically, these states function like the states do in the United States of America; every state has its own government and a right to make decisions about affairs within the region.
A LAND OF EXTREMES
Because India measures well over 1 million square miles, it has many different landscapes and climates.
In the North-West you will find the large Thar desert, and beside it the beautiful old marshlands of Kutch.
In the North and North-East you will find tea plantations and fertile rice fields. When you go a bit further North you step into an eternal winter land of highlands and mountains.
The coastlands are largely tropical, and off the coast you will find a number of beautiful islands. No matter what climate or landscape you like most, you will probably find it somewhere in Subcontinent of India.
India’s most famous mountain range is of course the Himalayas, far North near the Nepal border. The highest peaks in India are Nanda Devi at 25,663 ft (7,864 m) and Kamet at 25,446 ft (7,756 m). The world’s highest mountain, Mt Everest (29.035 ft, 8,850 m), is a bit further North in Nepal. The Himalayas are the world’s highest mountain range. The next highest mountain outside of Asia is in the Andes (the Aconcagua).
The Himalayas stop the cold Northern winds from Iran and China from blowing South into India. This is partly why India is so warm and tropical. The mountains also stop the monsoon rains from travelling North from India to China. The Himayalas are like a big wall that stretches from West to East.
Along the West coast of India runs another mountain range, called the Western Ghats. These mountains are not very high. The highest peak comes to 8.842 ft (2,695 m).