Important Geographical Facts about India for UPSC

India, the seventh-largest country in the world areawise, has a wide and diverse nature. It’s also the second-largest in terms of population. Because of all these reasons, India has a great diversity of physical features, distinct sets of cultures, and languages. The climate in India varies from the freezing point in the Himalayan region to the blazing heat in its plain area. In this article, we take a look at important geographical facts about India that we must know.

World’s Highest Mountain Range

The Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world, covers many of the States of India. It is the fold mountain, which is formed in the subduction of the Eurasian plate and Indo-Australian plate. Kanchenjunga, with a height of 8,586 m, is the highest mountain peak in India. The Himalayas can be divided into five parts: Trans-Himalayas, Greater Himalayas, Middle Himalayas, Shivalik, and Purvanchal.

Large River System in India

India is a land with a large river system. It consists of a network of some large rivers having innumerable distributaries. Ganga is the longest river in the country, with a length of 2,640 km. Indian river system can be divided into two major river systems:

  1. Himalayan river system.
  2. Peninsular river system.

The Himalayan river system can be further divided into three river systems.

  1. Ganga river system comprises of river Ganga and its tributaries like the Yamuna, Ramganga, Alaknanda, Ghagra, Gomti, kosi.
  2. The Indus river system consists of five main rivers Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Satluj rivers.
  3. Brahmaputra river system includes mainly Brahmaputra river and its tributaries like Dhansiri, Subansiri, Manas, Teesta, Lohit.

The main rivers of the Peninsular river system are Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Sabarmati, Narmada, and Tapi.

World’s Largest Riverine Island

Majuli island, situated on the Brahmaputra river in Assam, is the largest riverine island in the World. Recently, in 2016, it becomes the first island to be declared a district in India. It has shrunk significantly due to erosion, as surrounded by the flowing river.

World’s Wettest Place

Mawsynram town, situated in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya in northeastern India, is the wettest place on the earth. It receives over 10,000 millimetres of rain per year. Cherrapunji, also situated in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills, is the second wettest place on earth. Both Mawsynram and Cherrapunji are lying on the southern slopes of Khasi hills. Because of its orography favouring the monsoon, the rainfall is caused by northward moving moist winds from the Bay of Bengal.

World’s Highest Battlefield

Siachen Glacier is the highest battlefield on earth. It is the largest glacier in India. Apart from the Arctic and Antarctica, it is also one of the largest glaciers in the World. Both India and Pakistan had maintained their permanent military presence in this region. It is 75 km in length and 2.5 km wide. The height where it is located is over 6,000 meters.

World’s Highest Cricket Ground

At present, Chail in Himachal Pradesh has the highest cricket stadium in the World, having the world’s highest pitch at an altitude of 2,444 meters (8000 feet). Patiala’s Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, in 1893, build the Chail ground in Shimla. But Sissu in the Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh will be going to the world’s highest cricket stadium.

World’s Largest Delta

Sundarbans delta in West Bengal is the world’s largest delta on earth. It is formed by the confluence of three main rivers Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Meghna. It lies between the Hoogly river in the West Bengal state of India and the Baleswar river in the Khulna Division of Bangladesh. It’s a mangrove habitat famous for globally endangered species, such as Royal Bengal Tiger, Irawadi dolphins, Ganga Dolphins, and estuarine crocodiles.

World’s Largest Post Network

Because of the large geographical area of India, it has the largest postal network in the world. India is a country that has more than 1,55,035 post offices. Another amazing fact about India is that it has the world’s first floating post office on Dal Lake in the Srinagar district of Jammu and Kashmir.

World’s Oldest Inhabited Place

Varanasi, earlier known as Benaras, is the oldest inhabited city in the World. According to Hindu mythology, it is a holy place founded by Lord Shiva. It is situated on the bank of river Ganga, in Uttar Pradesh. Lord Buddha also visited here in 500 B.C.

World’s First Granite Temple

Brihadeeswara Temple, also known as Rajarajeswaram temple, located on the south bank of the Kaveri river in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Naidu, is the World’s first Granite temple. It was built between 1004 AD and 1009 AD and completed in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola I. The architectural style of the temple belongs to the Dravidian school of Architecture. The Shikhara of the magnificent temple consists of 80-tonne pieces of Granite. Brihasdeeswara temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Floating National Park

Keibul Lamjao National park, situated in Manipur State, is the only floating national park in the World. It’s the last natural habitat of the most endangered deer Sangai (brow-antlered deer), the state animal & dancing deer of Manipur. Also, the famous Loktak Lake passes through this national park. A carpet of deep floating vegetation made of dead and decaying flora, called phumdis, floats on the surface of the lake.

Single voter Poll Booth

As we know, India is the largest democracy in the world, where everyone has the right to vote. To maintain this democratic spirit of the country, a special polling booth was made for one voter Mahant Bharatdas Bapu, who resides in a small hamlet called Banej, inside the Gir forest, in the Somnath district of Gujarat.

Lonar Lake

Lonar Lake in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra is considered to be formed by the impact of a meteor. It is also the only basalt rock lake and the third largest crater lake in the world. Recently, in 2020, the colour of Lonar Lake water turned pink due to the large presence of Haloarchea microbes present in the lake’s Salty water.

Largest peaceful gathering

Kumbh Mela is the world’s largest peaceful public gathering. In 2019, the religious gathering at Kumbh Mela in the Pragagraj district of Uttar Pradesh was so huge that it was visible from space through the satellite.

Kumbh Mela in India is a spiritual event, which is held over a cycle of 12 years, attracting millions of people. It is the largest collective act of faith in the World. The crowd includes Saints, Ascetics, Sadhus, Sadhvis, and Pilgrims from all walks of life. It is celebrated four times over a cycle of 12 years at four holy river-bank pilgrimage locations: Haridwar (Ganges), Ujjain (Shipra), Nashik (Godavari), and Prayagraj (Ganga-Yamuna, Saraswati).

In 2017, UNESCO included the Kumbh Mela in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Gahirmatha Beach

Gahirmatha beach, situated in the Kendrapara district of Odisha, is the largest nesting habitat of Olive Ridley sea turtles in the world. It is part of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, separating the Bhitarkanika mangroves from the Bay of Bengal. Moreover, Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is the only marine wildlife sanctuary in Odisha.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which is the oldest mountain range in India?

    Aravalli mountain range, running approximately 670 km, in the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, and Delhi, is the oldest mountain range in India.

  2. Which is the longest river in India?

    Ganga river is India’s longest river, with a length of 2,640 km, flowing through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.

  3. Which State of India has the largest Coastline?

    Gujarat has the longest mainland coastline among nine coastal states, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Naidu.

  4. Which country shares maximum boundary with India?

    Bangladesh shares a maximum boundary of about 4096 km with India, border by West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.

  5. Which is the largest State of India?

    Rajasthan (342,239 sq km) is India’s largest state, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

  6. Which State shares maximum boundary with the other States of India?

    Uttar Pradesh shares maximum boundaries with eight Indian States Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Harayana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Bihar.

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