Geography of India (Indian Rivers, Mountains & Deserts)

The second largest country in world, India’s geographical location also adds on to its charm. India is located in the north of the Equator, between 8’4”to 37’6″ North latitude and 68’7″to 97’25” East longitude.

The country is spread across an area of 32, 68, 090 with a land frontier of 15,200 km and coastline of 6103 km. From North to South, India measures a length of approximately 3214 km and from east to west it is about 2933 km.

India geography is in such a way that it shares borders with many other countries. For instance, on the western front, it shares borders with Pakistan while in the east, Bangladesh and Burma are situated. At the northern border, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet and Sinkiang region of China is located.

In South, India is separated from Sri Lanka by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. India is also covered by three Ocean in a rough triangular shape. These are Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, and the Indian Ocean in the southern tip of the country.

Apart from the different seas around the country, what adds on to its natural charm is the presence of Himalayas beautifully providing a natural shield in the northern part of the county.

The Himalayas are the highest, youngest and still evolving mountain chain in the world form a natural border of India in some parts. In the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep Islands are situated and in Bay of Bengal the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located which also form the part of Indian subcontinent.

Geographically India can be divided into few major sections which are Northern Mountain Region (The Himalayas), Indo-Gangetic Plain, Desert area and Peninsula.

Indo-Gangetic Plain

Indo Gangetic Plain is spread across the Indus River system in Pakistan to the Punjab Plain in Pakistan and India to the Haryana Plain to the delta of the Ganges in Bangladesh.

The Indo-Gangetic Plain is the prominent region of the country in terms of socio and economic factors. The plains can be further divided into sections such as the Indus Valley which is mostly in Pakistan, the Punjab and Haryana plains and the middle and lower Ganga.


The Indo-Gangetic Plain and the Peninsula is divided by the Vindhya Range. The Vindhya Range defines the north-central and north western boundary of the Peninsula is also defined by the Vindhya Range and the north eastern boundary has been formed by the Chota Nagpur Plateau of southern Bihar.

The Western Ghats constitute the central Peninsula and its eastward tilt while the Eastern Ghats forms the eastern end of the plateau and join the Western Ghats at the southern tip of the Peninsula. The Peninsula’s elevation is between 300 and 1,800 meters.

The Deccan Plateau which forms the interior of Peninsula is in the south of the Narmada River and is consisted of many plateaus which have been intersected by many rivers such as the Godavari, the Krishna, and the Kaveri. Another block of Peninsula is in the Shillong plateau which descends towards the Surma valley.

Northern Mountain Region (The Himalayas) of India

Spread across a length of about 2,400 kilometres and a width which varies from 240 to 330 kilometres, the Himalayan range is consisted of three parts namely the Greater Himalayas, the Lesser Himalayas, and the Outer Himalayas.

The Greater Himalayas which is the northern range is of an average height of 6,000 meters. Three highest mountains in the world are part of the this range- Mount Everest (8,796 meters) which is located on the China-Nepal border; K2 (8,611 meters) which is on the area claimed by India, Pakistan, and China; and Kanchenjunga (8,598 meters) which is situated on the India-Nepal border.

The Lesser Himalayas covers states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in north western part, the state of Sikkim north-central region of the country and Arunachal Pradesh in north eastern part. The hill stations of Shimla and Darjeeling are located in this section of Himalayas. The Outer or Southern Himalayas is located between the Lesser Himalayas and the Indo-Gangetic Plain.

Desert Region in India

The desert region of the country is divided into two parts the Great Desert and the Little Desert. The great desert is spread across the edge of Rann of Kutch and embraces the whole of Rajasthan-Sind frontier. The little desert runs from Luni River between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur up till the north.

Rivers in Indian subcontinent

Rivers also form an important part of Indian Geography. Rivers of India can be categorized into three- the Himalayan Rivers, the Deccan Rivers and the coastal rivers. Himalayan rivers usually flow throughout the year and are snow fed while the Deccan Rivers are rain-fed and thus their volume fluctuates from time to time. The coastal rivers are comparatively short and are non-perennial. They have narrow catchment areas as well.