The country lies wholly in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres
India is the seventh largest country in the world
Latitudes and Longitudes:
Latitude: It is an angular distance, North or South from the equator, of a point on the earth's surface. The equator is 0o and points can therefore be measured in degrees south and Northof this line.
Longitude: It is an angular distance of a point measured on the earth's surface to the East or West of a central reference point. The reference point in this case is the plane created by a meridian going through Greenwich in England. It is 0o meridian.
Location & Size of India:
- India lies in the Northern and Eastern hemisphere.
- India is the seventh largest country in the world covering an area of 3.28 million square kilometers.
- India covers 2.4 % of the total geographical area of the world.
- The mainland stretches from Latitude 8o4' North to 37o6' North and from Longitude 68o7' East to 97o25' East.
- The latitudinal & longitudinal extent of the country is almost same in degrees i.e. about 30o.
- The southernmost point in the Indian Territory, (in Great Nicobar Islands) is the Indira Point (6o45' North), while Kanya-kumari, is the southernmost point of Indian mainland.
- Tropic of Cancer crosses the country at 23o30' North dividing the country into almost two equal parts.
- The country is of a vast size and measures about 3,214 kilometers from North to South and about 2,933 kilometers from West to East.
- Coastline: 7,516.6 km encompassing the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
- The 82o30' East longitude is taken as Standard Time Meridian of India, as it passes through the middle of India (Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh).
- Indian Standard Time: GMT + 05:30.
- Strait: A narrow stretch of sea linking two large seas, e.g. Palk Strait, English Channel, etc.
- India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh are the countries forming the Indian sub-continent.
Q. Why 82o30' East longitude (Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh) is taken as the Standard Time Meridian of India?
- The longitudinal extent of India is 30o.
- The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
- It takes 4 minutes for the sun to move across 1 longitude. Thus, the eastern most point of India would be 2 hours ahead of the western most point (30 x 4 = 120 minutes), in accordance with the local time.
- This difference in time might create confusion in air and rail timings and so many other things across the two states. To avoid this confusion a longitude passing through the midpoint of 68o 7' East (western most longitude) and 97o 25' East (eastern most longitude) is taken as the standard prime meridian of India (i.e. 82o30').
- The time at the standard meridian 82o30' which passes through Mirzapur in UP is taken as the standard time of India, followed all over the country.
India and the World:
- India is centrally located between the East and the West Asia.
- India is located at the centre of the trans-Indian Ocean routes which connect the European countries in the west and the countries of East Asia.
- India has established close contact with West Asia, Africa and Europe from the western coast. Also, contact with Southeast and East Asia from the eastern coast.
- India has longest coastline on the Indian Ocean.
- India's contact with the world through land routes is much older than the sea routes.
- Through these routes people around the world have come to know about India's culture and traditions.
- India has 29 states and 7 union territories.
- In the northwest, India shares its boundaries with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
- In the north, India shares its boundaries with China, Nepal and Bhutan.
- In the east, India shares its boundaries with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
- In the south, India shares its boundaries with Maldives and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea formed by Palk Strait.