Geography of India

The India is located in the southern portion of Asia, has about 3.28 million km 2 and a population of approximately 1.32 billion people. It is formed by the Indian subcontinent, which in addition to India, has six other countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives Islands, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

India has a great cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic variety. Linguistic diversity is very large, with 1/3 of the population speaking Hindi. The Hinduism is the predominant religion (+ 80% of the population), Muslims account for about 12% of the population and are concentrated in the north.

Physical and natural aspects of India


According to, the relief of the South Asia region is composed of modern folds, the Himalayas, alluvial plains, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, and residual plateaus, among them the Decan Plateau.

  • The Himalayan Mountain Range is the result of the shock of the Asian and Indian tectonic plates; it is the highest mountain range in the world and contains the highest global point, Mount Everest; the plates remain in motion, raising the mountains about 5 millimeters a year. This mountain range covers areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and China.
  • The Indo-Gangetic Plain is a huge extension made up of the most populous parts of India, it is the region most affected by the monsoon climate.
  • The Decan Plateau lies between the Western Ghat Mountains and the Eastern Ghat Mountains. The mountains separate the plateau from the coast. Decan corresponds to most of the territory of India.


The region’s two main rivers are: the Indus , which rises in the Himalayas and flows into the Arabian Sea; and the Ganges , sacred river of the Hindus; its sources also occur in the Himalayas, but this river flows eastwards, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh.


In India, the tropical climate predominates with great influence of the monsoon regime .

During the summer, a large extension of the Asian continent (map below) has low pressures due to the greater warming, so it receives the humid winds (summer monsoons) that cause torrential rains.

In winter, low temperatures (high pressure) on the continent give rise to cold, dry winds, which are called winter monsoons.

The abundant rains cause floods, often catastrophic, but, on the other hand, they are fundamental for the cultivation of rice, which is the basic food of the immense population.

South Asia is plagued by tropical cyclones or typhoons, which cause major material damage and fatalities, especially in the delta plains.


In India, the primitive vegetation cover consisted mainly of tropical and subtropical forests, with savanna vegetation standing out in the northwestern portion .

The Himalayan mountain range is the main watershed or interfluvium where the main rivers are born: the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra.

The Indian population

India is the second most populous country in the world (+ 1.32 billion), has about 330 inhab./km 2 and its natural or vegetative growth is around 1.5% per year. Projections indicate that India’s population (1.5 billion in 2040) will exceed the Chinese population in the coming decades.

One of the most striking characteristics of the country is the high rates of natural growth, which also shows a high degree of misinformation or little access to contraceptive methods.

In addition to high growth rates, the population has poor socioeconomic indicators: high infant mortality rate, high illiteracy rates, low life expectancy, malnutrition and malnutrition.

Another important consequence of high growth rates is the formation of a predominantly young population. It is estimated that approximately 40% of the total inhabitants of the region are between zero and 19 years old.

When analyzing the proportion of the economically active population in relation to the total inhabitants, it is noted that the proportion of adults is reduced, implying greater participation of children and adolescents in the labor market.

The rural population is still predominant, although the small percentage of urban population, around 40%, is located in a few cities, which, as a result, end up being among the largest in the world, as is the case of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Kolkata (ex-Calcutta) and New Delhi.

The caste system

Hindu society is organized into hereditary groups called castes. People who belong to the same caste define themselves according to their social position, forming a stratified society, in which the destiny of an individual is traced from the first days of his life.

The most important grape varieties are:

  • brahmins (composed of priests);
  • xátrias (formed by military);
  • vaixias (made up of farmers and traders) and the lowest;
  • sudras (people who should serve the upper castes).

Those who belong to no caste are called outcasts or untouchables , people who perform the most degrading services in Hindu society.

Indian economic growth has led to the spread of caste in India: there are currently around 3 000 caste; this is also due to the diversification of existing economic activities in the country, which attracts numerous foreign companies.

Economic aspects of India

Known by the western world since the 16th century, because of the spice trade, India was invaded by the Portuguese, English, Dutch and French. British rule and exploitation were consolidated after a war against France (1756-1763).

The end of colonization occurred in 1947, with political independence, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi . As a consequence, the beginning of Indian industrialization occurred in the post-independence period, motivated by the following factors: foreign investments, domestic market with growth probability, abundant labor and diversified mineral resources.

The Indian subcontinent is part of the so-called underdeveloped world, presenting an economy linked to agricultural and extractive activities. External dependence on international capital and advanced technology also characterizes the economic dynamics of this region.


Agriculture absorbs a large amount of labor, which is based on family work, with little use of technology, low productivity and production aimed at the domestic market. The types of cultivation that stand out are rice and wheat.

In the late 1940s, there was a need to increase production to eradicate serious hunger problems. Indian government officials sought to solve this problem with seed development projects, using machines in the field to increase productivity and applying chemical fertilizers.

At first, productivity reached desired levels, increasing the availability of food for the Indian population, but, in a second moment, there was an increase in cases of intoxication, as the products used in the crops had, in their composition, harmful heavy metals both for human health and for the environment.

The most modern agricultural areas are plantations , introduced to the region by Europeans, which meet the demands of the industrial sector or the foreign market. In this system, the most cultivated products are cotton, jute, tea and sugar cane.

As for livestock , although the cattle herd is the largest in the world, it has little economic importance: firstly, because meat consumption is prohibited by religious principles, being used only for work and milk consumption, and, later, for the fact that the breeding is done in a rudimentary way, which makes the quality of the meat produced poor. Even the flocks of sheep, goats and buffaloes have low productivity and supply only regional markets.


In industrial activity, India is the only country that is showing some development in South Asia, especially in the urban centers of Mumbai, Madras, New Delhi, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Bangalore. The most developed sectors are those linked to the presence of regional raw materials, such as steel, due to the great wealth of iron, manganese and coal, and the textile sector, which takes advantage of the production of jute and cotton.

India is also, at present, the largest exporter of software in the world, with a turnover of around seven billion dollars a year. Madras and Bangalore are the main producing hubs, with around 60% of total production (Indian Silicon Valley). The main factor that explains this apparent contradiction between a poor country and the production of software is the great development of teaching in the exact area, especially in mathematics, the mastery of the English language and the abundant and cheap labor.

Geography of India

Highlights or industrial zones

  • Damodar Valley:famous steel region (“Ruhr” of India), favored by mineral resources (coal and iron), highlighting the city of Rurkela.
  • Tamil zone: itinvolves the city of Madras, with diversified industries (automobiles, ships, locomotives and airplanes), but the main activity occurs in the chemical area. It also involves the city known as the “Indian brain”, Bangalore, with software production .
  • Areas of Kolkata and Mumbai:traditional industrialization (textile) and related to agriculture: jute around Kolkata, and cotton, near Mumbai (ex-Bombay). In this, modernity is also advancing, including the production of atomic energy.
  • Bollywood:capital of Indian cinema, located in the Mumbai region and is the most active film industry in the world, releasing thousands of films a year.