India at a Glance (Indian Geography Notes) Free PDF Download

In this module (India at a Glance (Indian Geography Notes) Free PDF Download), we shall study briefly about India as a Geographical Unit, the Top 10 largest country in the world by area, India’s Frontiers, International Boundary Lines, Indian Geography at a Glance, India Census 2011, India Facts.

Before proceeding with Physiographical Divisions, let us look into the Location, Area, Administrative Divisions, and Geographical Aspects of India

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India at a Glance (Indian Geography Notes) Free PDF Download

This is an introductory chapter of Indian Geography. Please go through this very carefully as all the upcoming topics are nothing but extensions of these topics.

A free PDF is provided with 500+ MCQ on Indian National Movement Part- V which will be beneficial for all State Public Service Exams like WBCS, including UPSC and other government job exams.

India at a Glance (Indian Geography Notes) Free PDF Download Link is provided at the end of this post.

India as a Geographical Unit

East-West Extent of Main Land India (Including Pak occupied Kashmir-POK):68° 7′ east to 97° 25′ east longitude
South-North Extent of Main Land India:8° 4′ north to 37° 6′ north latitude
Locational Extent:8° 4′ N to 37° 6′ N latitude and 68° 7′ E to 97° 25′ East longitude.
  • The southernmost point of the country is the Pygmalion Point or Indira Point is located at 6° 45′ N
  • India has roughly a quadrangular shape.
  • The north-south extent from Indira Col in Kashmir to Kanyakumari is 3,214 km.
  • The east-west width from the Rann of Kachchh to Arunachal Pradesh is 2,933 km.
  • With an area of 32, 87,263 sq. km, India is the seventh-largest country in the world.
  • India accounts for about 4 percent of the total surface area of the world.
  • The Tropic of Cancer passes through the middle of the country dividing it into two latitudinal halves.
  • The area to the north of Tropic of Cancer is near twice the area which lies to the south of it.
  • South of 22° north latitude, the country tapers off over 800 km into the Indian Ocean as a peninsula.
  • East-West time difference is nearly 2 hrs.
  • The earth moves [rotation and revolution] around its axis through 360° in 24 hours. Thus, a difference of 1° longitude will make a difference of 4 minutes in time.
  • Therefore the difference of local time between the western-most point and easternmost point is 30 x 4 = 120 minutes or 2 hours.
  • This meridian is known as the Standard Meridian of India. It passes through Mirzapur (UP).
  • The tropic of cancer 23N latitudes passes through the middle part of India and crosses the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura, and Mizoram.
  • Its total length of the land frontier of 15,200 kilometers passes through marshy lands, desert, level plains, rugged mountains, snow-covered areas, and thick forests.
  • Besides land, there is a maritime boundary of 6,100 kilometers along the main landmass which increases to 7,516 kilometers of the coastlines of Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands are added to it.
  • India is the only country that has given its name to an ocean, i.e. Indian Ocean encircled by 46 countries (27 littoral including Australia, 7 island states, and 12 landlocked countries).
  • Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, together make the great peninsular plateau.
  • Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal are states on the coast of India. Among our Union Territories, Daman and Pondicherry have sea boundaries.
  • The states of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand are the only land-locked states which are neither on the coast nor on an international border.

Top 10 largest country in the world by area

RankCountryArea Area (mi²) % of Earth’s Area 
1Russia17,098,242 km²6,599,921 mi²11.52%
2Canada9,984,670 km²3,854,083 mi²6.73%
3China9,706,961 km²3,746,887 mi²6.54%
4United States9,372,610 km²3,617,827 mi²6.31%
5Brazil8,515,767 km²3,287,086 mi²5.74%
6Australia7,692,024 km²2,969,121 mi²5.18%
7India3,287,590 km²1,269,010 mi²2.21%
8Argentina2,780,400 km²1,073,234 mi²1.87%
9Kazakhstan2,724,900 km²1,051,811 mi²1.84%
10Algeria2,381,741 km²919,352 mi²1.60%

India, Tropical or Temperate Country?

  • The temperate part (north of Tropic of Cancer) is twice the area of the tropical part.
  • But India has always been treated as a tropical country for two different reasons – physical and cultural.

Physical Geographical Reasons

  • The country is separated from the rest of Asia by the Himalayas.
  • Its climate is dominated by the tropical monsoons and the temperate air masses are blocked by Himalayas.
  • The entire area south of the Himalayas is essentially tropical from a climatic point of view: Although the night temperatures in winter at several places in North India may come down to the level of those prevailing in temperate lands, yet clear skies and intense insolation raise the day temperatures to a tropical level.

Cultural Geographical Reasons

  • Settlements, diseases, agricultural, and primary economic activities are all tropical in nature.
  • It is primarily because of the Himalayas that India is a tropical country.

India’s Frontiers

Data from the Ministry Of Home Affairs (Department Of Border Management)

  • India has a 15106.7 Km of land border running through 92 districts in 17 States and a coastline of 7516.6 Km [6100 km of mainland coastline + coastline of 1197 Indian islands] touching 13 States and Union Territories (UTs).
  • Barring Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Delhi, Haryana, and Telangana, all other States in the country have one or more international borders or a coastline and can be regarded as frontline States from the point of view of border management.
  • India’s longest border is with BANGLADESH while the shortest border is with Afghanistan.
  • The length of India’s land borders with neighboring countries is as under:
Neighboring countryLength of the common  border ( in km)No. of Indian states having common bordersNames of Indian states having common borders
Bangladesh4096.75West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram
China34885Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh
Pakistan33234Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat
Nepal17515Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim
Myanmar16434Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram
Bhutan6994Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh
Afghanistan1061Jammu & Kashmir (POK)

 Border with China

  • This is the second-longest border of India, next only to its border with Bangladesh.
  • Five Indian states, namely Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh touch the Indian boundary with China.
  • The Sino-Indian border is generally divided into three sectors namely: (i) the Western sector, (ii) the Middle sector, and (iii) the Eastern sector.

The Western Sector

  • Separates Jammu and Kashmir from the Sinkiang (Xinjiang) province of China.
  • The western sector boundary is largely the outcome of the British policy towards the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • China claims the Aksai Chin district, the Changmo valley, Pangong Tso, and the Sponggar Tso area of north-east Ladakh as well as a strip of about 5,000 sq km down the entire length of eastern Ladakh.
  • China also claims a part of the Huza-Gilgit area in North Kashmir (ceded to it in 1963 by Pakistan).

The Middle Sector

  • Two Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand touch this border.

The Eastern Sector

  • The 1,140 km long boundary between India and China runs from the eastern limit of Bhutan to a point near the Diphu pass (Talu Pass)at the trijunction of India, Tibet, and Myanmar.
  • This line is usually referred to as the Mc Mahon Line after Sir Henry Mc Mahon, then foreign secretary of British India, who negotiated the boundary agreement between Great Britain and Tibet at Shimla accord in 1913-14.

The India-Nepal Boundary

  • Five states of India, namely Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Sikkim touch the Nepalese border with India. The border is a porous one with the unrestricted movement of goods and people between Indian and Nepal.
  • A major portion of the Indo-Nepalese border runs in the east-west direction almost along the foothill of the Shiwalik Range.

The India-Bhutan Boundary

  • Quite a peaceful border and there is no boundary dispute between the two countries.

The Indo-Pakistan Boundary

  • The Indo-Pakistan boundary is the result of the partition of the country in 1947 under the Radcliffe award of which Sir Cyril Radcliffe was the chairman.
  • Jammu and Kashmir, Sir Creek are the major disputed regions.

The India-Bangladesh Border

  • India’s 4,096 km long border with Bangladesh is the longest.
  • This boundary has been determined under the Radcliffe Award which divided the erstwhile province of Bengal into two parts.
  • The boundary line between India and Bangladesh crisscrosses the vast Ganga-Brahmaputra delta.
  • This boundary runs is not even a small amount or hill which could be used for demarcating the boundary between the two countries.

India-Myanmar Boundary

  • This boundary runs roughly along the watershed between the Brahmaputra and Ayeyarwady [Irrawaddy].
  • It passes through thickly forested regions, with Mizo Hills, Manipur, and Nagaland on the Indian side and Chin Hills, Naga Hills, and Kachin state on the Myanmar side.

India-Sri Lanka Boundary

  • India and Sri Lanka are separated from each other by a narrow and shallow sea called Palk Strait.
  • Dhanushkodi on the Tamil Nadu coast in India is only 32 km away from Talaimanar in the Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka. These two points are joined by a group of islets forming Adam’s Bridge.

India at a Glance (Indian Geography Notes) Free PDF Download 

International Boundary Lines

S NoIn Between CountriesBoundary Line
1.The boundary line between India and Pakistan drew by Sir Cyril Radcliffe in 1947Radcliffe Line
2.Boundary line between India and Afghanistan demarcated by Sir Mortimer Durand in 1896.

(Presently it is between Pakistan and Afghanistan)

Durand Line
3.The boundary line between India and China. (It was demarcated by Sir Henry McMahon)McMahon Line
4.The line which Pakistan claims should be the Demarcation line between India and Pakistan, not accepted by India.20th Parallel
5.The boundary line between India and Myanmar.24th Parallel
6.Boundary line between Germany and Poland to which German retreated in 1917 during the First World WarHindenburg Line
7.The boundary line between East Germany and PolandOderNeisse Line
8. The line which defines the boundary between North Vietnam and South Vietnam before the two were united17th Parallel
9.The boundary line between North Korea and South Korea38th Parallel
10.The boundary line between the United States of America and Canada49th Parallel
11.Boundary Line between France and GermanyMaginot Line
12.Boundary Line between Egypt and Sudan22nd Parallel North
13.Boundary Line between Libya and Sudan20th Parallel North
14.Line of fortification drawn by Germany on its border with FranceSiegfried Line

Interesting Fact: The Tin Bigha Corridor is a strip of land belonging to India is a part of West Bengal and lies adjacent to the Bangladesh border. In 1947, the border between India and Bangladesh was also demarcated by Sir Radcliffe.

Indian Geography at a Glance (Indian Geography Notes) Free PDF Download

Mountain Ranges:

The mountains extend for more than 2400 km. They are seven.

  • the Himalayas
  • the Patkai and other ranges bordering India in the North and North East
  • the Vindhyas, which separates the Indo-Gangetic Plain from the Deccan Plateau
  • the Satpura
  • the Aravali
  • the Sahyadri, which covers the eastern fringe of the West Coast plains
  • the Eastern Ghats, irregularly scattered on the East Coast and forming the boundary of the East Coast plains
  • Kangchenjunga is the tallest mountain peak of India and also ranked as the third highest mountain in the World (after Mount Everest and K2).
  • The height of Kangchenjunga is 8586 meters. There is a total of 5 peaks out of which three lie on the border of India and Nepal, while the other two are completely in Nepal.

Rivers and the Plains:

  • The main rivers of the Himalayan group and the Indus, the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra.
  • These rivers are both snow-fed and rain-fed and have therefore continuous flow throughout the year.
  • Himalayan rivers discharge about 70% of their inflow into the sea. This includes about 5% from central Indian rivers. They join the Ganga and drain into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The plains of Ganga and Indus run for about 2400 km with a width ranging from 240 to 320 km.
  • They are formed in the river basins of Ganga-Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Indus, Godavari, Kaveri, etc.
  • The Longest River in India is Ganga with 2510 km in length is the longest river of India which flows east through the Gangetic Plain of northern India and Bangladesh.


  • The desert region is located in the western and northwestern parts of the country. It can be divided into two parts: the great desert and the little desert.
  • The great desert extends from the edge of the Rann of Kachch beyond the Luni river northward. The whole of Rajasthan-Sind Frontier runs through this.
  • The little desert extends from the Luni between Jaisalmer and jodhpur up to northern wastes (dry and rocky land).
  • Coldest Place in India” is Drass in western Ladakh is located at an altitude of 3230 m in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The winter temperature falls to as low as -22 degrees to -45 degrees with strong snowstorms while the summer temperature is near 15 degrees.


  • The Peninsula is marked by an elevated landmass with a height ranging from 460 to 1220m.
  • The Deccan and the Southern part surrounded by water on three sides make the peninsula.
  • It is flanked by the Eastern Ghats on the east and the Western Ghats on the west. Between the Ghats and the Sea lies the narrow coastal belt.


  • Traditionally, seasons in India are divided into six – Vasanta (Mar-Apr), Grishma (May-Jun), Varsha (Jul-Aug), Sharada (Sept-Oct), Hemanta (Nov-Dec), and Shishira (Jan-Feb).
  • In broad terms, India experiences 3 main seasons, (a) Winter – Dec to March, (b) Summer – Apr to May and (c) Monsoon – South West Jun to Sept, and NE (retreating SW monsoon) – Oct to Nov. Between the two main seasons are Spring and Autumn.
  • India receives 86% of the rain during the SW monsoon. NE monsoon is a very restricted one – experienced in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and sometimes AP and Karnataka.

Distribution of Soils:

Types of SoilsStates where foundRich in:Lacks in:Crops grown
AlluvialMainly found in the plains of Gujarat,  Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, etc.Potash and LimeNitrogen and PhosphorousA large variety of rabi and Kharif crops such as wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton, jute, etc.
Black (Regur soil)Deccan plateau- Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Valleys of Krishna and Godavari.Lime, Iron, Magnesia and Alumina, PotashPhosphorous, Nitrogen, and organic matterCotton, sugarcane, jowar, tobacco, wheat, rice, etc.
RedEastern and southern parts of the Deccan plateau, Orissa, Chattisgarh, and southern parts of the middle Ganga plain.Iron and PotashNitrogen, Phosphorous, and humus.Wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane, and pulses
LateriteKarnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Orissa hills.Iron oxide and potashOrganic matter, Nitrogen, Phosphate, and CalciumCashewnuts, tea, coffee, rubber
Arid and DesertWestern Rajasthan, North Gujarat, and southern PunjabSoluble salts, phosphateHumus, NitrogenOnly drought-resistant and salt-tolerant crops such as barley, rape, cotton, millets maize, and pulses
Saline and AlkalineWestern Gujarat, deltas of the eastern coast, Sunderban areas of West Bengal, Punjab, and HaryanaSodium, Potassium, MagnesiumNitrogen and CalciumUnfit for agriculture

India Census 2011

Some crucial facts about the census 2011 are as follows:

1. No of states/UTs35
2. No of districts640 (47 increased from 2001)
3. No of towns7,933 (2772 increased from 2001)
4. No of villages6,40,930 (2342 increased from 2001)
5. Total population1,21,05,69,573 (68.8% urban & 31.2% rural )
6. Child Sex Ratio (0- 6 year)919 (Rural- 923 & Urban-905)
7. Sex Ratio940 females/1000 males
8. Density of population382 Person/ KM2
9. Decadal population growth from 2001 to 201117.64%
10. Literacy rate74.04% of the total population
11. India has a total population of the world17.5%
12. India’s population is now bigger than the combined  population ofUSA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
13. The Union Territory of Lakshadweep is the least populated64,429 persons
14. Top five literate states are…1. Kerala – 94.00 %

2. Lakshadweep – 91.85 %

3. Mizoram – 91.33 %

4. Goa – 88.70 %

5. Tripura – 87.22 %

15. Highest sex ratio _ Top five states1. Kerala – 1084

2. Puducherry – 1037

3. Tamil Nadu  – 996

4. Andhra Pradesh – 993

5. Chhattisgarh  – 991

16. Lowest sex ratio _ Top five states1. Daman and Diu – 618    

2. Dadra & Nagar Haveli – 774

3. Chandigarh – 818

4. Delhi – 868

5. Andaman & Nicobar Islands – 876

17. Top five highly dense union territories1. Delhi – 11,320

2. Chandigarh – 9,258  

3. Puducherry – 2,547  

4. Daman and Diu – 2,191    

5. Lakshadweep – 2,149

18. Top four highly dense states1. Bihar– 1,106

2. West Bengal – 1,028  

3. Kerala – 860  

4. Uttar Pradesh – 829

19. Top four highly populated states in India1. Uttar Pradesh – 199,281,477 (16.49%)

2. Maharashtra– 112,372,972 (9.28%)

3. Bihar – 103,804,637 (8.58%)

4. West Bengal – 91,347,736 (7.55%)

20. Top five least populated union territories in India1. Chandigarh – 1,054,686 (0.09%)

2. Andaman and Nicobar Islands – 379,944(0.03%)

3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli – 342,853(0.03%)

4. Daman and Diu– 242,911(0.02%)

5. Lakshadweep 64,429 (0.01%)

India Facts

Highest AwardBharat Ratna
Highest Gallantry AwardParam Vir Chakra
Largest River IslandMajuli (Brahmaputra River, Asom)
Highest AirportLeh (Laddakh)
Longest BeachMarina Beach, Chennai
Largest ChurchSaint Cathedral (Goa)
Largest PortMumbai
Largest Cave TempleKailash Temple, Ellora (Maharastra)
Largest State (Population)Uttar Pradesh
Largest State (Area)Rajasthan
Smallest State (Area)Goa
Smallest State (Population)Sikkim
Longest Highway NH-44 (NH-7) which turns from Varanasi to Kanyakumari
Largest DistrictKutch district (Area wise)
Highest Dam-Tehri Dam ( 260 meters, 850 ft )
Longest DamHirakud Dam (Orrisa)
Largest MuseumIndia Museum at Kolkata
Longest CanalIndira Gandhi Canal or Rajasthan Canal (Rajasthan)
Longest RoadGrand Trunk Road
Biggest Cave templeEllora
Longest River BridgeDhola-Sadiya Bridge (Assam)
Largest DeltaSunderbans Delta
State-wise largest area under forestMadhya Pradesh
Highest rainfallCherrapunji (426 inches per annum) Mawsynrane
Largest State (Population)Uttar Pradesh
Largest State (Area)Rajasthan
Largest Populated CityMumbai
Highest PeakKarakoram-2 of K-2(8,611 meters) (India)
Highest LakeDevtal Lake, Garhwal (Uttarakhand)
Largest Man-Made LakeGovind Vallabh Pant Sagar (Rihand Dam)
Largest Lake (Saline Water)Chilka Lake, Orrisa
Largest LakeWular Lake, Kashmir (Fresh Water)
Longest Tributary river of IndiaYamuna

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