INDIA- GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES AND THEIR IMPACT ON HISTORY BY SAKSHI SRIVASTAVA
Introduction Pakistan Bhutan The Indian subcontinent is a well defined geographical unit. It may be divided into three major regions: the Himalayan Mountains, the Indo- Gangetic Plains and the Southern Peninsula India Bay of Bengal Arabian Sea There are seven countries in the subcontinent - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka Andaman &Nicobar Island Lakshadweep Island Lanka India is the largest among them and it Maldives comprises twenty-nine states and seven Union Territories. Indian Ocean
The Himalayan Mountains The Himalayan Mountains are situated on the north of India. Starting from the Pamir in the extreme northwest of India, the mighty Himalayan range extends towards northeast. t has a length of nearly 2560 kilometres with an average breadth of 240 to 320 kilometres. The highest peak of the Himalayas is known as Mount Everest with its height being 8869 metres. t acts as a natural wall and protects the country against the cold arctic winds blowing from Siberia through Central Asia. This keeps the climate of northern India fairly warm throughout the year. t was considered for a long time that the Himalayas stood as a natural barrier to protect India against invasions.
PAMIR KNOT But, the passes in the northwest mountains such as the Khyber, Bolan Kurram and Gomal provided easy routes between India and Central Asia. These passes are situated in the Hindukush, Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges. KUNLUN MTS INDIA RELIEF PAKISTAN CHIN TIBET NORTHER From prehistoric times, there was a continuous flow of traffic through these passes. Many people came to India through these passes as invaders and immigrants. The Indo-Aryans, the Indo- Greeks, Parthians, Sakas, Kushanas, Hunas and Turks entered India through these passes DECCAN PLATEAU ARABIA BAY OF SEA Height in metres Above 1200 The Swat valley in this region formed another important route. Alexander of 600-1200 300-600 -300 Mt. Range Macedon came to India through this route. Apart from invading armies, missionaries and merchants came to India using these routes. ANDAMAN&NOCOBAR ISLANDS ON FN NDIAN CEAN
In the north of Kashmir is Karakoram Range. The second highest peak in the world, Mount Godwin Austen is situated here. The valley of Kashmir is surrounded by high mountains. Nepal is also a small valley under the foot of the Himalayas and it is accessible from Gangetic plains through a number of passes. In the east, the Himalayas extend up to Assam. The important mountains in this region are Pat Koi, Nagai and Lushai ranges. These hills are covered with thick forests due to heavy rains and mostly remain inhospitable. AFGHANISTAN 611m CHINA 500 km O Kabul. (TIBET 1:25.000,000 The externel boundaries of India on this map have not been authenticated and may not be correct Mt Kailash 6714m) Tuangpo Mt Everest Kange PAKISTAN ATH IMA L NEPA.at n uy -RAN E HUTAN DelhiO N D ' INDIA NGLADES Varana
The Indo-Gangetic Plain The Indo-Gangetic plain is irrigated by three important rivers, the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra. This vast plain is most fertile and productive because of the alluvial soil brought by the streams of the rivers and its tributaries. The Indus river rises beyond the Himalayas and its major tributaries are the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas. The Punjab plains are benefited by the Indus river system. The literal meaning of the term 'Punjab' is the land of five rivers. Sind is situated at the lower valley of the Indus. The Indus plain is known for its fertile soil.
INDIA NORTHERN FERTILE PLAINS 600 kms HIMALAYAS Calcutta DECCAN PLATEAU REGION BAY OF BENGAL Northern Plains
The Thar Desert and Aravalli hills are situated in between the Indus and Gangetic plains. Mount Abu is the highest point (5650 ft.) in the Aravalli hills. The Ganges river rises in the Himalayas, flows south and then towards the east. The river Yamuna flows almost parallel to the Ganges and then joins it. The area between these two rivers is called doab PRADESH Amritsar PUNIAB n amnanagaUTTARAKHAND HARYANA Meerut Delhi GurgaonFaridabad MathuraUTTAR PRADESH eAgra RAJASTHAN Lucknow o Kanpur BIHAR Patna Allahabad meaning the land between two rivers. JHARKHAND The important tributaries of the Ganges are the Gomati, Sarayu, Ghagra and Gandak. In the east of India, the Ganges plain merges into the plains of Brahmaputra. The river Brahmaputra rises beyond the Himalayas, flows across Tibet and then continues through the northeast India. In the plains, it is a vast but a slow-moving river forming several islands.
The Indo-Gangetic plain has contributed to the rise of urban centres particularly on the river banks or at the confluence of rivers. The Harappan culture flourished in the Indus valley. The Vedic culture prospered in the western Gangetic plain. Banares, Allahabad, Agra, Delhi and Pataliputra are some of the important cities of the Gangetic plain . The city of Pataliputra was situated at the confluence of Son river with the Ganges. In the ancient period Pataliputra had remained the capital for the Mauryas, Sungas, Guptas and other kingdoms. The most important city on the western side of the Gangetic plain is Delhi. Most of the decisive battles of Indian history such as the Kurukshetra, Tarain and Panipat were fought near Delhi. Also, this plain had always beena source of temptation and attraction for the foreign invaders due to its fertility and productive wealth. The rivers in this region served as arteries of commerce and communication. In ancient times it was difficult to make roads, and so men and material were moved by boat. The importance of rivers for communication continued till the days of the East India Company.
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