India is the seventh largest country in the world with a total land area of 3.3 million square kilometers. It is 2933 kms wide and the 3214 kms long. The Indian sub-continent is unique from the rest of Asia. In the North are the towering Himalayas which slope out into the great Indo-Gangetic plains. In Central India, the Vindhya ranges separate the Deccan Peninsula from the northern plains. On the east coast of the country is the Bay of Bengal, while on the west coast is the Arabian Sea. The southern-most tip of the country projects into the Indian Ocean.
The Deccan plateau is the oldest portion of India and was part of the single land mass comprising South America, Africa, Australia and Antarctica. As the continents drifted apart, the moving Deccan plate collided with the Tibetan block of South Asia about 50 million years ago. Over the years, the persistent pressure of the Deccan drifting northwards created the Himalayan mountains, a process that is still continuing.
The Indo-Gangetic plain is formed by the basins of three great rivers, the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra. The other major rivers in the country are the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Narmada, Kaveri, Pennar, Tapti, and Periyar - all of which have which created deltas and flood-plains on India's east and west coast.
Apart from the mountains, plains and the seas, India has just about every geographical feature as well. In the West of the country lies the Thar desert in Rajasthan. A little south of it are the unique marshlands of Kutch, while on the east where the Ganges drains out into the sea is the world' s largest delta and a unique mangrove forest. Indian islands include the Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal and the Lakshadweep Islands in the Indian ocean. These unique features mean that the country has a wide variety of flora, fauna and a climate that ranges from tropical to arctic.
The climate of the country varies from region to region. The North enjoys cold climate in the winter months between November and March. The coastal areas have a tropical climate throughout the year, while the plains and most central and southern regions of the country are hot in the summer months of April and June. Most of the country has a vigorous monsoon, which lasts from July and October. Located in the northern hemisphere, India shares its borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The rest of the land is surrounded by sea.