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India Geography

    Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan

    Geographic coordinates: 20 00 N, 77 00 E

    Map references: Asia

    Area:
    total: 3,287,590 sq km
    land: 2,973,190 sq km
    water: 314,400 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly more than one-third the size of the US

    Land boundaries:
    total: 14,103 km
    border countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km

    Coastline: 7,000 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north

    Terrain: upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m

    Natural resources: coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone

    Land use:
    arable land: 56%
    permanent crops: 1%
    permanent pastures: 4%
    forests and woodland: 23%
    other: 16% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 480,000 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: droughts, flash floods, severe thunderstorms common; earthquakes

    Environment—current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country; huge and rapidly growing population is overstraining natural resources

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: dominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)