Terrain shapes and bedrock
India has three topographical major regions with completely different landform type and geological development history. At the far north, the high mountain masses of the Himalayas rise and at the far south the Indian Plateau forms the triangular peninsula which is so dominant in the general image of India. The third region is the North Indian Plain, a water-rich and fertile part of India, although it also contains desert and steppe areas.
According to COUNTRYAAH, most of India’s bedrock was part of the southern continent of Gondwana, which was split up some 125 million years ago, with India sliding north to later collide with the Eurasian plate. In this way, the large amounts of sediment accumulated at the southern edge of Eurasia were folded and pressed and the Himalayas formed. This process is not over yet. Weathering and river erosion have loosened material from the newly formed mountain range, brought it down and deposited it in the area between the other two parts, and thus the North Indian plain has been created.
The Himalayas are the world’s highest mountain system, about 2,500 km long, 200-400 km wide and very high barrier to Central Asia, especially important from a climatic point of view. In the main chain, which has an average height of 6,000 m above sea level, there are rising, within Indian territory, about ten snow-covered peaks above 7,500 m above sea level. The bedrock consists partly of Precambrian crystalline shales, penetrated by granites and partly of younger sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic and Kenozoic times. At the far south are the suburbs, which are south-facing schools, which rise steeply across the plain. See further Himalayas.
plateau areaoccupies about 2/5 of India and is mainly built up of crystalline rocks from the Precambrian period (older than 570 million years). It is one of the world’s most stable shield areas, but in 1967 it was hit by a powerful earthquake in its western part. The plateau area, which has an altitude of 500-1000 m above sea level, is covered by a number of mountain ridges such as the Vindhya and Satpur mountains and the Aravali mountains in the north. The plateau is bounded by a fairly wide coastal plain within the Koromandel Coast to the east of the Eastern Ghats mountain range, which has an average altitude of 500 m above sea level. The Western Ghats, a significantly steeper and 900-2700 m high strip chain, have a narrow coastal plain to the Malabar coast on the Arabian Sea. These two randberg mountains meet on the southern part of the peninsula, where the Nilgiriber and Cardamom mountains rise. The northwestern part of the region is dominated by Deccan’s plateau basins. They occupy large parts of western Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The peninsula slopes slightly from west to east, which As a result, most of the rivers flow eastwards and end up in the Bay of Bengal, eg. Coleroon, Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi. However, some rivers flow west, such as Narmada and Tapti, while the northernmost are tributaries to the Ganges.
The northern Indian plain consists largely of flat areas, less than 50 m above sea level, which are mainly dewatered by Ganges but also by Indus in the west and Brahmaputra in the east. It is covered by thick layers of river sediment, which in turn rests on tertiary sand and clay layers, which were deposited on the Indian continental shelf’s northern continental shelf (part of the Tethys Sea). The plain covers most of West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
The soils vary from desert soils in the northwest (Tharöknen) and mountain soils in the north to lateritic soils in the northeast as well as brown soils and vertisols on most of the peninsula. A fertile weathering soil has been formed on the Deccan Plateau, suitable for cotton cultivation. India has relatively few lakes: in the Himalayas glaciated ice lakes, in the plains in the form of extended river courses and in the plateau area some crater lakes.
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Most of India has tropical climate with pronounced rainy season and dry season. It is also called monsoon climate, as it is the summer and winter monsoons that dominate.
The monsoons are also used as a subdivision for the four seasons. The cool season is called the period from mid December to February, when the northeast monsoon (winter monsoon) reigns. It enters dry air but gives some rainfall in the southeast and northwest of the country. The average temperature for January in the lowland region is 15-20 ° C but rises south to about 30 ° C.
The warm season is a transitional period between the dry season and the rainy season from March to mid-June. The temperature then rises in line with the sun’s elevation and already reaches an average of 30-35 ° C in the middle of the country as early as May. A change in the air pressure conditions takes place so that the winter high pressure over Asia is exchanged for a heat low pressure over northern India.
The rainy season falls from June to mid-September beginning in the south. It is the humid southwest monsoon that then brings plenty of rain and thunder. The Western Ghats thus get 2,000-3,000 mm in June-October on their western side. At the southern border of the Himalayas, the monsoon winds are being pushed up with ample rainfall as a result. Cherrapunji on the Khasi Mountains north of the Ganga Delta receive an average of 11,400 mm per year. The temperature during the rainy season is slightly lower than in the spring.
The withdrawal summer monsoon time from mid-September to mid-December means that the winter monsoon begins to take off. The average temperature this season is about 27 ° C over most of India.
Plant-and animal life
India’s wildlife is rich. The richness of the species is related to the vastly diverse biotopes that exist in the country, with everything from the Himalayan mountains, via rainforest in Assam, to dry forests, swamps and pure desert. Add to this the special wildlife of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as a very rich marine fauna in and around the Indian coastal coral reefs (limited distribution), mangrove forests and surrounding seas.
Along the Malabar coast along the Indian Ocean in southwestern India, mangrove vegetation and tropical rainforests occur with large elements of palm trees, bamboo, figs and species in the family banana plants. Parallel to the coast extends the Western Ghats, a unique 1,600 km long mountain range. The mountain range captures the monsoon rains during late summer, which creates great variation in vegetation. The western slopes are dominated by moist tropical forests while drier, deciduous forests grow in the eastern rainforest. At levels above 1,000 m, grass-dominated plains often propagate. The variation in climate and topography has given rise to a large variety of plants and animals with a large element of endemic species; more than half of all trees, fish, amphibians and reptiles live here.
Also among the mammals are a couple of endemic species: lion tail macaque (Macaca silenus), nilgiritahr (Hemitragus hylocrius, see picture goat animal) and the acutely endangered viverrider Viverra civettina. The Asian elephant (see elephants) has one of its strongest mounts here with around 11,000 individuals, which corresponds to 20-25 percent of the world population.
Tiger was formerly widespread across the country, but as a result of unrestrained hunting and biotope destruction, it disappeared from large areas. In order to save the species, 1974 Project tiger was started, which has produced very good results. In the Western Ghats, there is an estimated population of over 500 individuals out of about 1,700 in total across India. Many national parks, forest reserves and special tiger reserves have been allocated to protect the species, including the three national parks Bandipur, Mudumalai and Nagorhole.
Bandip迂r National are leopard, dhole, Nilgiri Tahr, sambar, axis deer, Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjac), Indian moschiola (Moschiola meminna), oxdjuret gaur, four-horned antelope, striped hyena, a species of apgruppen gray langur (Semnopithecus hypoleucos), bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata), bear, rusty cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus), wild boar and Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica). Among the snakes are king cobra, the world’s largest poison worm that can grow up to 5.5 m long, and tiger python. In the rivers lives the large swamp crocodile. The acutely endangered Asian white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis) has a strong attachment here.
Another famous tiger sanctuary is Periyar southwest of Kochi, which is also one of India’s most visited bird areas. Visitor attractions include nilgiriduva (Columba elphinstonii), malabarparakit (Psittacula columboides), malabartoko (Ocyceros griseus), black-headed flycatcher (Ficedula nigrorufa), vitbukad cyornis (Cyornis pallipes), nilgiripiplärka (Anthus nilghiriensis) and the now threatened Indian yarns (Gypsum indicus). Among the many wintering birds of the Himalayas, you will find the rare woodpecker (Gallinago nemoricola).
In the state of Gurajat in northwestern India not far from the Arabian Sea lies Gir, one of the country’s most famous national parks. Here is the only remaining tribe of Asian lions, which were once widespread all the way to Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and the Caucasus. Nowadays, there is only a small isolated tribe of around 350 individuals, most of whom live within the reserve. Predators such as nilgau, sambar deer, axis deer, four-horned antelope and gazelle Gazella bennettii form the food base for the lion. Other predators include leopard and striped hyena. The National Park has run a successful program to favor the swamp crocodile. Among the more than 300 species of birds found are muddy pelican, spotted beak pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), amurdykand (Aythya baeri), larger scream eagle, emperor eagle, stairs less florican (Sypheotides indicus), Indian scissors beak (Rynchops albicollis) and the world’s largest crested sarustrana (Grus antigone).
Further north in the state lies the Little Rann of Kutch reserve, a flat area with saline flood zones. This is the last site for the half-ashes in its former range, which previously included southern Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. In connection with the monsoon rains created temporary wetlands that attracts large amounts of water birds, such as white pelican (see pelicans), Dalmatian Pelican, spot-billed pelican, flamingo, lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor), coot, tailed godwit, avocet, black legged Plover, shoveler, pintail, oriental ibis stork (Mycteria leucocephala), Asian beak (Anastomus oscitans), cranberry and sarustrana.
In the southern part of Kutchviken is India’s first marine national park with coral reefs. Mangrove areas and tidal zones attract many different birds (including egrets, flamingos and waders) as well as dugongs, moths (Delphinus capensis), Asian porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides) and caskets. At deeper water, whale sharks sometimes appear.
In the state of Rajasthan rainfall areas, there are sparse deciduous forests and savanna. The flora here has a partial Arab-African connection, including acacias and tamarisk. In Desert National Park, one of India’s few desert areas is protected, including the rare and urgently threatened Indian staircase (Ardeotis nigriceps). Other animals include bees antelope (Antelope cervicapra), wolf, Asian wild cat (Felis silvestris ornata), Indian fox (Vulpes bengalensis) and Egyptian long-eared hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus). During the winter you will find many different bird species from northern areas such as gray-legged, goose-gum, bigger screaming eagles and maidens.
South of New Delhi is the world famous bird sanctuary Bharatpur (also known as Keoladeo National Park). Hundreds of thousands of birds are attracted to the lakes, wetlands and ponds, especially during the winter months. Among breeding species are Oriental ibis stork, Asian beak stork, black-tailed stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) and Indian snake bird (Anhinga melanogaster). The winter guests are many, not least the collection of birds of prey is impressive, where the concentration of species such as large scream eagle, emperor eagle, savanna eagle and Indian tufa eagle (Spilornis cheela) is unparalleled.
In the middle of India lies the state of Madhya Pradesh. Here are some of the most famous tiger reserves, such as Ranthambhore, Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha, where as a tourist you have great chances to see and experience tigers. Pench tiger reserve is considered to have inspired Rudyard Kipling to write the Jungle Book.
Northern India (Himalayas)
At Indus spring flows in Kashmir and Ladakh lies India’s largest national park, Hemis, located along the northern slopes of the Himalayas with peaks up to 6,000 m. It is a high alpine and rain-poor park with sparse pine forests at lower levels. The National Park is best known for snow leopards with an estimated population of 75-120 individuals. The most important prey is blue sheep, but other ungulates such as urial, (Tibetan) argala sheep, and Siberian Capricorn (Capra sibirica) are also included in the menu. Among the predators are the wolf, asian wild dog, brown bear, lice and otters. The bird fauna is typical of the Himalayas with species such as lambs, king eagle, snowmobile, alp crow and a number of hen birds: Himalayan snow hen, mountain hen, cockroach pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha), western tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus) and himalayamonal (Lophophorus impejanus).
In the central Himalayas near the border with Nepal lies the Great Himalayan National Park, which, because of its great natural values, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will find a large concentration of pheasants and other hen birds, especially in the largest, remaining mixed forests in the western Himalayas. Among the species are the caste class pheasant, western tragopan, Himalayan monal, potassium pheasant, rock pheasant and brown-crowned song hen. On the high plains nest ibis beak. Among the mammals are leopard, snow leopard, brown bear, goral, blue sheep, musk, Himalayatahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) and Indian Muntjak (Muntiacus muntjak).
In Sikkim on the border with Nepal lies the world’s third highest mountain, Kanchenjunga (8,586 m). In order to guard the spectacular mountain scenery and valleys with large, untouched forests of different species of oaks, fir trees, birches, maples and salesmen, a national park and a biosphere reserve of the same name have been established. Especially the mammal fauna is interesting with kiang, collar bear, cat bear, taki, blue sheep, musk deer, wolf and snow leopard.
Northeast India (Assam)
In the state of Assam and at the foot of the eastern Himalayas up to about 2,000 meters above sea level. grows dense mountain rain forest with, among other things, palm trees and giant bamboo. Coniferous forest occurs in areas approximately 3,000 m above sea level, higher up it is replaced by dense, low fog forest dominated by rhododendron species and with epiphytic ferns and mosses.
Assam’s most famous natural area is the Kaziranga National Park, which is located along the southern beach of Brahmaputra and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fauna is similar to that in the Western Ghats in southwestern India with tiger, leopard, Asian elephant, wild boar, Indian dwarf beast, sambar deer and ax deer.
Panzarnoshorn, formerly widespread across northern India’s floodplains, has been forced back and is now found mainly here, with over half of the total world population within the boundaries of the national park. Also wild water buffalo is endangered with over half of the world population in Kaziranga.
Nine of India’s total 14 monkeys live in Kaziranga, including two species of langur and holok. In Brahmaputra, the rare Ganges dolphin lives. Bird life is extremely rich with almost 500 species found, making Kaziranga one of India’s absolute best bird areas. About 200 of the species hurdles, including spot-billed pelican, lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), marsh Francolin (Franco Linus gularis), bands eagle, Gray-headed fish eagle (Haliaeetus ichthyaetus), black-necked stork and the endangered bengalflorikan (Houbaropsis bengalensis) and Emperor heron (Ardea insignis). The National Park is an important wintering site for many waterfowl from northern areas such as strip geese.
Another important natural area in Assam is Namdapha – Kamlang on the border with Burma.
In the westernmost part of the gigantic Ganges Delta, with most of it located in Bangladesh, lies Sundarban National Park, tiger reserve and biosphere reserve. In the mangrove forests, one of the world’s densest populations of tigers lives, and the area is perhaps best known for its human-eating tigers.
There is also the delta crocodile and the rare, acutely endangered batagur turtle (Batagur baska). There are three species of sea turtles: southern bastard turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), true bay turtle and mushroom turtle. The Ganges dolphin is found in the freshwater zone, while five species of dolphins, including irrawadid dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), screw dolphin (Stenella longirostris), and betel dolphin (Stenella attenuata), live in the marine environment.
Hundreds of thousands of waders winter in the Sundarbans, including the extremely rare spoonbill (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) that breed in northeastern Siberia. Asian swimming (Heliopais personatus) is another rare inhabitant of the delta. A further five coastal wetland areas have been set aside as national parks and bird sanctuaries (Nalabana, Bhitarkanika, Coringa/Codavari, Lake Pulikats and Point Calimere) along the eastern coast of India, for the benefit of nesting and overwintering herons, ducks, waders and other waterfowl.
Andaman and Nicobar
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal have a flora and fauna that in most respects differ from the rest of India. Among the approximately 2,200 plants, 200 are endemic and 1,300 do not occur at all on the Indian mainland.
About fifty different mammal species are described, half of which are rodents. There is an endemic fly dog (Pteropus faunulus) and wild boar has been implanted by man. Crab cakes are widely distributed. In the sea around the islands live dugong, delta crocodile and four species of sea turtles: mushroom turtle, sea-turtle turtle, southern bastard turtle and true bay turtle. The world’s largest arthropod, coconut thief, is found on several of the islands. Among the 20 different endemic birds can be mentioned nikobar metropole (Megapodius nicobariensis), nikobar parakeet (Psittacula caniceps), nikobar hawk (Accipiter butleri), southern nikobar helminth (Spilornis klossi)), northern Nicobar helminth (Spilornis minimus), andaman helminth (Spilornis elgini) and andamanduva (Columba palumboides).
India has a well-developed conservation organization, led by the Department of Environment, Forest and Wildlife. In 2009, there were 96 national parks and a large number of nature reserves, spread across the country’s zones, representing more than 4% of the country’s area.