India & World Geography

The term “Geography” comes from the ancient Greeks. In Greek, geo means earth and graphy means to write. Greeks developed an understanding of where their homeland was located in relation to other places and how people and environments were distributed by using geography. India and World Geography

Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earth’s surface and the human societies spread across it. They also examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way those locations and places can have an impact on people. Geography seeks to understand where things are found, why they are there and how they develop and change over the time.

The natural resources of a country are of primary importance for the economic development. As a matter of fact, natural resources determine the economic life of a nation.

Man may grow rich in knowledge and intelligence, however much he may have overcome nature but ultimately he will have to depend on the materials supplied by Mother Nature for the development of his economic life.

The physical factors like topography, soils, geologic formation, climate and the available flora and fauna are the basic influences which lead to differences in land-use, cropping pattern, settlement and density of population and occurrence of minerals, water and power resources in different parts of the country. India and World Geography

Geography also became an important part of other academic disciplines, such as chemistry, economics and philosophy. In fact every academic subject has some geographic connection and the study where certain chemical elements such as gold or silver can be found. Economists examine which nations trade with other nations and what resources are exchanged.

Some people have trouble to understanding the complete scope of the discipline of geography because unlike most other disciplines, geography is not defined by one particular topic. The geography is concerned with many different topics—people, culture, politics, settlements, plants, landforms and much more.

What distinguishes geography is that, it approaches the study of diverse topics in a particular way. Geography asks spatial questions—how and why things are distributed or arranged in particular ways on Earth’s surface. It looks at these different distributions and arrangements at many different scales. It also asks questions about how the interaction of different human and natural activities on earth’s surface shape the characteristics of the world in which we live.

Geography seeks to understand where things are found and why they are present in those places; how things that are located in the same or distant places influence one another over time; and why places and the people who live in them develop and change in particular ways. Raising these questions is at the heart of the “Geographical Perspective.”

The study of geography is so broad; the discipline is typically divided into specialties. At the broadest level, geography is divided into physical geography, human geography, geographic techniques and regional geography. India and World Geography

The natural environment is the primary concern of physical geographers, although many physical geographers also look at how humans have altered natural systems. Physical geographers study Earth’s seasons, climate, atmosphere, soil, streams, landforms and oceans. Some disciplines within physical geography include geomorphology, glaciology, Pedology, hydrology, climatology, biogeography and oceanography.

Geomorphology is the study of landforms and the processes that shape them. Geomorphologists investigate the nature and impact of wind, ice, rivers, erosion, earthquakes, volcanoes, living things, and other forces that shape and change the surface of the Earth. India and World Geography

Glaciologists focus on the Earth’s ice fields and their impact on the planet’s climate. Glaciologists document the properties and distribution of glaciers and icebergs. Data collected by glaciologists has demonstrated the retreat of Arctic and Antarctic ice in the past century.

Pedologists study soil and how it is created, changed and classified. Soil studies are used by a variety of professions from farmers analyzing field fertility to engineers investigating the suitability of different areas for building heavy structures.

Hydrology is the study of Earth’s water: its properties, distribution and effects. Hydrologists are especially concerned with the movement of water as it cycles from the ocean to the atmosphere then back to Earth’s surface. Hydrologists study the water cycle through rainfall into streams, lakes, the soil and underground aquifers.

Climatologists study Earth’s climate system and its impact on Earth’s surface. For example: climatologists make predictions about El Nino- a cyclical weather phenomenon of warm surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. They analyze the dramatic worldwide climate changes caused by El Nino, such as flooding in Peru, drought in Australia and in the United States, the oddities of heavy Texas rains or an unseasonably warm Minnesota winter.

Biogeographers study the impact of the environment on the distribution of plants and animals. For example: a biogeographer might document all the places in the world inhabited by a certain spider species and what those places have in common.     

Oceanography is a related discipline of physical geography, focuses on the creatures and environments of the world’s oceans. The discovery and tracking of the Gulf Stream helped communications and travel between Europe and the Americas.

Human geography is concerned with the distribution and networks of people and cultures on Earth’s surface. A human geographer might investigate the local, regional and global impact of rising economic powers China and India, which represent 37 percent of the world’s people. They also might look at how consumers in China and India adjust to new technology and markets and how markets respond to such a huge consumer base.

Human geographers also study how people use and alter their environments. When people allow their animals to overgraze a region, the soil erodes and grassland is transformed into desert. The impact of overgrazing on the landscape as well as agricultural production is an area of study for human geographers.

The Republic of India is a vast country. It lies entirely in the northern hemisphere. The mainland of the country extends between latitudes 8°4′ and 37°6′ north, longitude 68°7′ and 97°25′ east. India and World Geography

Why everyone should read Geography?

  1. To understand basic physical systems that affect everyday life.
  2. To learn the location of places and the physical and cultural characteristics of those places.
  3. To develop a mental map of your community, province or territory, country and the world so that you can understand the “where” of places and events.
  4. To explain how the processes of human and physical systems have arranged and sometimes changed the surface of the Earth.
  5. To understand the spatial organization of society, people and places.
  6. To understand the geography of past times and how geography has played important roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and our environments.
  7. To recognize spatial distributions at all scales- local and worldwide -the complex connectivity of people and land places.
  8. To be able to make sensible judgements about matters involving relationships between the physical environment and our society.
  9. To appreciate Earth as the homeland of humankind and provide insight for wise management decisions about how the planet’s resources should be used.
  10. To understand global interdependence and to become a better global citizen.
  11. To understand earth-sun relationships, water cycles and wind and ocean currents).
  12. To understand the rich natural resources and how peoples are depend on our environment and ecology.

Geography is a focus within the curriculum for understanding and resolving issues about the environment and sustainable development. It is also an important link between the natural and social sciences. As students study geography, they encounter different societies and cultures. India and World Geography

Physical Economic and Human Geography of India

Indian Geography Question Bank


Indian Geography questions with answers practice tests

Indian Geography Study Material for IAS

Important Topics from Geography for UPSC

Important Map-Based Questions

Free Geography Notes download Here

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Important Questions for Preparation of Geography

Geography of India

Indian Geography: A Complete Study Material

1. General Geography & Physical Features

1.1 Basic Concepts in Geography
1.2 The Universe
1.3 The Solar System
1.4 Latitudes, Longitudes and Standard Time
1.5 Inside our Earth
1.6 Our Changing Earth
1.7 Composition of Air
1.8 Water
1.9 Our Changing View of the Universe
1.10 Location and its Neighbour
1.11 Frontiers of India
1.12 Administrative divisions of India: States and Union Territories
1.13 Physical Division
1.14 Geological Structure of India
1.15 Classification of the Indian Rocks
1.16 Trans-Himalayas Mountain Region or Tibet Himalayan Region
1.17 The Eastern or Purvanchal Hills
1.18 The Aravali Mountain Range
1.19 The Peninsular Plateau
1.20 The Great Plains of India
1.21 Structural division of Plains
1.22 Indian Deser
1.23 The Western Ghats Mountain Range
1.24 The Eastern Ghats Mountain Range
1.25 The Western Ghats Coastal Plain
1.26 The Eastern Coastal Plains
1.27 The Island Groups
1.28 Important Passes in India

2. Climate, Soil & Vegetation

2.1 Seasons in India
2.2 Factors affecting India’s Climate
2.3 The Indian Monsoon
2.4 The Onset of the Monsoon and Withdrawal
2.5 The Thermal Theory of Monsoon
2.6 The Equatorial Westerly Theory
2.7 The Jet Stream Theory
2.8 The El Nino Theory
2.9 Koeppen’s classification of Climate
2.10 Distribution of Rainfall
2.11 Land resources: Availability and Degradation
2.12 Soil profile of India
2.13 Natural Vegetation
2.14 Forest Resources
2.15 The Forest Research Institute in India
2.16 Social Forestry Programme
2.17 Environmental movements and acts of the Government
2.18 Biosphere Reserves in India
2.19 Wild Life and National Parks
2.20 Important facts about Wildlife
2.21 Report of Red Data Book

3. Drainage System

3.1 Drainage pattern
3.2 Drainage System
3.3 The Indus System
3.4 The Ganga River System
3.5 The Brahmaputra River System
3.6 The Peninsular River System
3.7 Peninsular River Flowing towards the East
3.8 Peninsular River Flowing Towards the West
3.9 Lakes in India
3.10 Usability of River Water
3.11 Water Management
3.12 Valley Projects link with Indus River
3.13 River Valley Projects of River Ganga
3.14 River Valley Projects of North – East India (Brahmaputra)
3.15 River Valley Projects of Peninsular India
3.16 River Project Towards East (Bay of Bengal)
3.17 List of Towns situated on the Banks of River

4. Economic Geography

4.1 Industrial Regions in India
4.2 Mineral belts in India
4.3 Power Resources of India
4.4 Coal Resources of India
4.5 Petroleum and Natural Gas
4.6 Atomic Minerals
4.7 Means of Electrical Energy Production in India
4.8 Atomic Energy
4.9 Non-Conventional Sources of Energy
4.10 Industries in India
4.11 Industrial Development in India
4.12 Iron and Steel Industry
4.13 Shipping Industry
4.14 Aluminium Industries in India
4.15 Cement Industry
4.16 Chemical fertilizer Industry in India
4.17 Petro-Chemical Industry in India
4.18 Engineering Industry
4.19 Pharmaceutical Industries in India
4.20 Agro-Based Industries in India
4.21 Forest-based Industry
4.22 Transport and Communication
4.23 Road Transport
4.24 Rail Transport
4.25 Water Transport
4.26 Air Transportation
4.27 Oil and Gas Pipelines
4.28 Personal Communication System
4.29 Mass Communication System

5. Human Geography

5.1 Human Resources
5.2 Human Development
5.3 Human Settlement
5.4 Rural Settlement
5.5 Indicators of Development
5.6 Composition of Indian population
5.7 Urban Settlements in India
5.8 Urbanisation in India
5.9 Functional Classification of Towns
5.10 Dichotomy of Human Geography
5.11 Human Development Index in India
5.12 Racial Groups of India
5.13 Schedule Tribes in India
5.14 Schedule Castes in India
5.15 Population Policies of India
5.16 Human Migration

The Himalayas are the highest and the youngest fold mountain ranges of the world. Their geological structure is young, weak and flexible since the Himalayan uplift is an ongoing process, making them one of the highest earthquake-prone regions of the world.

Formation of Himalayas

The Himalayas are believed to have formed over 50 million years ago with the collision of the Indian plate with the Eurasian plate. The Indian plate slid below the Eurasian plate, due to its density being higher, and in the process crumbling and buckling up the Eurasian plate into the various mountain ranges that are now apart of the Himalayas. India and World Geography

Ranges of Himalayas

The Himalayas are a series of parallel mountain ranges extending along the North-West to the South-East direction (known as the Strike of the Himalayas). These ranges are separated by longitudinal valleys. They include,

  • Trans-Himalayas
  • The Greater Himalayas or Himadri
  • The Lesser Himalayas or Himachal
  • Shiwalik or the Outer Himalayas
  • The Eastern Hills or Purvanchal

Trans Himalayas

  • They are made of the ocean sediments of the Tethys Sea which was consumed during the collision of Indian and Eurasian plate boundaries.
  • They include the ranges of Karakoram,Ladakh, and Zanskar.
  • Karakoram ranges have their one end originating from the Pamir Knot. Karakoram ranges hold the largest amounts of snow and ice among all of the Himalayan ranges.This is because they are situated in higher latitudes where the snow line(altitude above which there is permanent ice and snow cover).
  • The Karakoram is home to some of the largest glaciers such as Siachen (the second longest glacier outside of Polar Regions), Biafo (longest glacier outside of Polar Regions), Baltoro, Hispar, Trango etc.
  • They are home to some of the tallest peaks in the world such as Mt.K2/Godwin-Austin (8611m), Gasherbrum 1 (8080m), Broad Peak (8051m) etc.
  • Karakoram ranges have gaps in them, which are known as passes. Important among them are –Khunjerab Pass, Karakoram Pass, Sia La Pass, and Bilafond La Pass (immediately west of the Siachen glacier) etc.
  • Ladakh ranges are to the south-east of the Karakoram ranges. They separate the rivers Indus and Shyok (a tributary of Indus). Khardung La Pass (India’s highest motorable pass falls in these ranges). These ranges extend into China where they are known as the Kailash ranges. They include Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake.
  • Pangong Tso (largest saline lake between India and China) and Spanggur Tso are the two salt water lakes situated in these ranges.
  • To the south of the Ladakh, ranges are the Zanskar ranges, which are cut across by the Zanskar River. These ranges extend into Uttarakhand. They contain some prominent peaks like Mt. Kamet, Nanda Devi (a biosphere reserve) Kedarnath etc.Lipulekh Pass that leads to Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash forms a part of these ranges. Spiti Valley, Lahaul Valley, and Kinnaur Valley are also a part of these ranges.

Greater Himalayas 

  • They extend for about 2400 km, making them one of the longest-running fold mountain ranges in the world.
  • Ofthe 28 tallest peaks in the world (higher than 8000 m), 14 are situated in the Himadri.
  • Mt. Everest,Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Makalu etc. are a part of these ranges.
  • Some of the important passes of these ranges include Zojila Pass (connects Srinagar with Leh), Shipki La Pass, Burzil Pass, Nathu La Pass etc.
  • Important glaciers of these ranges include – Rongbuk glacier (largest in the Himadri),Gangotri, Zemu etc.
  • They are separated from the lesser Himalayas by longitudinal valleys which are filled with sediments. These are called the Doons. Prominent Doons include Paatli Dun, Chaukhamba Dun, Dehradun etc. India and World Geography

Lesser Himalayas or the Himachal

  • They are divided into the Pir Panjal range and the Dhauladhar range
  • Pir Panjal range is the longest range of the lesser Himalayas. It is cut across by the Jhelum river, Chenab river. Famous passes of this range include – Pir Panjal Pass, Banihal Pass (connects Jammu and Srinagar)
  • Dhauladhar ranges are the extension of Pir Panjal into Himachal Pradesh. They are cut across by the river Ravi.
  • Mussoorie ranges are also a part of the lesser Himalayas. They divide the waters of Sutlej and Ganga


Apart from these ranges, Himalayas are also divided on the basis of the regions in which they are found.

  • Kashmir Himalayas – they comprise they trans Himalayan ranges of Karakoram, Ladakh, Zanskar and the Pir Panjal range of the lesser Himalayas. The cold desert of Ladakh lies in between the Greater Himalayas and the Karakoram range. Kashmir Valley is located between the Greater Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range.
  • Himachal and Uttarakhand Himalayas – they comprise the ranges between river Ravi in the west and river Kali in the east. It is drained by the Indus and the Ganga river systems.
  • Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas – they are situated between rivers Kali and Teesta.
  • Arunachal Himalayas – they extend from the east of Bhutan Himalayas up to the Diphu pass in the east. Their orientation is from the southwest to the northeast direction, unlike the earlier ranges of the Himalayas. Some important rivers crossing these ranges include – Kameng,Subansiri, Dihang, Dibang, Lohit etc. Prominent hills of these ranges include the Dafla hills, Abor Hills, Mishmi hills etc. which are named after the ethnic communities residing in these hills.
  •  Eastern Hills – They are aligned from the north to the south. They include the ranges of Patkai Bum, Naga hills, Manipur hills,Mizo/Lushai hills. India and World Geography
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