Location and Size of India

India lies wholly in the Northern Hemisphere. The Indian mainland extends between 8°4' N to 37°6' N latitudes and from 68°7' E to 97°25' E longitudes. Thus, the latitudinal and longitudinal extent of India is of about 29 degrees. It measures about 3,214 km from north to south, and 2,933 km from east to west.

The northern most point of the Indian mainland lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the southern most point is Kanyakumari in Tamilnadu.

The Tropic of Cancer passes almost halfway through the country. Thus, half of the country to the south of the Tropic of Cancer is situated in the Tropical or Torrid zone and the other half lying north of the Tropic of Cancer falls in the Sub-tropical zone.

The earth takes 24 hours to complete one rotation on its axis. The Sun rises first in the east and then in the west because the earth rotates from west to east. The earth’s longitudinal expanse of 360° is thus covered in 24 hours, at the pace of 15° per hour. As the longitudinal extent of India is nearly 29°, the real time difference in India between its eastern and western extremities is roughly of two hours.

To iron out this big chunk of time difference, India, like all other countries of the world, follows the local time of its relatively central meridian as the standard time for the whole country. For the convenience of all, each country chooses its standard meridian in a multiple of 7°30'. Accordingly, the standard meridian of India has been chosen to be 82°30' E.

The north-central part of India is broad while the southern part tapers down towards the Indian Ocean in the south. Thus, the northern part of the Indian Ocean has been divided into two, by the sheer presence of Indian Peninsula. The western part of northern Indian Ocean is called the Arabian Sea while the eastern part is called the Bay of Bengal. The total length of the coastline of India including the island groups is about 7,516.6 km. The Palk Strait separates Indian mainland from Sri Lanka.

Size

India accounts for 2.42 percent of the world’s total land area; whereas it sustains 16 percent of the world population. The land frontiers of India measure 15,200 km. Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh share common boundaries with India.