Geographical and Linguistic Features of the Subcontinent


1.    Relative location

a.     Latitude with respect to America (tropic of cancer runs through Mexico, Equator runs through South America)

b.    Neighbors

                                      i.     North: China (Tibet), Nepal, Bhutan

                                    ii.     East: Bangladesh (form. E. Pakistan), Myanmar (form. Burma)

                                   iii.     SE: Bay of Bengal

                                  iv.     S: Gulf of Manar, Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean

                                    v.     W: Pakistan, Arabian Sea

2.    Three Regions:

1.    Himalayas (Karakoram in west, average 22K, highest is Everest 29K, second highest is K2 at 28K)

2.    Indo-Gangetic Plain

a.     Punjab – Area of five rivers feeding the Indus

b.    Doab – Area around the Yamuna and Ganges

3.    Deccan Plateau

(4)  Western and Eastern Ghats (ave 3.5K, highest 7K)

3.    Climate

a.     Seasonal cycle:Indiaís seasonal cycle includes three main phases: the cool, dry winter from October to March; the hot, dry summer from April to June; and the southwest monsoon season of warm, torrential rains from mid-June to September. Indiaís winter season brings cold temperatures to the mountain slopes and northern plains; temperatures in the Thar Desert reach freezing at night. Farther south, temperatures are mild

4.    Linguistic Features

a.     Indo-Aryan (a branch of the Indo-European language family), such as Bengali, Hindi-Urdu, Gujarāti, Persian, and Punjabi, are prevalent in northern and central India and most of Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

b.    Dravidian languages are more common, the most widely spoken being Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam.

c.     Other languages spoken in the region belong to the Sino-Tibetan and Austro-Asiatic language families, and English is often used as a trade language.