Location of India
Location: India lies to the south central part of Asia at the head of Indian Ocean. The mainland extends from about 8°4’ north to 37°6’ north latitude. Its westernmost point (in Gujarat) lies at 68°7’ east, and the easternmost point (Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh) lies at 97°25’ east, covering a distance of nearly 3200 km about 30 degrees a part.
This longitudinal (east-west) extent has a great significance. It means that the sun rises (30 x 4) = 120 minutes or 2 hours earlier in the easternmost part of India than in the westernmost part of India. It may create confusion in time from place to place. To avoid this confusion, a single standard time meridian has been adopted. India’s Standard Time Meridian is 82°30′ E. It passes through Allahabad. India is 5.30 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
The Tropic of Cancer (23°30′ N) passes almost through the middle cutting it into two halves – the Northern India and the Deccan and Peninsular India. Besides the Indian mainland, there are some 550 islands in the Bay of Bengal called the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The southernmost tip of the Nicobar Island’s i.e. the Indira Point touches the parallel of 6°45′ north latitude. The Lakshadweep group of islands lies 320 km off the Kerala coast in the Arabian Sea. They include the Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi islands.
Area: India is the seventh largest country of the world. It is about 32,87,263 sq. km. (Provisional, 31 March, 1982). It is about 2of the total area of the world. The north-south extent of India is 3,214 km. It spread from snow-covered Himalayas in the north to the southern tip at Kanyakumari. It is about 1 of 12th of the earth’s circumference (about 40,000 km.). The east-west extent of India is 2,933 km. It has a land frontier of 15,200 km. Its coastlines are 7,516.6 km long and its territory includes 1,256 islands.