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India the Country – Part I
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Suma Srinivas

India the Country – Part I

Key Information:
Official Name: Republic of India (English), Bharat Ganarajya (Hindi)
Common Name: ‘India’
Term for Citizen(s): Indian(s).
Capital: New Delhi
National Emblem: Replica of the Lion Capital of Sarnath
National Flag:
Horizontal tricolor in equal proportion of deep saffron on the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom. In the centre of the white band, there is a wheel in navy blue to indicate the Dharma Chakra, the wheel of law in the Sarnath Lion Capital.
National Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
National Animal: Tiger (Panthera Tigris)
National Bird: Peacock (Pavo Cristatus)
National Flower: Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera)
National Tree: Banyan
National Fruit: Mango
National Sport: Hockey

National Emblem - Saranath Lion Capital of Ashoka

National Emblem - Saranath Lion Capital of Ashoka

North of the equator between 8°4′ and 37°6′ North Latitude and 68°7′ and 97°25′ East Longitude
Continent: Asia
Region: Southern Asia
Coordinates: 20°00’N 77°00’E

Seventh largest country in the world
3,287,263 square kilometers (1,269,219.3 square miles)
Land (90.44%) – 2,973,190 square kilometers (1,147,955.08 square miles)
Water (9.56%) – 314,400 square kilometers (121,390.519 square miles)

 Political / Administrative Geography:
States: 28 (subdivided into districts)
Union Territories: 6 Union Territories and 1 National Capital Territory

Map of India - States and Union Territories

Map of India - States and Union Territories

State Capital  
Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad
Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar
Assam Dispur
Bihar Patna
Chattisgarh Raipur
Goa Panaji
Gujarat Gandhinagar
Haryana Chandigarh
Himachal Pradesh Shimla
Jammu and Kashmir  Srinagar (Summer Capital), Jammu (Winter Capital)
Jharkhand Ranchi
Karnataka Bengaluru (Bangalore)
Kerala Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)
Madhya Pradesh Bhopal
Maharashtra Mumbai (Bombay)
Manipur Imphal
Meghalaya Shillong
Mizoram Aizawl
Nagaland Kohima
Orissa Bhubaneswar
Punjab Chandigarh
Rajasthan Jaipur
Sikkim Gangtok
Tamil Nadu Chennai (Madras)
Tripura Agartala
Uttar Pradesh Lucknow
Uttarakhand Dehradun
West Bengal Kolkata (Calcutta)
Union Territory Capital
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair
Chandigarh Chandigarh
Dadra and Nagar Haveli Silvassa
Daman and Diu Daman
Lakshadweep Kavaratti
National Capital Territory of Delhi Delhi
Puducherry (Pondicherry) Puducherry (Pondicherry)
For detailed information like the Administrative, Legislative and Judiciary Capital with year of establishment please visit Wikipedia

Climatic zones:
Alpine Zone: High altitudes of Himalayas in the northern most areas of India
The climatic zones here are varied with the foothills experiencing subtropical climate and Alpine Tundra Zone on the higher altitudes. These climatic variations occur within several dozen miles of each other.

Subtropical Humid Zone: Majority of Northeast India and North India
This zone experiences hot summer with rainfall while in winter temperature may fall to freezing point in higher ranges.

Tropical Wet Zone: Southwestern lowlands next to the Malabar Coast, the Western Ghats, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The zone experiences moderate to high year-round temperatures with the average temperature not falling below 18 degree Centigrade. The rainfall is seasonal but heavy occurring between May and November.

Tropical Wet and Dry: Large part of Peninsular India
The zone experiences long & dry winter and early summer, with the month of May experiencing extremely hot summers. June to September brings in the annual rainy season with an average rainfall of 750 – 1500 millimeters.

Arid: Arid Zone covers about 12% of the country’s geographical area which comprises of over 31.7 m ha of hot desert and about 7 m ha of cold desert.
Semi-Arid Zone:Includes Karnataka, inland Tamil Nadu, western Andhra Pradesh, and central Maharashtra
March to May remains hot and dry, with December being the coldest month, October and November experiences significant amount of post-monsoon rainfall. Generally this area tends to be prone to draughts due to less reliable rainfall.

Arid Zone:Most of western Rajasthan (arid), East of the Thar Desert, the region running from Punjab and Haryana to Kathiawar (tropical and sub-tropical steppe climate)
July, August, and September experiences cloudbursts due to the monsoon winds and rainfall is generally unpredictable. The months of May and June tend to be exceptionally hot.

December to February with the month of December being the coldest
Winters are dry in Northern India, with the Southern part not very marked due to the moderating effect of Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

Starts from the month of March thru to June, with summer in Northwestern India starting from April thru to July
April is the hottest month for the western and southern regions whereas for most of North India, it is May.

In late May or early June the monsoons hit the coastal shores of South West India and gradually sweep across to North India by the end of June lasting till September.
South India receives overall higher rainfall than North India.

Retreating Monsoon/ Post Monsoon:
As monsoons drenching all of India, begins to retreat this season marks the switch from wet to dry conditions. Mostly lasting between the months of September to November, this period experiences a gradual decrease in rainfall.

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