India and the Administrative Units; the States and Union Territories
To know about the administrative units better, let us have a glance at the geographical aspects of India in brief.
a. Physiography of India
- India lies on the Indian Plate, which is the northern part of the Indo-Australian Plate. The continental crust of the Indo-Australian Plate forms the Indian subcontinent.
- India lies in the northern hemisphere of the globe between 8o 4’ N and 37o6’ N latitudes and 68o7’ E and 97o25’ E longitudes.
- The southern extent goes up to 6o45’ N latitude to cover the last island of the Nicobar group of islands. The southern extreme is called Pygmalion Point or India Point.
- The Tropic of Cancer passes through the middle part of India and crosses the eight states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura and Mizoram.
- The total land frontier of 15,200 km passes through marshy lands, desert, plains, mountains, snow-covered areas and thick forests.
- The maritime boundary of 6100 km along the main landmass which increases to 7516 km of the coastlines of Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands are added to it.
- India commands a total geographical area of 32,87,263 sq.km which is roughly 0.57% of the area of the earth and 2.4% of the total area of the land hemisphere.
- India is the seventh-largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, USA, China, Brazil and Australia (all are mentioned in the descending order).
- India’s area is almost equal to the area of Europe (excluding Russia), one-third of Canada, one-fifth of Russia, eight times of Japan and twelve times of the United Kingdom.
- India has roughly a quadrangular shape. It measures about 3,214 km from north to south and about 2933 km from east to west, the difference between the two is just 281km.
b. Land frontiers of India
As mentioned earlier, the total land frontier is 15, 200 km passes through marshy lands, desert, plains, rugged mountains, snow-covered areas, and thick forests. The land frontier is provided by the high Himalayan Mountains, which are the world’s most elevated ranges.
- The Himalayan ranges from a natural frontier between India and China. In the north-west, Jammu and Kashmir share the international border with Sinkiang and Tibet in China.
- In the east, Himachal Pradesh and the mountain region of Uttarakhand have a common frontier with Tibet.
- Nepal has its border with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
- West Bengal and Sikkim also touch the Nepalese border for a small distance.
- India-Afghanistan and Pakistan-Afghanistan international boundary are called the Durand Line, determined as a ‘military-strategic border’ between British India and Afghanistan.
- The boundary between Pakistan and Bangladesh (East Pakistan) was finalized at the time of partition in 1947 through the ‘Radcliff Award’.
- In Punjab, the frontier runs through a smooth and fertile plain, which is purely man-made. The Indian frontier with Pakistan in Kashmir is still disputed and has led to strained relations between the two countries since partition in 1947.
- The eastern boundary of India is formed by a complex chain of the Himalayan offshoots consisting of the Mishmi, the Patkai, the Naga hills, the Barail range, the Mizo hills and finally the Arakan Yoma mountain range.
- The Arakan Yoma is submerged in the Bay of Bengal for a sufficiently long stretch and emerges again in the form of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The boundary line between India and Bangladesh crisscrosses the vast Ganga-Brahmaputra delta. This boundary runs through an entirely flat country in which there is not even a small mount or hill which could be used for demarcating the boundary between two countries.
- Bangladesh and India share the fifth-longest land border in the world, including Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and West Bengal.
- There is a maritime boundary of 6100 km along with the main landmass which increases to 7156 km if the coastlines of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are added to it.
- The nearest neighbour in the south across the seas is Sri Lanka which is separated from India through the narrow channel of Palk Strait.
- Similarly, Eight Degree Channel forms the boundary between the Lakshadweep and Maldives islands.
As seen earlier, India has 15,106.7 Km of land border and a coastline of 7,516.6 Km including island territories. The data shared in the table is as per the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India.
Name of the Country
Length in Km
The states having a common boundary with the neighbouring countries.
4 States: Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat
1 State: Jammu and Kashmir
5 States: Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh
5 States: Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim
4 States: Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh
4 States: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram
5 States: West Bengal, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura and Mizoram
Quick Glance at States Area-wise:
Khasi, Garo, English
Area (sq. km)
Andaman and Nicobar Is.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
Chandigarh is itself the capital of two states i.e. Punjab and Haryana.
Hindi, Punjabi, and Haryanvi
Srinagar (Summer capital)
Jammu (winter capital)
Urdu, Hindi, English