- Indian subcontinent
:"This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia. For geopolitical treatments, see
South Asia."The Indian subcontinent is a large section of the Asian continentconsisting of countries lying substantially on the Indian tectonic plate. The subcontinent includes parts of various countries in South Asia, including those on the continental crust( India, Pakistaneast of the river Indus, Bangladesh, Nepaland Bhutan), an island country on the continental shelf( Sri Lanka), and an island country rising above the oceanic crust(the Maldives).
subcontinentsignifies "having a certain geographical or political independence" from the rest of the continent, [ "Oxford English Dictionary" 2nd edition. 1989. Oxford University Press.] or "a vast and more or less self-contained subdivision of a continent." ["Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged". 2002. Merriam-Webster. [http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com retrieved 11 March 2007.] ]
Nomenclature and usage
Although the term "Indian subcontinent" is often used "geographically", it is not entirely a geographical term. The approximately equivalent but more "geopolitical" term,
South Asiaor Southern Asia, however, sometimes includes territories found external (but proximal) to the Indian Plate—including Tibetand Myanmar(formerly Burma). The subcontinent is surrounded by three water bodies: the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Oceanand the Arabian Sea.
Geographically, the Indian subcontinent is a
peninsular region south of the Himalayas and Kuen Lunmountain ranges and east of the Indus Riverand the Iranian Plateau, extending southward into the Indian Ocean between the Arabian Sea(to the southwest) and the Bay of Bengal(to the southeast). It covers about 4,480,000 km² (1,729,738 mi²) or 10 percent of the Asian continent; however, it accounts for about 40 percent of Asia's population.
Geologically, most of this region is a
subcontinent: it rests on a tectonic plateof its own, the Indian Plate(the northerly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate) separate from the rest of Eurasia, and was once a small continentbefore colliding with the Eurasian Plateand giving birth to the Himalayan rangeand the Tibetan plateau. Even now the Indian Plate continues to move northward resulting in increase in height of the Himalayasby a few centimeters each decade. On its western frontier, the Indian Plate forms a conservative boundarywith the Eurasian Plate. In addition, it is also home to an astounding variety of geographical features, such as glaciers, rainforests, valleys, deserts, and grasslands that are typical of much larger continents.
The climate of the subcontinent is called the
Monsoonclimate. It is quite opposite of the Mediterraneanclimate. For the monsoon climate, the weather in this region remains humid during summer and dry during winter. Instead of four seasons, it basically has two main seasons, the wet and dry. The monsoon climate favors the cultivation of jute, tea, rice, and various vegetables in this region.South Asia's climate varies from tropical monsoon in the south to temperate in the north.
Eoceneperiod the Indian subcontinent was an island continent in the Indian Ocean. It was originally part of Gondwanaland. See Continental drift.
Indiais the dominant political power in the region. [ [http://www.europarl.europa.eu/facts/6_4_11_en.htm European Parliament Fact Sheets: The Countries of South Asia and the Indian Subcontinent] ] It is contributed by the fact that it is by far the largest country in the covering around three-fourths the land area of the subcontinent. [ [http://www.mrdowling.com/612india.html mrdowling.com: Subcontinent] ] It also has the largest population of around three times the combined population of the 6 other countries in the subcontinent. [ [http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004379.html Infoplease: Area and Population of Countries (mid-2006 estimates] ] India is also the most populous democracyin the world [ [http://www.un.org/esa/population/pubsarchive/india/ind1bil.htm United Nations Population Division Department of Economic and Social Affairs] ] and is a nuclear power. Pakistanis the second largest country in the subcontinent with the second largest population and is also a nuclear power.
History of South Asia
Etymology of the names of India
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Indian subcontinent — The area covered by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal • • • Main Entry: ↑subcontinent … Useful english dictionary
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