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Incredible India

This section investigates India’s varied environment

Key questions

What is India’s landscape and climate like?

Where do people live in India?

India’s main physical features are the ancient Deccan plateau encompassing most of Southern India and flanked by the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats, the vast alluvial plain of the River Ganges, the Himalaya mountains stretching for 2,400 km across the north of India, and the Thar desert which lies mostly in the state of Rajasthan.

The highest mountain in India is Mount Kanchenjunga at 8,598 metres.

The main rivers are the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Yamuna, the Godavari, the Kaveri, the Narmada and the Krishna.

Because of India’s size its climate depends not only on the time of year but also the location. It ranges from tropical in the south to temperate and alpine in the Himalayas.

Most of India has three seasons – summer, rainy or monsoon, and winter. South-west monsoon causes rain over most of the country from June to September. The north-east monsoon hits the east cost between October and February mostly as cyclones. The north-east of India receives rain from both monsoons.

The town of Cherrapunjee is famous for being the wettest place on earth. It has 12 metres of rain a year – 15 times the amount of the UK. The total average rainfall for London is 752.1 mm for Bangalore it is 859.6 mm.

73% of Indian’s population live in more than 500,000 villages while 27% of Indians live in towns and cities. The Ganges Plain is one of the most populated areas in the world being home to nearly 900 million people (over 1/8th of the world’s population).

India’s main cities are New Delhi (capital), Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), Bangalore, Cochin, Jaipur, Shimla, Varanasi. Mumbai is the most populated city with a population of over 18 million. About 13 million people live in New Delhi

The average density of population in India is 319 per square km.

The least populated areas are in the inhospitable mountain regions of the Western and Eastern Ghats and the Himalayas


Remember you are a journalist and you have been commissioned to write an article about ‘New India’ for a British newspaper.

You are finally en route to Bangalore. The flight takes 10 hours, three of which are in Indian air space.

India is among the world's biggest countries, covering more than 3.1m square km. This amounts to 12 times the size of the UK. Its size means there are tremendous variations in its landscape and climate.

Watch the in-flight film about India’s diverse landscapes:

Bangalore's IT park

See if you can find some others online.

How many different landscapes and climate conditions did you notice?

What were the similarities and differences to the UK?

Main Activity

Download the Incredible India activities.

Shade the relief of India and use the key words to label the different landscapes.

On the map mark four of India’s main cities:

  • New Delhi (the capital city)

  • Bangalore

  • Mumbai (previously Bombay)

  • Kolkata (previously Calcutta)

Then match up the landscape/climate/settlement statements how they link.

India’s monsoon lasts from June to October. Cherrapunji, situated high up in north east India, is one of the wettest places in the world with 11,000mm of rainfall.


Log on to Google and search for images to do with ‘India’s monsoon’ and ‘climate change’.

Find one way in which each of these affects people’s lives.

Design symbols to represent them and add to your maps (and key).

File nameFiles

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New India Lesson 2 Incredible India


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New India Lesson 2 Incredible India (1)


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New India Lesson 2 A Country of Contrasts


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New India Lesson 2 A Country of Contrasts (1)


78 KB

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