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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Why is India considered as a subcontinent? Elaborate your answer. (150 words)

    17 Jan, 2022 GS Paper 1 Geography


    • Start with explaining the physical location of India and its surrounding countries which constitute the Indian subcontinent.
    • Explain why India and the surrounding countries are called to be a subcontinent.
    • Conclude suitably.
    • Note :- Aspirants must draw a labelled map of the Indian subcontinent.


    The Indian subcontinent, or simply the subcontinent, is a physiographic region in South Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalayas. It generally includes the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka

    Geologically, the Indian subcontinent is related to the landmass that drifted from the supercontinent Gondwana during the Cretaceous and merged with the Eurasian landmass nearly 55 million years ago. Geographically, it is the peninsular region in South-Central Asia, delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east. The neighbouring geographic regions around the subcontinent include the Tibetan Plateau to the north, Indochinese Peninsula to the east, and Persian Plateau (or Greater Iran) to the west.

    This natural physical landmass in South Asia has been relatively isolated from the rest of Eurasia. The Himalayas (from Brahmaputra River in the east to Indus River in the west), Karakoram (from Indus River in the east to Yarkand River in the west) and the Hindu Kush mountains (from Yarkand River westwards) form its northern boundary.

    In the west it is bounded by parts of the mountain ranges of Hindu Kush, Sp?n Ghar (Safed Koh), Sulaiman Mountains, Kirthar Mountains, Brahui range, and Pab range among others, with the Western Fold Belt along the border (between the Sulaiman Range and the Chaman Fault) is the western boundary of the Indian Plate, where, along the Eastern Hindu Kush, lies the Afghanistan–Pakistan border.

    In the east, it is bounded by Patkai, Naga, Lushai and Chin hills.

    The Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea forms the boundary of the Indian subcontinent in the south, south-east and south-west.

    India and neighbouring countries lie in the Indian subcontinent located in the South of Asian continent. It is considered a subcontinent because it covers an expansive area of land that includes the Himalayan region in the north. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of Bengal on the south-east. It shares land borders with central Asia in the north , Iran in the west, Indo-china in the east and China in the north-east.

    Within the subcontinent itself, there is a wide variety of peoples, languages and religions. Their distribution is largely a result of physical aspects of the land itself, which in turn shaped historical events such as migrations and invasions. However, in spite of numerous differences, at the root there are numerous similarities in the socio-cultural-economic way of life which are unique and makes this region a proper subcontinent.

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