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1. Position.-India is a great wedge-like peninsula on the south coast of Asia. India, with Ceylon, corresponds to Italy with Sicily, the middle peninsula on the south coast of Europe. It is entirely north of the equator. The Tropic of Cancer runs through Kutch and just south of Dacca, then east through Burmah to Canton, and west through Muscat, the first Nile cataract, Havanna, Santander, and the south point of California. The meridian of 78° E. (5 h. 12′ before Greenwich time), divides the country into halves.

2. Boundaries.-The boundaries of India are as a rule wellmarked physical features, except on the N.E. frontier, which touches Burmah. Thus we have the giant Himalayas on the north; the Suliman and Hala Mountains, which separate it from Afghanistan and Beloochistan, on the N.W.; the Bay of Bengal on the E. and S.E.; and the Arabian Sea on the W. and S.W.

3. Area, Dimensions, &c.-From Peshawur to C. Comorin is 1900 miles, or about nine times the distance from London to York; from Kurrachee to the frontier of Assam, 1500. The area is about a million and a half square miles, i.e., rather more than half the size of British North America, or about as large as Europe without Russia.

4. Coast-Line.-The coast-line is worthy careful note. The west coast of the Deccan is called the Malabar Coast, from the province of Malabar, which lies along it under the Ghauts. The east coast, bordering the Circars, is called the Coromandel Coast.

The points to be noticed on the coast are:

(1.) The mouths of the Indus and the port of Kurrachee.

(2.) Gulf of Cutch (Kacht), south of the province of the same name. North and east of the province is a salt marshy lake, called, on the north, Great Western Ran or Runn, and, on the east, Ran of Cutch. It was increased in size by an earthquake in 1819. The Tropic of Cancer runs through the Kori (Koree) mouth.

(3.) Gulf of Cambay, named from the town of Cambay at its head, between the Kattiwar Peninsula and Candeish. The rivers Mahi (Mhye), Nerbudda (seaport, Broach) and Taptee (seaport, Surat), empty into its eastern side.

(4.) The islands of Salsette and Elephanta; on the latter is Bombay. (5.) The inlets and harbours of Trichoor and Cochin.

(6.) Off the Malabar coast are the rock or sand-atoll island groups of the Laccadives and Maldives.

(7.) Cape Comorin, the most southern point of India. The whole west coast is washed by the Arabian Sea.

(8.) The channel between Ceylon and the mainland, called in the south Gulf of Manaar, and in the north Palk Strait (part of which is Palk Bay, named after the navigator Palk). This gulf and strait are separated by a chain of islands and sandbanks called Adam's Bridge, through which is Pamban Passage.

(9.) The Coromandel (Karimanal) Coast is noted for the terrific surf that beats along it during the changes of the monsoons. of Madras is the Pulicat lagoon.

(10.) Mouths of the Kistna and Godavery. (11.) The Chalka lake or lagoon.


(12.) The mouths of the Ganges in the Sunderbunds. Off the Hooghly are the Balasore Roads. Numerous sandbanks have been formed by the alluvium, through which the river is approached by numerous channels.

(13.) Bay of Bengal between Hindostan and Further India. The names gulf, bay, and sea are applied indifferently to this large inlet. On the Arracan, or eastern shore, are several islands.

(14.) Gulf of Martaban, in which are the mouths of the Irawaddy, near the most western of which is Cape Negrais. It is separated from the Bay of Bengal by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The coast of Tenasserim is bordered by numerous islands, called the Mergui Archipelago.


1. India is a huge peninsula projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalaya wall on the N. The Himalaya region, with its forests and bogs, is unique. The fertile alluvial plain of the Ganges comes next. And finally we have the tablelands of Malwa, W. of which is the Thurr or Desert, and then the Deccan, separated by the narrow Nerbudda valley. The littoral belt on the Bay of Bengal is very narrow. 2. Mountains and Tablelands.-It will be convenient to divide the mountain ranges into four systems, viz.A. Those on N. and W. frontiers.

B. Those connected with the tableland of Malwa.

C. Those round the Deccan.

D. Those of Further India.

A. Those on N. and W. frontiers.

1. HIMALAYAS—This culminating system of the Old World forms, as it were, the outwork and border of the lofty plateau of Tibet. There are many parallel ranges gradually diminishing in elevation southwards, and making a well-marked curve from the break of the Indus to that of the Burramputra. There are usually two, but in many places from three to six ranges. Thus N. of the Punjaub are Outer, Mid, and Western Himalaya ranges, S. of the Indus; then the Kailas, or Gangri range, and N. of this the Tsunling or Karakorum range. In this last immense glaciers have been explored. Further E. the number of subsidiary ranges diminishes, but the altitude increases. Many hundreds of peaks above 20,000 feet in elevation pierce the clouds like giant icicles, for the snowline is at about 12,000 feet on the S., and 13,000 on the N.

It is here that we find those lofty summits Dhawalagiri (28,078), exactly N. of Benares; Kunchinginga (28,177); and EVEREST (SO called from the officer who measured it), the highest mountain in our planet, 29,002, or more than 5 miles. It is in the main ridge, a little to the N.W. of Calcutta. Further E. is Chumulari (23,950). The Passes over this range are lofty and difficult, and usually follow the rivers' courses. The Niti Pass in Gurwhal into the Sutlej valley is more than 16,000 feet high, i.e., higher than the top of Mont Blanc. The Langa Lacha Pass is 17,000; and the Thang Lang 1800. The passes from Cashmere are between 11,000 and 13,000 feet. The range slopes rapidly to the valley of the Ganges, just as the Alps do to that of the Po; but Lombardy contains narrow longitudinal lakes, whereas the basin of the Ganges contains none. This is explained by the differences in physical condition of the two river valleys in the period succeeding the glacial. The glaciers which flowed down the valleys, and ploughed up the soft soil, were melted more rapidly in India than in Lombardy, and so gradually filled up.

The immense number of rivers descending from the snowclad summits, and frequently overflowing, and the numerous springs issuing from the water-bearing strata of the region, cause a vast deadly swamp called the Terai, a tiger-haunted forest and jungle. It is best marked by the southern border of Nepaul. E. and W. of this, and in a line with it, are enormous Sal or Sul Forests.

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From Mrs Somerville's "Physical Geography."

The transition from the plains of the Ganges to the Himalayas is sudden.

The Siwalik or sub-Himalayan ranges rise abruptly from a perfectly flat country to 3000 or 4000 feet, and run along the whole southern edge of the Himalaya sloping gently westwards. Five to ten miles farther N. is another parallel range still higher. The valley between is broken by numerous connecting spurs. East of the Ganges this plain is a pestilential swamp, but further N.W. it is covered with forest, and has very little water. The second range is 7000 feet in elevation. North of it are Nepaul, Sikkim, Bootan, and Assam, interspersed with picturesque and populous towns and villages. Behind these again are mountains from 10,000 to 12,000 feet, flanked by magnificent forests, and then the chains rise more and more abruptly, forming the wonderful Himalaya, the "Dwelling of Snow," surpassing in height all other parts of the earth's surface.

Peaks occur 80 or 90 miles from its southern edge, not in a continuous ridge, but grouped together and separated by enormous depressions through which streams flow.

Valleys.-Mere ravines shrouded in perpetual gloom from the lofty overhanging mountains. Rivers shoot down them, filling the caverns with foam, and the air with mist. The descent to the plain is very rapid. In the lower valleys are alluvial tracts suited for agricul


Glaciers. Numerous and large, but only recently discovered. Lowest level, 11,000 feet; N. side, 16,000 feet.

Snowline.-15,000 feet on S., but 19,000 to 20,000 on N., on account of greater dryness of atmosphere.

The Nanling range in S. China appears to be the eastern continuation of the Himalaya.

Climate.-Mild, valleys verdant and inhabited; corn and fruit ripen at elevations which, in other countries under similar latitudes, would be buried in snow.

Vegetation.-The higher the range, the higher the limit of snow and vegetation.

Cultivation on S. as high as 10,000 feet; on N. 16,000 feet. Pasture up to 17,000, and corn in Tibet sometimes even to 18,500, which is 2800 higher than the top of Mont Blanc, and 1200 above the snowline at Quito.

Birch-trees with tall stems to 1400. Vines and other fruits in high valleys.

The cause of this is probably to be found in the temperature of the mountains themselves, as many hot-springs exist in the valleys at great elevations.

Passes. Most of them as high as the top of Mont Blanc-many higher. Near the Sutlej they are 18,000 to 19,000 feet. All are extremely difficult of access. Animals are as much distressed as human beings in traversing them, and many die in consequence. Thousands of birds perish from the violence of the wind. The drifting snow is often fatal to travellers, and violent thunderstorms add to the horror of the journey.

2. The N.W. border of India, facing Afghanistan and Beloochistan, is also mountainous.

In the N. are the

(1.) Solyman or Suliman Mountains, extending from the famous Khyber Pass and Jellalabad (1842), to the great S. bend of the Indus, opposite the famous Bolan Pass, which is 59 miles long. The mean height is about 6000 feet, and the culminating point, Takht i Sulaiman (Solomon's Seat), is 11,000 feet in elevation. The narrow belt of country at the E. foot of the range is almost destitute of streams, and in many places actually desert or salt marsh, resembling to some extent the Las Salinas E. of Aconcagua in the Andes. Further S. are the

(2.) Hala or Lukki Mountains, which extend to Kurrachee, at the mouth of the Indus.

The Bolan Pass has a general width of 100 yards, but sometimes is so narrow as to admit only of four horsemen abreast. It is passable throughout the year for artillery or caravans, but is infested by plunderers belonging to two different castes. Opposite Peshawur are the Tatara and Abkhana Passes; and opposite Dera Ishmael Khan is the Ghuwailra or Goleri Pass.

B. Mountains Surrounding the Tableland of Malwa. This tableland is separated from the Thurr or Indian Desert by the

1. Aravulli range, extending from the neighbourhood of Delhi, southward through Ajmere to the head of the Gulf of Cambay. The culminating point is Mount Aboo (5000 feet) in the S. Further S. in Gujerat is Girna (3000 feet). The Chumbul valley bisects the Plateau, which has a mean height of about 2000 feet, and is noted in Indian history for its famous Hill Forts, such as Gwalior, &c. The southern boundary is formed by the—

2. Vindya range, which runs parallel to the Nerbudda, past Indore, Bhopal, &c., almost to Benares. The eastern portion is called Kymone and Keinjua range.

C. Mountains Surrounding the Deccan.

The tableland of the Deccan and the Plateau of Mysore fill up the whole of S. India, except a narrow littoral belt rather wider on the Coromandel than on the Malabar coast. The Ghauts form the buttresses of the tableland. The general slope of the country is E., as the western Ghauts are much higher than the eastern. They present a bluff face to the ocean, like the Andes and mountain ranges of North America. The mean height is about the same as that of the tableland of Malwa. The surface of the Deccan is a


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