• Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan
    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

  • Bahrain!

    Bahrain: Desert. Go Now!

    Bahrain
    This tiny country has overcome the desert and has found a way to thrive, like this tree on al Jazair Beach. Explore Bahrain!

  • Laos!

    Laos: Karst peak. Go Now!

    Laos
    The simplicity and natural beauty of the countryside make Laos a hidden gem in Southeast Asia overlooked by most travelers. Begin Your Journey!

  • Tajikistan!

    Tajikistan: A yurt in the mountains. Go Now!

    Tajikistan
    The high mountains have mysteries around every turn, including yurts (pictured), a home for the nomadic people. Go Now!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of India

WARNING: Terrorist threats continue in India, please read this travel warning before going!

Geography

Indian Geography - Himalayas
Himalayas

India is a large and well-populated country in South Asia, which is often times referred to as the "Indian Sub-Continent." This large peninsula is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast, both of which form a part of the larger Indian Ocean. India shares land borders with Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north, and Myanmar and Bangladesh to the east. The island nations of Sri Lanka and the Maldives sit just off of India's southeastern and southwestern coasts respectively.

Being a fairly large country, India has, not surprisingly, a large variety of geographical variations. In the country's northeast are the Himalaya Mountains, the world's highest range. From here to the southwest there are a large number of rivers running from the mountains east to Bangladesh. This long corridor is the most heavily populated region in the country. In the northwestern part of India there is a large desert, however even here there is a large number of people. In the country's southern half there is a small mountain range running just inland from the Arabian Sea, however these mountains and the coast to its west are both heavily populated. From these mountains there are numerous rivers running east into the Bay of Bengal; much of this land is elevated, lowering temperatures and again, providing a very livable environment.

Weather

Indian Geography - Coastline
Coastline

India is such a large country, making generalizations is difficult, however there are three distinct seasons in most of the country. The hot season runs from about March to June and in places like Delhi the daily average high is 95-100° F (35-38° C). During this time, the only parts of the country that can comfortably visited are the Himalayas and in some parts of the southern highlands. The next season is the monsoon, or rainy season (roughly July-September), when much of the country remains hot (Delhi again has an average high of 95° F (35° C) during this time, but is also humid and rainy as that moisture turns to snow in the Himalayas. The cold season (about October-February) is cool outside the Himalayas, but cold and snowy in them. "Cold" is a relative term though and temperatures rarely dip below 50° F (10° C) at night outside the Himalayas while days typically still reach 70° F (21° C). The peaks of the Himalayas however will go the whole season without getting above freezing 32° F (0° C).

Wildlife

Indian Wildlife - Chicken
Chicken

Due to India's size and geographic variations the country is home to thousands of animals. Among the large mammals are lions, tigers, bears, leopards, panthers, wolves, rhinos, camels, antelopes, deer, bison, and elephants. In addition there are hundreds of smaller mammal species like monkeys, foxes, and rodents. The sea life is just as impressive as there are dozens of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas, a number of small lakes, and a long coastline. Inland there are hundreds of fresh water fish and shellfish, while along the coasts there are all sorts of animals from mammals like whales and dolphins to fish like sharks, plus coral, sponges, and shellfish.

India is home to more birds, both migrating birds as well as birds that remain year-round, than just about any country in the world. These bird species cover nearly every branch of the bird family from eagles and hawks to egrets and ducks. There are also numerous reptiles, particularly in the western deserts; here one can find snakes, lizards, and geckos. Along the shores there are additional reptiles like the crocodile and turtle, but also many amphibians, like frogs and toads. The additional animals in the country, such as insects and spiders are also numerous.

This page was last updated: April, 2013