Indian History – Unity in Diversity

It is generally said that history has two eyes – one is chronology and the other is geography. In particular, a country’s geography largely determines its historical events. The history of India is also influenced by its geography. Hence, the study of Indian geographical features contributes to the better understanding of its history.
The Indian subcontinent is a well-defined geographical unit. It may be divided into three major regions:

1.The Himalayan Mountains,

2.The Indo-Gangetic Plains

3.The Southern Peninsula.

There are five countries in the subcontinent – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. India is the largest among them and it comprises twenty-nine states and seven Union Territories. According to the 2001 Census, the population of India is over one hundred crores.

2. The Indo-Gangetic Plains

The Indo-Gangetic plain is irrigated by three important rivers, the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra. This vast plain is most fertile and productive because of the alluvial soil brought by the streams of the rivers and its tributaries. The Indus river rises beyond the Himalayas and its major tributaries are the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas. The Punjab plains are benefited by the Indus river system. The literal meaning of the term ‘Punjab’ is the land of five rivers. Sind is situated at the lower valley of the Indus. The Indus plain is known for its fertile soil. The Thar Desert and Aravalli hills are situated in between the Indus and Gangetic plains. Mount Abu is the highest point (5650 ft.) in the Aravalli hills. The Ganges river rises in the Himalayas, flows south and then towards the east. The river Yamuna flows almost parallel to the Ganges and then joins it. The area between these two rivers is called doab – meaning the land between two riversThe important tributaries of the Ganges are the Gomati, Sarayu, Ghagra and Thar Desert Gandak.

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