India is the seventh largest country in the world, almost six times as large as France and nine times as Japan. It lies in the South Asian subcontinent which is generally referred to as the Indian subcontinent. It is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the southeast, the Indian Ocean to the south and the Bay of Bengal in the southwest.
India has a diverse geography. The upper north has snow capped mountains- the Himalayas, the North West has a desert- the Thar Desert, the south is almost a peninsular region with long coastlines and the east has a hilly attribute. It is a collage of all geographical features and they largely influence its climatic conditions.
India is an agriculture oriented country. Agriculture heavily depends on the rains especially for crops like cotton, rice and oilseeds. And since 80% of rainfall is accounted by the southwest monsoon winds, the rainy season is the most important season in India. By first week of June the southwest monsoon winds arise from the Indian Ocean and approach India. They are obstructed by the tall, wall-like Himalayan Mountains in the northeast and thus there is downpour throughout September. The economy of the nation depends on the timely arrival of the monsoon. The onset is celebrated throughout the country like a festival.
It snows heavily during the winters in the upper north, in the regions proximal to the Himalayas.The northeast being a hilly region experiences good rainfall which favors tea plantations. The world’s wettest place Mawsynram is in north eastern state of Meghalaya. Moreover the tea plantations in Darjeeling, West Bengal are famous for superior quality tea. The north and central India is a plain and is extreme in climatic conditions. It is too hot during summers and too cold during winters. Southern India is a plateau with long coastlines. This region is humid, receives heavy rainfall and is very hot during summers.
Twenty one percent of India’s geographical area is occupied by forests. The forests hold within them unique wildlife, flora and fauna. On the basis of the climate, soil type and topography Indian forests are classified into three types- the rain forests, temperate deciduous forests and the tropical rain forests.
The rain forests are characterized by heavy rainfall and have a tropically wet climate throughout the year. The temperate deciduous forests have moderate temperature and rainfall with cold winters. Moist deciduous forests are found all over India except in western and north western regions. Broadly, the eastern region consists of moist, deciduous and wet evergreen forests, the western region has thorny and dry deciduous forests, northern and central regions have dry and moist deciduous forests whereas the southern region is a combination of thorny, dry and moist deciduous forests.
India is one of the seventeen mega diverse countries that boast of housing more than fifty percent bio diversity. Forests are imperative for the wildlife in India; however wildlife sanctuaries are built for conservation of species like the wild dogs, Royal Bengal tigers and the black bucks fearing extinction. However, magnificent and charismatic mammals like the Asian elephants, leopards, sloth bears, Indian rhinoceros and the Asiatic lion have largely encouraged wildlife tourism in India.