Geography of South Asia List and describe the main physical features in South Asia. Define subcontinent and explain how India became one. Describe how people have farmed on the Indo-Ganges Plain. Explain how the geography of South Asia is diverse. Describe how the human geography of South Asia is diverse.
A Diamond Breaks Away • South Asia looks like a solitary diamond-shaped land. • It is home to one of the tallest mountains, the Himalayas. • It is a subcontinent because it is a large region and is separated by water from other land areas. • The subcontinent may have once been part of a huge landmass that included South America, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. • After a collision with another plate, the Himalayas formed.
The Himalayas • Mount Everest is the highest peak. • It reaches 29,035feet. • Tibetans called Mount Everest, “Goddess Mother of the World.”
Snow to Monsoon • Eight countries are part of South Asia. • India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives Island. • The Hindu Kush mountain range in the northwest and the snowcapped Himalayas in the northeast separate South Asia from the rest of the continent. • Much of South Asia has a similar climate.
The Climate • There are three seasons. • Temperatures are mild to cool from October through March. • They shift to very hot from March through May. • The monsoon season, or the rainy season, lasts from June through September. • Nearly all the rain falls during the monsoon season. • After this season, the land is refreshed and full of life again.
The Importance of the Monsoon • The monsoon is very important to farmers. • They depend on the monsoon for the growing of crops. • The region’s economy is closely tied to the monsoon. • If the monsoon comes early, the crops may not be planted in time. • If the monsoon comes too late, the crops may dry out and will not be able to grow.
Great Rivers, Great Plain • Three great rivers flow through the subcontinent. • The Indus • The Ganges • The Brahmaputra • These rivers start in the Himalayas and spread out through a flat plain called the Indo-Ganges Plain. • The rivers carry water and silt into farmlands to irrigate and enrich the fields. • The monsoon and the rivers help to grow such crops as barley, wheat, rice, peas, beans, and other vegetables.
Life on the Indo-Ganges Plain • Many families grow just what they need to survive. • This is called subsistence farming. • They do not sell much of their crops, the grow what they need and eat what they grow. • India and Pakistan are very heavily populated countries. • Almost one billion people live in India. • The Indus River Valley is the site of one of the world’s oldest civilizations.
Plateau, Coast, and Islands • The land of South Asia narrows to the point of a “diamond.” • This region is called the Deccan Plateau. • The climate in this region is dry and irrigation is used for farming.
Economy of South Asia • Most people work as farmers in India. • The island countries of Sri Lanka and the Maldives Islands export tea, coconuts, fish, and rubber. • Manufacturing is another important industry in the coastal areas. • Many people work in the clothing and textile industries here too.
Time to Review • Complete a detail to the following statement. • South Asia has various physical features and landforms. • Mount Everest rises in South Asia. • The Indo – Ganges Plain provides good farmland in South Asia. • Why is South Asia called a subcontinent? • Why is the monsoon so important to the economy of South Asia?