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Physical features of India: The Islands


The Islands: Relevance

  • GS 1: Distribution of key natural resources across the world


Physical Features of India


The islands

  • There are two major island groups in India – one, Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago in the Bay of Bengal and the other, Lakshadweep islands in the Arabian Sea.
  • Other than the above two groups, there are islands in Indo-Gangetic Delta, which are more a part of delta than islands; and between India and Sri Lanka, which are remnants of Adams Bridge or Rama Setu; formed due to submergence.


Physical features of India: The Islands_3.1


Andaman and Nicobar Islands

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands were formed due to collision between Indian Plate and Burma Plate.
  • They are the southward extension of Arakan Yoma range in Myanmar, which in itself is an extension of Purvanchal Hills.
  • These are situated roughly between 6°N-14°N and 92°E -94°E.
  • The two principal groups of islets include the Ritchie’s archipelago and the Labrynth island.


Andaman islands

  • The entire group of islands is divided into three broad categories – North Andaman, Middle Andaman and South Andaman.
  • North and South Andaman are separated by a waterbody which is called the Ten degree channel.
  • Little Andaman is separated from South Andaman by Duncan Passage.
  • Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is located in the South Andaman.


Nicobar Islands

  • Great Nicobar is the largest island in the Nicobar Islands. It is very close to Sumatra Island of Indonesia.
  • Here, some smaller islands are volcanic in origin. Barren island, the only active volcano in India is situated in the Nicobar Islands.


Physical features of India: The Islands_4.1


Lakshadweep Islands

  • There are three types of islands n the Arabian Sea: Amindivi Islands, Laccadive Islands, and Minicoy Island.
  • The above islands are collectively known as Lakshadweep Islands.
  • The entire island group is built of coral deposits.
  • These islands are a part Reunion Hotspot volcanism.
  • These islands receive convectional rainfall and have an equatorial type of vegetation.
  • These are widely scattered between 8°N-12°N and 71°E -74°E longitude.
  • These islands are located at a distance of 280 km-480 km off the Kerala coast.
  • There are approximately 36 islands of which 11 are inhabited.
  • Minicoy is the largest island with an area of 453 sq. km.
  • The entire group of islands is broadly divided by the Ten degree channel, north of which is the Amini Island and to the south of the Canannore Island.
  • Most of the islands have low elevation and do not rise more than five metre above the sea level.
  • The Islands of this archipelago have storm beaches consisting of unconsolidated pebbles, shingles, cobbles and boulders on the eastern seaboard.
  • Moreover, the topography of these islands is flat, so relief features such as hills, streams, valleys, etc. are absent.


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