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South India

South India :

South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area (635,780 km2 or 245,480 sq mi).

South India includes the southern part of the peninsular Deccan Plateau and is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the west, the Indian Ocean in the south and the Bay of Bengal in the east. The geography of the region is diverse, encompassing two mountain ranges, the Western and Eastern Ghats, and a plateau heartland. The Godavari, Krishna, Tungabhadra, Kaveri, and Vaigai rivers are important non-perennial sources of water. Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Kochi, Mysuru and Thiruvananthapuram are the largest and most industrialized cities in the region.

A majority of Indians from the southern region speak one of the following languages: Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Tulu . During its history, a number of dynastic kingdoms ruled over parts of South India whose invasions across southern and southeastern Asia impacted the history and cultures of modern sovereign states such as Sri Lanka, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. The region was colonized by Britain and gradually incorporated into the British Empire. South India, particularly Kerala, has been a major entry point of the religions of Christianity and later Islam to the Indian Subcontinent.

After experiencing fluctuations in the decades immediately after Indian independence, the economies of South Indian states have registered higher than national average growth over the past three decades. While South Indian states have improved in some socio-economic metrics,[1][2] poverty continues to affect the region much like the rest of the country, although it has considerably decreased over the years. HDI in southern states is high and the economy has undergone growth at a faster rate than most northern states.[3] Literacy rates in southern states is also very high,[4] with approximately 80% of the population capable of reading and writing, while in Kerala (which has the highest literacy rate in India) 94% of the population are literate. Honour killings are non-existent in South India.[citation needed] Violence against women in South India is relatively low, with southern states having a progressive attitude toward the rights for women.[citation needed] Agriculture is the single largest contributor to the regional net domestic product, while Information technology is a rapidly growing industry. Literary and architectural styles, evolved over two thousand years, differ from other parts of the country. Politics in South India is dominated by smaller regional political parties rather than by national political parties.

South India ranks the highest in terms of social and economic development in areas such as fertility rate and infrastructure; the fertility rate of South India is 1.9, the lowest of all regions in India.
South India is a peninsula in the shape of a vast inverted triangle, bounded on the west by the Arabian Sea, on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the north by the Vindhya and Satpura ranges. The Narmada flows westwards in the depression between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges. The Satpura ranges define the northern spur of the Deccan plateau. The Western Ghats, along the western coast, mark another boundary of the plateau. The narrow strip of verdant land between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea is the Konkan region. The Western Ghats continue south, forming the Malenadu (Canara) region along the Karnataka coast, and terminate at the Nilgiri mountains, an inward (easterly) extension of the Western Ghats. The Nilgiris run in a crescent approximately along the borders of Tamil Nadu with northern Kerala and Karnataka, encompassing the Palakkad and Wayanad hills, and the Satyamangalam ranges, and extending on to the relatively low-lying hills of the Eastern Ghats, on the western portion of the Tamil Nadu – Andhra Pradesh border. The Tirupati and Annamalai hills form part of this range. The low lying coral islands of Lakshadweep are off the south-western coast of India. Sri Lanka lies off the south-eastern coast, separated from India by the Palk Strait and the chain of low sandbars and islands known as Rama's Bridge. The Andaman and Nicobar islands lie far off the eastern coast of India, near the Tenasserim coast of Burma. The southernmost tip of mainland India is at Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) on the Indian Ocean.

The Deccan plateau is the vast elevated region bound by the C-shape defined by all these mountain ranges. No major elevations border the plateau to the east, and it slopes gently from the Western Ghats to the eastern coast. The plateau is watered by the east flowing Godavari and Krishna rivers. The other major rivers of the Deccan plateau are the Pennar and the Tungabhadra, a major tributary of the Krishna. Vaigai and Thamirabarani River are major rivers which emerge from the southern part of the Western ghats, flow eastward and empty into the Bay of Bengal. The three major river deltas of South India, the Kaveri, the Godavari and the Krishna, are located along the Bay of Bengal. These major rivers provided irrigation to much of the land which provided food grain to Southern India. In particular the coastal detla regions traditionally constituted the rice bowls of South India.

View of Dhanushkodi, situated at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island only 27 km from Northern Province, Sri Lanka
The region has a very tropical climate with the monsoons playing a major part. The South – West Monsoon accounts for most of the rainfall in the region and much of it falls from about June to October. The south-west monsoon starts from Kerala during June and moves up towards the northern parts of India. Tamil Nadu and southeast Andhra Pradesh receive rains from the North – East Monsoon from about November to February. Much of Telangana and Karnataka has a distinct dry season from about October – May when there is not much rainfall. This region also experiences cooler nights from October to March while the days are pleasantly warm. In the northern parts of the region temperatures can fall below 10 degrees Celsius on occasions to June when temps can go over 40 degrees. The southern coastal region has an average minimum temperature of 20 degrees and an average maximum of 35 degrees.
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