|Area||4,440,000 km2 (1,710,000 sq mi)|
|Population||c. 1.8 billion|
|Demonym|| South Asian |
The Indian subcontinentis a physiographical region in Southern Asia, situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalayas. Geopolitically, it spans major landmasses from the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Although the terms "Indian subcontinent" and "South Asia" are often used interchangeably to denote the region, the geopolitical term of South Asia frequently includes Afghanistan, which is not considered part of the subcontinent.
Geologically, the subcontinent originates from Insular India, an isolated landmass that rifted from the supercontinent of Gondwana during the Cretaceous and merged with the landmass of Eurasia nearly 55 million years ago, forming the Himalayas.Historically, as well as to the present day, it is and has been the most populated region in the world, holding roughly 20–25 percent of the global population at all times in history. Geographically, it is the peninsular region in South Asia, delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakan in the east. The neighboring geographical regions around the subcontinent include the Tibetan Plateau to the north, the Indochinese Peninsula to the east, and the Iranian Plateau to the west and the Indian Ocean to the south.
In many historical sources, the region surrounding and southeast of the Indus River was referred to simply as “India.”Historians continue to use this term to refer to the whole of the Indian subcontinent in discussions of history up until the era of the British Raj. During this period, “India” came to refer to a distinct political entity that later became a nation-state.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term subcontinent signifies a "subdivision of a continent which has a distinct geographical, political, or cultural identity" and also a "large land mass somewhat smaller than a continent".Its use to signify the Indian subcontinent is evidenced from the early twentieth century when most of the territory was either part of the British Empire or allied with them. It was a convenient term to refer to the region comprising both British India and the princely states.
The term has been particularly common in the British Empire and its successors,while the term South Asia is the more common usage in Europe and North America. According to historians Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, the Indian subcontinent has come to be known as South Asia "in more recent and neutral parlance". Indologist Ronald B. Inden argues that the usage of the term South Asia is becoming more widespread since it clearly distinguishes the region from East Asia. While South Asia, a more accurate term that reflects the region's contemporary political demarcations, is replacing the Indian subcontinent, a term closely linked to the region's colonial heritage, as a cover term, the latter is still widely used in typological studies.
Since the partition of India, citizens of Pakistan (which became independent of British India in 1947) and Bangladesh (which became independent of Pakistan in 1971) often perceive the use of the Indian subcontinent as offensive and suspicious because of the dominant placement of India in the term. As such it is being increasingly less used in those countries.Meanwhile, many Indian analysts prefer to use the term because of the socio-cultural commonalities of the region. The region has also been called the "Asian subcontinent", the "South Asian subcontinent", as well as "India" or "Greater India" in the classical and pre-modern sense.
The Indian subcontinent was formerly part of Gondwana, a supercontinent formed during the late Neoproterozoic and early Paleozoic.Gondwana began to break up during the Mesozoic, with Insular India separating from Antarctica 130-120 million years ago and Madagascar around 90 million years ago, during the Cretaceous. Insular India subsequently drifted northeastwards, colliding with the Eurasian Plate nearly 55 million years ago, during the Eocene, forming the Indian subcontinent. The zone where the Eurasian and Indian subcontinent plates meet remains geologically active, prone to major earthquakes.
Physiographically, it is a peninsular region in South Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east.It extends southward into the Indian Ocean with the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast. Most of this region rests on the Indian Plate and is isolated from the rest of Asia by large mountain barriers. Laccadive Islands, Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago are three series of coral atolls, cays and Faroes on the Indian plate along with the Chagos–Laccadive Ridge, a submarine ridge that was generated by the northern drift of the Indian Plate over the Réunion hotspot during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic times. The Maldives archipelago rises from a basement of volcanic basalt outpourings from a depth of about 2000 m forming the central part of the ridge between Laccadives and the Great Chagos Bank.
According to anthropologist John R. Lukacs, "the Indian Subcontinent occupies the major landmass of South Asia."According to historian B. N. Mukherjee, "The subcontinent is an indivisible geographical entity." According to geographer Dudley Stamp, "there is perhaps no mainland part of the world better marked off by nature as a region or a 'realm' by itself than the Indian subcontinent."
This natural physical landmass in South Asia is the dry-land portion of the Indian Plate, which has been relatively isolated from the rest of Eurasia.The Himalayas (from Brahmaputra River in the east to Indus River in the west), Karakoram (from Indus River in the east to Yarkand River in the west) and the Hindu Kush mountains (from Yarkand River westwards) form its northern boundary. In the west it is bounded by parts of the mountain ranges of Hindu Kush, Spīn Ghar (Safed Koh), Sulaiman Mountains, Kirthar Mountains, Brahui range, and Pab range among others, with the Western Fold Belt along the border (between the Sulaiman Range and the Chaman Fault) is the western boundary of the Indian Plate, where, along the Eastern Hindu Kush, lies the Afghanistan–Pakistan border. In the east, it is bounded by Patkai, Naga, Lushai and Chin hills. The Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea forms the boundary of the Indian subcontinent in the south, south-east and south-west.
Given the difficulty of passage through the Himalayas, the sociocultural, religious and political interaction of the Indian subcontinent has largely been through the valleys of Afghanistan in its northwest,the valleys of Manipur in its east, and by maritime routes. More difficult but historically important interaction has also occurred through passages pioneered by the Tibetans. These routes and interactions have led to the spread of Buddhism out of the Indian subcontinent into other parts of Asia. The Islamic expansion arrived into the Indian subcontinent in two ways: through Afghanistan on land, and to the Indian coast through the maritime routes on the Arabian Sea.
In terms of modern geopolitical boundaries, the Indian subcontinent constitutes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, besides, by convention, the island country of Sri Lanka and other nearby island nations of the Indian Ocean, such as Maldives and [ citation needed ][ original research? ] unlike "South Asia" sometimes the expression "Indian subcontinent" may exclude the islands of Maldives and Sri Lanka. According to Chris Brewster and Wolfgang Mayrhofer, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan constitute the Indian subcontinent. Brewster and Mayrhofer also maintain that with Afghanistan and Maldives included the region is referred to as South Asia. The periphery of the subcontinent, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and the island chains of the Maldives, features large Muslim populations, while the heartland, including most of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, are overwhelmingly Hindu or Buddhist. Since most of these countries are located on the Indian Plate, a continuous landmass, the borders between countries are often either a river or a no man's land.
The precise definition of an "Indian subcontinent" in a geopolitical context is somewhat contested as there is no globally accepted definition on which countries are a part of South Asia or the Indian subcontinent.Whether called the Indian subcontinent or South Asia, the definition of the geographical extent of this region varies. Afghanistan, despite often considered as a part of South Asia, is usually not included in the Indian subcontinent. Maldives, an island country consisting of a small archipelago southwest of the peninsula, while largely considered a part of the Indian subcontinent, sometimes is mentioned by sources, including the International Monetary Fund, as a group of islands away from the Indian subcontinent in a south-western direction.
Cricket is the most popular sport in the subcontinent,with 90% of the sport's worldwide fans being in the subcontinent. There are also some traditional games, such as kabaddi and kho-kho, which are played across the region and officially at the South Asian Games and Asian Games; the leagues created for these traditional sports (such as Pro Kabaddi League and Ultimate Kho Kho) are some of the most-watched sports competitions in the subcontinent.
Asia is the largest continent in the world by both land area and population. It covers an area of more than 44 million square kilometers, about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8% of Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Its 4.7 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population, having more people than all other continents combined.
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal Range. Today, the term encompasses a larger area that includes the India-administered territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Pakistan-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and the Chinese-administered territories of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.
The Himalayas, or Himalaya, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has some of the Earth's highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest; more than 100 peaks exceeding elevations of 7,200 m (23,600 ft) above sea level lie in the Himalayas.
The Hindu Kush is an 800-kilometre-long (500 mi) mountain range in Central and South Asia to the west of the Himalayas. It stretches from central and eastern Afghanistan into northwestern Pakistan and far southeastern Tajikistan. The range forms the western section of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region (HKH); to the north, near its northeastern end, the Hindu Kush buttresses the Pamir Mountains near the point where the borders of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan meet, after which it runs southwest through Pakistan and into Afghanistan near their border.
Desi is a loose term used to describe the people, cultures, and products of the Indian subcontinent and their diaspora, derived from Sanskrit देश (deśá), meaning "land, country". Desi traces its origin to the people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and may also include people from Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives and Bhutan.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia. Its member states are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. SAARC comprises 3% of the world's land area, 21% of the world's population and 5.21% of the global economy, as of 2021.
Geography of Asia reviews geographical concepts of classifying Asia, the central and eastern part of Eurasia, comprising approximately fifty countries.
Indo-Aryan peoples are a diverse collection of Indo-European peoples speaking Indo-Aryan languages in the Indian subcontinent. Historically, Aryans were the Indo-Iranian speaking pastoralists who migrated from Central Asia into South Asia and introduced the Proto-Indo-Aryan language. Today, the Indo-Aryan language speakers are found across the modern-day regions of Bangladesh, southern-Nepal, eastern-Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and northern-India.
South Asian ethnic groups are an ethnolinguistic grouping of the diverse populations of South Asia, including the nations of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. While Afghanistan is variously considered to be a part of both Central Asia and South Asia, Afghans are generally not included among South Asians.
The South Asian Stone Age covers the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods in the Indian subcontinent. Evidence for the most ancient Homo sapiens in South Asia has been found in the cave sites of Cudappah of India, Batadombalena and Belilena in Sri Lanka. In Mehrgarh, in what is today western Pakistan, the Neolithic began c. 7000 BCE and lasted until 3300 BCE and the first beginnings of the Bronze Age. In South India, the Mesolithic lasted until 3000 BCE, and the Neolithic until 1400 BCE, followed by a Megalithic transitional period mostly skipping the Bronze Age. The Iron Age in India began roughly simultaneously in North and South India, around c. 1200 to 1000 BCE.
The following is an alphabetical list of subregions in the United Nations geoscheme for Asia, used by the United Nations and maintained by the UNSD department for statistical purposes.
A continent is any of several large geographical regions. Continents are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria. A continent could be a single landmass or a part of a very large landmass, as in the case of Asia or Europe. Due to this, the number of continents varies; up to seven or as few as four geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Most English-speaking countries recognize seven regions as continents. In order from largest to smallest in area, these seven regions are Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia. Different variations with fewer continents merge some of these regions; examples of this are merging North America and South America into America, Asia and Europe into Eurasia, and Africa, Asia, and Europe into Afro-Eurasia.
The ancestral population of modern Asian people has its origins in the two primary prehistoric settlement centres – greater Southwest Asia and from the Mongolian plateau towards Northern China.
South Asia is home to several hundred languages, spanning the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It is home to the third most spoken language in the world, Hindi–Urdu; and the sixth most spoken language, Bengali. The languages in the region mostly comprise Indo-Iranic and Dravidian languages, and further members of other language families like Austroasiatic, and Tibeto-Burman languages.
South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia, which is defined in both geographical and ethnic-cultural terms. As commonly conceptualized, South Asia consists of the countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Shalwar kameez is a traditional combination dress worn by women, and in some regions by men, in South Asia, and Central Asia.
South Asians in the United Kingdom have been present in the country since the 17th century, with significant migration occurring in the mid-20th century. They originate primarily from eight sovereign states in South Asia which are, in alphabetical order, the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. There is also a history of migration of diasporic South Asians from Africa and Southeast Asia moving to, and settling in, the United Kingdom.
South Asian culture is a mixture of several cultures in and around the Indian subcontinent. Ancient South Asian culture was primarily based in Hinduism, which itself formed as a mixture of Vedic religion and indigenous traditions, and later Buddhist influences. From the medieval era onwards, influences from the Muslim world and then Europe also became prevalent.
Islam is the second-largest religion in South Asia, with more than 640 million Muslims living there, forming about one-third of the region's population. Islam first spread along the coastal regions of the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka, almost as soon as it started in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Arab traders brought it to South Asia. South Asia has the largest population of Muslims in the world, with about one-third of all Muslims living here. Islam is the dominant religion in half of the South Asian countries. It is the second largest religion in India and third largest in Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Hinduism is the largest religion in South Asia with about 1.20 billion Hindus, forming just under two-thirds of South Asia's population. South Asia has the largest population of Hindus in the world, with about 99% of all global Hindus being from South Asia. Hinduism is the dominant religion in India and Nepal and is the second-largest religion in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan.
This greater India is well defined in terms of topography; it is the Indian sub-continent, hemmed in by the Himalayas on the north, the Hindu Khush in the west and the Arakanese in the east.
The paleotectonic evolution of Asia terminated some 50 million years ago as a result of the collision of the Indian subcontinent with Eurasia. Asia's subsequent neotectonic development has largely disrupted the continents pre-existing fabric. The neotectonic units of Asia are Stable Asia, the Arabian and Indian cratons, the Alpide plate boundary zone (along which the Arabian and Indian platforms have collided with the Eurasian continental plate), and the island arcs and marginal basins.
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and other small islands of the Indian Ocean
He also said that UKK is now among the top-5 non-cricketing leagues in India, after Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) and Indian Super League being the first two...