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Physical Geography of South Asia


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Title: Physical Geography of South Asia

Physical Geographyof South Asia
  • Mr. Belter

Landforms andResources
  • Main Idea The geography of South Asia varies from
    towering mountains to lowland river plains.
  • Geography and You How would you like to feel
    truly on top of the world? You could if you
    climbed Mount Everest, the highest peak on Earth.
    Read to learn about this mountain in South Asia
    and the regions other physical features.

  • South Asia is made up of seven countries. India
    is the largest among them, covering three-fourths
    of the region. South Asia also includes Pakistan,
    Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka (SREE
    LAHNGkuh), and Maldives (MAWLDEEVZ). Most of
    these countries are located on the Indian
    subcontinent. A subcontinent is a large landmass
    that is a part of a continent.

Northern Mountains
  • Three huge walls of mountains form South Asias
    northern boundary and separate the subcontinent
    from the rest of Asia. These mountain systems are
    the Hindu Kush, the Karakoram (KAHrahKOHRahm),
    and the Himalaya (HIHmuhLAYuh). The Himalaya
    range is the highest mountain system in the
    world. Among the snowcapped peaks of Nepal is
    Mount Everest, which, at 29,028 feet (8,848 m) is
    the tallest mountain in the world.

Northern Plains
  • South of South Asias massive mountains are wide,
    fertile plains. These areas are watered by the
    regions three great riversthe Indus, the Ganges
    (GANJEEZ), and the Brahmaputra (BRAHMuhPOO
    truh). The people of the region have long
    depended on these rivers for farming,
    transportation, and trade.

  • The Indus River begins north of the Himalaya in
    Tibet, China, and flows southwest through
    Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. The Ganges flows
    from the Himalaya in a different
    directionsoutheast through Indias Ganges Plain.
    This vast lowland area boasts some of the
    countrys richest soil and is home to about 40
    percent of Indias population. In eastern India,
    the Ganges River turns south through Bangladesh.
    There it combines with the Brahmaputra River to
    form the worlds largest delta. A delta is a soil
    deposit at the mouth of a river.

Southern Landforms
  • The landscape in the south is quite different
    from that in the north. At the base of the
    subcontinent are two chains of eroded coastal
    mountainsthe Eastern Ghats and the Western
    Ghats. Between them lies a highland area known as
    the Deccan Plateau. The Western Ghats block
    seasonal rains from reaching this plateau,
    leaving it extremely dry.

Islands of South Asia
  • South Asia includes two island nations Sri Lanka
    and Maldives. Sri Lanka, the larger of the two
    nations, lies off the southeast coast of India.
    Shaped like a teardrop, the country has a small
    pocket of highlands in the interior. This area is
    made up of ridges, valleys, and steep cliffs that
    offer spectacular scenery. Coastal lowlands
    encircle these highlands and cover more than 80
    percent of the island.

  • which lies off Indias western coast, is one of
    the smallest countries in the world. Maldives
    includes more than 1,300 islands, though people
    live on only about 200 of them. Many of the
    islands are atolls, circular-shaped islands made
    of coral. Coral is a rocklike material formed
    from the skeletons of tiny sea creatures. As
    coral deposits build up, many of them eventually
    become covered by soil and sand to make islands.
    Atolls have a shallow body of water in the center
    called a lagoon. The outer ring of the island
    protects the lagoon from the sea.

Natural Resources
  • South Asia is not a land of plenty. Even good
    farmland is scarce outside of India, Bangladesh,
    and Pakistan. Although most South Asians grow
    crops or tend livestock, plots of land are small,
    and many farmers barely earn a living. India is
    luckier than its neighbors. As South Asias
    largest country, it not only has productive land,
    but it also has most of the regions mineral
    resources. These include iron ore, manganese, and
    chromite, which are all used in making steel.
    Pakistan, too, has some valuable minerals,
    especially limestone, which is an ingredient for
    making cement.

  • Main Idea South Asias growing population is
    creating more demand for food and fuel and
    threatening the regions environment.
  • Geography and You Have you ever been on a street
    or in a stadium crowded with people? What kind of
    an experience was that? Read to find out how the
    masses of people in South Asia affect the

  • Few places on the planet are more densely settled
    than South Asia. The region is home to more than
    20 percent of the worlds people, but they live
    on only 3 percent of the worlds land. To add to
    the pressure, South Asias population is
  • This growth seriously affects the environment.
    For one thing, greater numbers of people mean
    greater demand for animal products. Farmers then
    raise more livestock. This leads to overgrazing,
    which causes grasslands to dry up. It is not just
    land that is at risk, though. South Asias
    growing population also threatens the water, the
    forests, and the air.

  • Because South Asia has such a huge concentration
    of people, supplies of freshwater are low. The
    climate, which brings long dry seasons to much of
    the region, contributes to water shortages. In
    addition, farmers, the largest consumers of
    water, often use wasteful irrigation methods.
    Much water is also wasted in cities because of
    old, leaky distribution pipes.

  • To meet the demand for water, South Asian
    countries are tapping underground aquifers. In
    urban areas, however, as fresh water is being
    pumped out, saltwater enters the aquifers. The
    higher salt content makes the water less useful.
    This problem is particularly troublesome in the
    cities of Dhaka in Bangladesh and Karachi in
    Pakistan. Water pollution is increasing, too. The
    Ganges River is among the most polluted waterways
    in the world. The water it brings to urban areas
    is dirtied by sewage, runoff from factories, and
    waste products. Rural water supplies are often no
    cleaner. Even rural Nepal has seriously polluted
    rivers. Many farmers apply fertilizers to fields
    to increase crop yields. Runoff from fertilizers
    then makes the drinking water unsafe.

  • Only a small part of South Asia is forested. Most
    of the land was cleared centuries ago. However,
    many of the forests that remain are now being cut
    down to provide building materials as well as
    wood for fuel. Rural people throughout South Asia
    rely on wood for heating their homes and for
    cooking. For example, almost 70 percent of the
    energy used in Nepal comes from burning wood.

Air Pollution
  • Air pollution is another challenge that affects
    parts of South Asia. The number of cars in the
    regions cities has risen rapidly in recent
    decades. More automobiles mean the release of
    more exhaust fumes that make the air in urban
    areas dangerous to breathe. Air pollution is
    affecting rural areas as well. Many villagers
    cook and heat their homes by burning wood,
    kerosene, charcoal, or animal dung. These
    substances release smoke and chemicals that are
    harmful in closed spaces. As a result, many
    people develop breathing problems, and some die
    of lung diseases. livelihoods.

Air Pollution
  • Air pollution from South Asia (and from Southeast
    Asia as well) is so severe that a brown cloud of
    chemicals, ash, and dust has formed over the
    Indian Ocean. The cloud decreases the sunlight
    reaching the Earths surface there by 10 percent.
    Scientists worry that this clouding may be
    changing the regions climate and disrupting rain
    patterns. That, in turn, may cut crop yields and
    threaten peoples

  • Main Idea Seasonal dry and wet winds are the
    major factor shaping South Asias climate.
  • Geography and You How does the environment where
    you live change from season to season? The
    pattern in your area is probably quite different
    from that in South Asia, as you will read in this

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Natural Disasters
  • The monsoon winds likewise have mixed effects.
    The rains they shower on Bangladesh and the
    Ganges Plain help crops there grow well. However,
    areas outside the monsoons pathsuch as the
    Deccan Plateau and western Pakistan may receive
    little or no yearly rainfall. If there is no
    rain, or not enough, some areas become scorched,
    or burnt, by drought.

  • Another kind of weather disaster often strikes
    South Asia. A cyclone is an intense tropical
    storm with high winds and heavy rains. Cyclones
    are similar to hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean
    and typhoons in the north Pacific Ocean. In South
    Asia, cyclones can be followed by deadly tidal
    waves that surge from the Bay of Bengal. In 1999
    a cyclone struck Indias northeast coast with
    winds of more than 160 miles (257 km) per hour.
    Waves reached over 20 feet (6 m) high. The storm
    killed nearly 10,000 people and left about 15
    million people homeless.

  • Tropical Areas Much of south central India has a
    tropical dry climate. The regions grasslands and
    deciduous forests grow green in the short wet
    season and turn brown in the long dry season.
    Bangladesh and southern Sri Lanka, by contrast,
    have a tropical wet climate with warm
    temperatures year-round.

Thar Desert
  • Dry and Temperate Climates The wet monsoons, of
    course, do not reach all of South Asia. As a
    result, some areas have dry climates. Along the
    lower Indus River, the land is dry and windswept.
    Farmers must use irrigation to grow wheat and
    other crops. To the east of the Indus River lie
    the sand dunes and gravel plains of the Thar

  • Highland climates are found along South Asias
    northern edge, where towering mountains rise.
    Above 16,000 feet (4,877 m), temperatures are
    always below freezing. As a result, snow never
    disappears, and little vegetation can survive.
    Farther down the mountain slopes, the climate
    turns more temperate. In Nepals Kathmandu
    Valley, January temperatures average a mild 50F
    (10C). The average July temperature is a
    pleasant 78F (26C).

History andGovernments
  • Hindus believe that the water of the Brahmaputra
    River cleanses the body and the soul. Located
    near Bangladeshs capital, Dhaka, the Brahmaputra
    River is where, on a specific day, thousands of
    Hindu believers take baths to receive blessings.
    People believe that on this holy day, the river
    contains all the blessings of all the holy places
    in the world.

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Early History
  • Indus River Valley By 2500 b.c., people in the
    Indus River valley had built what may have been
    South Asias first cities Harappa (huhRApuh)
    and Mohenjo Daro (mohHEHNjoh DAHRoh), which
    are shown in Figure 1 on the next page. These
    cities, with brick buildings, were well planned.
    They had carefully laid-out streets, ceremonial
    gateways, and buildings to store grain. The
    cities also had plumbing, sewers, and other
    technology that would not be matched again for
    centuries. As the population grew, farming, small
    industries, and trade brought wealth to the Indus
    Valley. The people made copper and bronze tools,
    clay pottery, and cotton cloth. They also
    developed a writing system.

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  • About 1500 b.c., nomadic herders known as Aryans
    were settling in parts of northern South Asia.
    The Aryans developed a spoken language called
    Sanskrit (SANskriht). They passed on hymns and
    religious teachings by word of mouth. When
    Sanskrit later became a written language, these
    traditions were recorded in sacred, or holy,
    texts called the Vedas.

  • The Vedas show that the Aryans were organized
    into four varnas, or broad social groups. Priests
    had the highest status. Warriors came next,
    followed by farmers. At the bottom were unskilled
    laborers and servants. At first, people of
    different groups could marry each other and
    change jobs.

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  • is one of the worlds oldest religions and the
    third largest. It developed gradually as the
    beliefs of the ancient Aryans mixed with the
    beliefs of other peoples in the region. This
    blending might explain why Hindus worship
    thousands of deities. They tend to think of all
    deities, however, as different parts of one
    eternal spirit. This eternal spirit is called
    Brahman (BRAHmuhn).

  • Hindus believe that every living being has a soul
    that wants to be reunited with Brahman. To
    achieve this reunion, a soul must repeatedly
    undergo reincarnation (reeihnkahrNAYshuhn)bei
    ng born into a new body after dying. Thus Hindus
    believe that a soul passes through many lives,
    becoming purer each time, before reaching

  • To ensure that their next lives are better,
    Hindus believe they must perform their duty, or
    dharma (DUHRmuh). Each caste has its own dharma.
    For example, a farmer has different duties than a
    priest, and a woman has different duties than a
    man. The consequences, or effects, of how a
    person lives are known as karma (KAHRmuh).
    Hindus believe that if they do their duty, they
    will have good karma. This will move them closer
    to Brahman in the next life.

  • A Caste is a social group that someone is born
    into and cannot change.

  • In the 500s b.c., Buddhism arose in South Asia.
    It was founded by a young prince named Siddhartha
    Gautama (sihDAHRtuh GOWtuhmuh). Born in a
    small kingdom near the Himalaya, Gautama gave up
    wealth and family in search of truth. After many
    years, he found what he was seeking. He became
    known as the Buddha, or Enlightened One.

  • The Buddha taught that people suffer because they
    are too attached to material things, which are
    not lasting. He believed that people can be
    released from these attachments by following the
    Eightfold Path. The eight steps include thinking
    clearly, working hard, and showing deep concern
    for all living things. By following the eight
    steps, people can escape suffering and reach
    nirvana (nihrVAHnuh), a state of endless peace
    and joy.

South Asian Empires
  • In addition to new religions, powerful empires
    also arose in early South Asia. In the 300s B.C.,
    a family called the Maurya (MAURyuh) founded the
    Mauryan Empire. The most famous Mauryan ruler,
    Asoka (uhSOHkuh), brought much of the
    subcontinent under his control. About 260 B.C.,
    Asoka dedicated his life to peace and became a

Gupta Empire
  • About A.D. 320, a ruler named Chandragupta I
    (CHUHNdruhGUPtuh) set up the Gupta Empire in
    northern India. Under the empires Hindu rulers,
    trade increased and ideas were exchanged with
    other parts of the world. As a result, science,
    mathematics, medicine, and the arts thrived.
    South Asian mathematicians developed the numerals
    1 to 9 that we still use today. These symbols
    were later adopted by Muslim Arab traders, who
    brought them to Europe.

  • During the early 1500s, Muslim warriors, known as
    the Moguls (MOHguhlz), who came from the
    mountains north of India, formed an empire in
    South Asia. Akbar (AKbuhr), the greatest Mogul
    ruler, added new lands to the empire, lowered
    taxes, and supported the arts. He brought peace
    to his empire by treating all of his people
    fairly. The majority of Hindus were allowed to
    worship freely and to serve in the government.

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Modern South Asia
  • Main Idea After a period of British rule, South
    Asians set up independent countries during the
  • Geography and You Think about how you might feel
    if someone made all your choices and decisions
    for you. Under British rule, South Asians had no
    control over their own lands. Read to learn how
    South Asians eventually won their independence.

the East India Company
  • During the 1600s, English traders from the East
    India Company arrived in India. They built a
    string of trading posts along the coasts, with
    forts to protect them. In 1707 the English and
    the Scots joined together to form the United
    Kingdom. Both peoples known as the
    Britishcreated the British Empire. Through trade
    and military might, the British became the
    dominant power in South Asia. By the mid-1800s,
    they had colonized most of the subcontinent.

British Rule
  • For many years, the task of governing South Asia
    was left to the British East India Company. As
    the company introduced European ideas and
    practices, resentment grew. Many local people
    felt that the British were trying to change their
    culture. In 1857 Indian soldiers in the companys
    army rebelled against their British officers. The
    revolt spread across northern India. Britain sent
    more troops and put down the rebellion. Soon
    afterward, the British government took direct
    control of India.

  • Over the years, the British brought many positive
    changes to the region. They set up a well-run
    government and founded schools. They built
    railroads, bridges, and ports. They also
    introduced the telegraph and a postal service
    throughout India.

New Nations
  • By the early 1900s, independence movements had
    spread across South Asia. The most popular Indian
    leader was Mohandas Gandhi (MOHhuhndahs
    GAHNdee). Gandhi opposed violence in all forms.
    Instead, he protested British rule using
    nonviolent civil disobediencethe refusal to obey
    unjust laws using peaceful protests. Gandhi and
    his followers held strikes and boycotted, or
    refused to buy, British goods. Their goal was to
    bring independence to the subcontinent. Gandhis
    movement won widespread support among Hindus.
    Muslims, however, feared that the much-larger
    Hindu population might mistreat them in an
    independent India.

After World War II,
  • Britain realized that it could not keep control
    of South Asia. Giving the people independence was
    difficult, though, because of the bitter
    divisions between Hindus and Muslims. In 1947 the
    British government divided India into two
    independent countries. Areas that were mostly
    Hindu became the country of India. Areas that
    were mostly Muslim became the country of Pakistan
    (PAkihstan). Pakistan was made up of two areas
    geographically separated by India. West Pakistan
    was northwest of India, and East Pakistan was to
    the northeast.

  • Following this division, many Hindus in Pakistan
    fled to India, while many Muslims in India fled
    to Pakistan. Fighting erupted and as many as
    500,000 people were killed. Tensions soon
    surfaced between the two parts of Pakistan too.
    In 1971 East Pakistan declared its independence.
    After a brief civil war, it became the new
    country of Bangladesh. Pakistan now includes only
    the lands northwest of India.

Sri Lanka
  • Meanwhile, other political changes were occurring
    in South Asia. In 1948 Britain gave independence
    to the island of Ceylon. This country later took
    back its ancient name of Sri Lanka. Maldives, a
    group of islands in the Indian Ocean, won
    independence from Britain in 1965. Nepal and
    Bhutan, two countries in the Himalaya area, had
    always been free of European rule.

Conflict in South Asia
  • Tensions between India and Pakistan continue
    today. Religious differences play a part in this
    conflict. Another dispute involves land, with
    both countries claiming ownership of the region
    of Kashmir (KASHmihr) in the Himalaya and
    Karakoram mountains. India and Pakistan have
    fought several wars over this matter. Terrorists
    from Kashmir also have carried out attacks in
    India. Because both nations have nuclear weapons,
    people worry about the outbreak of a nuclear war.

Cultures andLifestyles
  • In Jaipur, India, elephants are decorated with
    bright colored paint, fancy cloth, and jewelry
    for the Elephant Festival. The festival is held
    on the day before the celebration of Holi. This
    is the Indian festival of colors when people
    welcome the coming of spring. Spectators watch
    elephant races and polo matches and even an
    elephant tug-of-war, in which elephants compete
    against men. Read the next section to learn more
    about the people and cultures of South Asia.

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The People ofSouth Asia
  • South Asia is home to nearly 1.5 billion people.
    The region includes three of the worlds seven
    most populous nations India, Pakistan, and
    Bangladesh. Ongoing, or continuing, population
    growth presents major challenges for South Asia.

Population Squeeze
  • The population of South Asia grew dramatically
    during the last century. One reason for this
    growth was improved medical and health care,
    which lowered death rates. Another factor was
    continued high birthrates. In the 1990s alone,
    Indias population rose by 175 million people.
    Although growth rates have slowed in recent
    years, the number of people in South Asia is
    still climbing steadily.

population densities
  • Of course, while the population swells, South
    Asias land area stays the same size. As a
    result, population densities in the region are
    very high. India averages 869 people per square
    mile (2,250 per sq. km). In comparison, the
    United States averages 80 people per square mile
    (31 per sq. km). Crowding is even worse in
    Bangladesh, South Asias most densely populated
    nation. Bangladesh has a whopping 2,594 people
    per square mile (6,718 per sq. km). Compare to
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What do we call this type of farming?
  • Urban and Rural Life The growing cities of South
    Asia buzz with human activity. Sidewalks and
    shops are packed with people buying and selling
    items. People, animals, carts, bicycles, and cars
    move through crowded city streets. Towering
    skyscrapers and modern apartments are signs of
    urban wealth and the growing middle class. At the
    same time, poverty is widespread in South Asia.
    Large numbers of people live in inadequate
    housing or are homeless. Children, many homeless
    or orphaned, are forced to beg in the streets for
    money to buy food. Unemployment, pollution,
    disease, crime, and lack of clean water are
    common problems in the regions urban slums.
    People living in South Asias rural areas also
    face challenges. Farmland is limited in
    mountainous Nepal and Bhutan and on the sandy
    islands of the Maldives. Elsewhere in the region,
    overcrowding has reduced the size of the land
    plots that farmers can work. In addition,
    inefficient farming methods lead to low crop
    yields. As a result, millions of people barely
    grow enough food to feed their own families.
    Rural villages in South Asia may also lack safe
    drinking water and electricity.

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  • Buddhism, which spread from India beginning in
    the 400s b.c. as shown in Figure 2 on the
    previous page, is no longer a major religion in
    that country. It remains strong, though, in Sri
    Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan. In Bhutan, dzongs, or
    Buddhist centers of prayer and study, have been
    important in shaping the countrys arts and

  • The people of South Asia practice a number of
    other religions. Sikhism (SEEkihzuhm) was
    founded in the early 1500s. It teaches belief in
    one God and stresses doing good deeds as the way
    to escape the cycle of reincarnation and join
    with God. Most of South Asias Sikhs live in
    northwestern India. Many of them want an
    independent Sikh state there.

  • Another religion, Jainism, has about 4 million
    followers in India and perhaps 100,000 elsewhere
    in South Asia. Jains try to reach spiritual
    purity by rejecting all violence. They aim to
    protect every living creature. Small Christian
    communities exist in some urban areas of India.

The Arts
  • Since early times, the arts have reflected a
    strong religious influence. Painters have been
    inspired by sacred writings. Hindu, Buddhist, and
    Sikh architects built beautiful temples across
    the region. Many of these holy places hold
    elaborate carvings and sculptures of Hindu
    deities or the Buddha. Muslims, too, built
    beautiful mosques, forts, and palaces in South
    Asia. These buildings include the famous Taj
    Mahal in Agra, India. Made of gleaming white
    marble, the Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim ruler
    as a tomb for his beloved wife.

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  • Music is another important art form in South
    Asia. Classical Indian music usually features the
    sitar (sihTAHR), a longnecked instrument with 7
    strings on the outside and 10 inside the neck.
    The sitar helps give Indian music a distinctive
    sound. Contemporary, or present-day, South Asian
    music reflects the growing influence of Western
    styles. Rock music, for example, has recently
    gained popularity in Pakistan.

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  • The city of Mumbai, nicknamed Bollywood, is the
    center of the Indian film industry. Traditional
    Bollywood movies are known for their grand
    spectacles with wild plots and lots of singing
    and dancing.

Daily Life
  • The life of South Asians centers on the family.
    Marriage in South Asian countries is commonly
    viewed as the joining of two families. As a
    result, parents often arrange marriages for their
    children by choosing partners they consider
    suitable. After a woman marries, she becomes part
    of her husbands family. In India and Pakistan,
    several generations often live together in the
    same house.

  • Western-style clothing is popular in South Asian
    cities, but many people still dress in
    traditional garments. Indian women, for example,
    wear colorful saris. A sari (SAHRee) is a long,
    rectangular piece of cloth that is draped
    gracefully around the body. Women complement
    their outfits with earrings, bangle bracelets,
    and other jewelry.

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South AsiaToday
  • A Federal System
  • India, like the United States, is a federal
    republic. In other words, power is shared between
    a national government and various state
    governments. The national government, located in
    the capital city of New Delhi, has certain
    clearly defined responsibilities. These include
    defending the country and dealing with other
    countries. The states have their own duties, such
    as carrying out energy policies and providing
    police protection.

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Structure of the Government
  • Indias national government has much in common
    with our own. There are three branches of
    governmentexecutive, legislative, and
    judicialthat operate under the principle of
    separation of powers. This means that each branch
    of government has specific rights and
    responsibilities that the other branches cannot
    interfere with.

Indias Economy
  • After India became independent, the government
    worked to improve the economy. At first the
    government brought much of the countrys industry
    under its control. It also increased the amount
    of land that could be farmed. During the 1970s,
    the economy slowed. In hopes of boosting growth,
    India began moving toward a free market economy.
    The government reduced its controls, and
    businesses were shifted to private ownership.
    Foreign investment was also encouraged in order
    to create jobs. Today India has one of the
    worlds most rapidly growing economies. Even so,
    with such a large population, not enough jobs
    exist and many residents remain poor.

Agriculture and Related Industries
  • Farming is an important economic activity in
    India. Nearly 75 percent of Indian workers are
    farmers, and more than half of Indias land is
    used for farming. Today India produces most of
    the food it needs. It has benefited greatly from
    the green revolution, a set of changes that
    modernized agriculture and greatly increased food
    production in the 1970s. New strains of wheat,
    rice, and corn were developed that produce more
    grains. The government also built dams to store
    water for irrigation during the dry season.

  • Indian farmers raise a variety of crops,
    including rice, wheat, cotton, tea, sugarcane,
    and jute. Jute is a plant fiber used for making
    rope, burlap bags, and carpet backing.

  • There are two types of manufacturing industries
    in India cottage industries and factory-based
    industries. Cottage industries involve people
    working in their homes and using their own
    equipment to make goods. They craft pottery, spin
    and weave cloth, or create metal or wooden items.
    These items can then be sold to individuals or to
    companies for resale or export.

  • Indias service industries are growing faster
    than any other part of the economy. Computer
    software services, in particular, are booming,
    especially in southern Indian cities such as
    Hyderabad and Bengaluru (Bangalore). Many of
    Indias software developers and tech support
    people work for American companies. In a practice
    known as outsourcing, many American businesses
    hire overseas workers to do certain jobs.
    Outsourcing work to India is popular because
    wages there are low and because the country has
    large numbers of workers who are educated,
    skilled, and fluent in English.

(No Transcript)
  • Pakistan is a long, wide country wedged between
    Afghanistan, Iran, and India. Tall mountains rise
    in the far north, and the Indus River valley is
    located to the south. This area provides the
    fertile land Pakistan needs to support its
    growing population.

The People
  • With more than 160 million people, Pakistan is
    one of the worlds most populous nations. Its
    population continues to grow rapidly too.
    Although Pakistans death rate has declined, its
    birthrate is still very high. Almost all the
    people of Pakistan are Muslim. Their religion
    gives them a common bond, but it does not always
    bridge their cultural differences. Pakistanis
    come from many ethnic groups, and each one has
    its own language, territory, and identity.

The Economy
  • For many years, Pakistans government had a
    strong role in the economy. In the 1970s,
    Pakistans industries were nationalized, or put
    under government control. Since the 1990s,
    however, many government-owned industries have
    been sold to private owners. The government
    maintains control over certain parts of the
    economy, such as banks, hospitals, and

About half of Pakistans people are farmers
  • . A large irrigation system helps them grow crops
    such as sugarcane, wheat, rice, and cotton.
    Cotton cloth and clothing are among the countrys
    major exports. Manufacturing and service
    industries are another important part of the
    economy. Many people also work in cottage
    industries making metalware, pottery, and

Government and Foreign Relations
  • Like India, Pakistan is a federal republic.
    Democracy, however, is limited in Pakistan. Since
    independence, the military has often forced
    elected leaders out of office and seized, or
    taken, power. This happened most recently in
    1999, when General Pervez Musharraf (puhrVAYS
    mooSHAHRuhf) took over the government. Three
    years later, Pakistans people overwhelmingly
    voted to keep him as president.

  • Bangladesh, established in 1971, is the
    youngster in South Asia. It is struggling for
    success as an independent nation, but with a
    large population and few resources, it has not
    been easy. Bangladesh sits surrounded by India on
    three sides, with the Bay of Bengal to the south.
    In area, Bangladesh is slightly larger than
    Wisconsin, but it holds 144 million peopleabout
    half the population of the entire United States.
    As a result, Bangladesh is one of the most
    densely populated countries in the world.

The People
  • Bangladeshs people are largely Muslim. They are
    also overwhelmingly poor. About 75 percent of the
    people live in rural villages.

The Economy
  • Most people in Bangladesh earn their living by
    farming. The warm climate, fertile soil, and
    plentiful water make it possible to plant and
    harvest three times a year. Rice is the countrys
    most important crop. Other crops include
    sugarcane, jute, wheat, and tea.

Nepal and Bhutan
  • Nepal and Bhutan are small, mountainous kingdoms
    to the north of India. Both are still largely
    rural and struggling to build stronger economies.
  • Nepal forms a steep stairway to the Himalaya. In
    the north are 8 of the worlds 10 highest
    mountains, including Mount Everest. Hills,
    valleys, and a fertile river plain are also part
    of the landscape.

  • More than 85 percent of Nepals people live in
    rural villages. Kathmandu (katmanDOO), the
    capital, is the only major city. Many ethnic
    groups make up the population. Hinduism is
    Nepals official religion, but Buddhism is
    practiced as well.

consumer goodsproducts
  • Tourism and trade, however, help the economy. For
    centuries, Nepal had no links to other countries
    because the mountains formed a strong barrier.
    Today, there are roads and air service to India
    and Pakistan. Nepal exports clothing and carpets,
    and it imports gasoline, machinery, and consumer
    goodsproducts that people buy for personal use.

Island Republics
  • South Asia includes two island republics Sri
    Lanka and Maldives. Both lie south of India in
    the Indian Ocean.

  • Sri Lanka Sri Lanka lies off the southeastern
    coast of India. Much of the country is rolling
    lowlands, with white sandy beaches that attract
    tourists. Highlands cover the center, and
    tourists come here, too, to hike on nature trails
    that are rich with wildlife.

civil war
  • Sri Lankas people are made up of two main
    groups. The Sinhalese (sihngguhLEEZ), who form
    about 74 percent of the population, live in the
    south and west and are mostly Buddhist. The
    Tamils (TAmuhlz), who make up about 17 percent
    of the population, live in other parts of the
    country and are mainly Hindu. Since 1983, the
    Tamils and the Sinhalese have been fighting a
    violent civil war. The minority Tamils claim they
    have not been treated justly by the majority
    Sinhalese. They want to set up a separate Tamil
    nation in northern Sri Lanka. Thousands have died
    in the fighting.

  • Adding to its troubles, Sri Lanka suffered its
    worst natural disaster in December 2004. A
    tsunami, or huge ocean wave, was released by a
    powerful earthquake near Indonesia on the eastern
    edge of the Indian Ocean. The tsunami struck Sri
    Lanka two hours later, killing more than 30,000
    people and leaving 850,000 homeless. Tourist
    areas were damaged and much of the countrys
    fishing fleet was destroyed.

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Countries of South Asia
6. Bhutan
1. Pakistan
7. Nepal
2. India
5. Bangladesh
4. Sri Lanka
3. Maldives Islands
While South Asia is bordered by bodies of water
in the east, west, and south, what are the
borders to the north?
1. Afghanistan
2. China
3. Myanmar (Burma)
Physical Geography
  • South Asia is a sub-continent
  • A large landmass forming a distinct part of a

Physical Geography
  • The region is a land of extremes, from the
    tallest mountains in the world to some of the
    driest deserts to areas inundated by the monsoon

Physical Geography
  • With headwaters in the Himalayan Mountains, three
    of the worlds great rivers flow through this
  • Indus (Pakistan)
  • Brahmaputra (Bangladesh)
  • Ganges (India)

Physical Geography
  • Himalayan Mountains
  • Mt. Everest tallest mountain in the world
    (29,000 ft.)
  • Thats almost 5.5 miles!
  • Himalayas separate South Asia from the rest of
    the continent.
  • The Himalayas are a result of tectonic activity.
  • India crashed into Asia, creating the crumpled

203 people have died climbing Everest.
Physical Geography
  • Monsoons
  • Seasonal winds
  • Crucial for life on the subcontinent.
  • Beneficial and disastrously unpredictable.

  • Most of South Asia was formerly known as British
  • Today it is made
  • up of .

  • In 1947, India became independent from Britain.
  • What other country received independence in this

  • Mohandas Gandhi
  • Led an independence movement in India.
  • Encouraged non-violent resistance which greatly
    influenced what American?

  • Why did British India divide like it is today?
  • Religious conflict between Hindus and Muslims
    dictated that British India be divided into
    predominantly Hindu (India), Muslim (Pakistan)
    and Muslim (Bangladesh).

  • Four of the worlds major religions are practiced
    in this region.
  • There has been conflict between Hindus and
    Muslims and between Hindus and Sikhs.

  • South and East Asia account for over 50 of the
    worlds population.
  • 3 billion people.

  • India alone accounts for nearly 20 of the
    worlds population.
  • 1 billion people

- It is estimated that within 50 years India will
pass China as the worlds most populous country.
What can you tell about the future of these
countries by their population pyramids?
World Clock
  • Despite the large number of people, India has
    still not exceeded its carrying capacity.
  • They are not overpopulated.
  • They can feed their people.

  • Most of the villages have been left behind when
    compared to modern cities like Mumbai (Bombay),
    Bangalore, and Madras.

  • India has not exceeded its carrying capacity
    because of the Green Revolution.
  • A breakthrough in agricultural technology that
    allows India to produce enough food for its

The Green Revolution
  • The Green Revolution allowed farmers to use
    genetic engineering to produce more crops
  • The main researcher behind the Green Revolution
    was Norman Borlaug of Texas AM (whoop!)

Government and Economies
  • India is the worlds largest democracy.
  • They practice universal suffrage.

Government and Economies
  • They speak many different languages in South
    Asia, but the lingua franca is English.
  • Why?

Government and Economies
The economy of India today is growing rapidly.
Note the gross domestic product and compare with
the USA.
Government and Economies
  • Tata Nano car, released last year in India.
  • It costs 2000.

Government and Economies
While much of the economy of India is growing,
there are still hundreds of millions who are
mired in poverty.
Slumdog Millionaire?
Government and Economies
  • The caste system.
  • Acquired status you just get it, there is no
    hope for movement up the ladder.

Government and Economies
  • Outsourcing!
  • Many technical jobs, such as call centers, have
    moved to India.
  • How is time an important factor here?
  • Many qualified, educated Indians will work for
    much less than Americans.

Government and Economies
  • India produces more films than any other country.
  • Bollywood (Mumbai/Bombay) is the capital of
    their film industry.

Government and Economies
Most of India lacks adequate infrastructure, but
the country has more miles of train tracks than
any other in the world. This is a remnant of
British rule.
Government and Economies
  • Pakistan
  • Has fallen behind India economically because of
    unstable government and religious fundamentalism.
  • There is a history of conflict between India and

Government and Economies
  • Education is available in Pakistan, though many
    attend madrasas (religious schools).

Government and Economies
  • While Bangladesh is a country of contrasts, it is
    still a heavily agrarian society that lives on
    the whim of cyclones and monsoons.

Government and Economies
  • The Grameen Bank, started in Bangladesh gives
    small loans to women to start small businesses.
    This method was very successful and copied

Grameen banks
  • These loans have allowed women to become
    self-sufficient and participate in the global

Government and Economies
  • Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated
    countries in the world.

Government and Economies
  • Sri Lanka (the tear drop of South Asia) is one
    of the largest growers of tea in the world.
  • Like most of South Asia, Sri Lanka is a blend of
    the old and the new.
  • A civil war has plagued this region for many
    years. (Tamil Tigers)

Bike military unit.
Government and Economies
  • South Asia has many roots in British culture.
  • Games such as cricket transcend conflicts that
    have broken out in the past.

Rinku Singh and Dinesh Kumar Patel