What continent is India in? Is India in Asia? The answer to that would be yes, India is in Asia. However, because of the location of India and its surrounding topography, it is understandable why there may be some confusion about the issue.
Is India in Asia?
India is the second largest country in Asia, both in terms of population and area. It has strong cultural and historical links with many other countries in Asia. Since India used to be a part of the British Empire, and is still a member of the Commonwealth, it has ties with other Commonwealth countries as well.
At the same time, India is also very distinct from many of its neighbors. Because the Himalaya Mountains create a natural boundary between India and much of the rest of the continent, it has been able to develop its own distinct culture, language, and history.
India as a “Subcontinent”
India’s size and location lead it to sometimes be referred to as a subcontinent. This term generally refers to a large mass of land, part of a larger continent, which is self-contained and geographically diverse from the rest of the continent.
India rests on its own tectonic plate, called the Indian Plate. This plate was formerly part of the supercontinent Gondwana. Around 75 million years ago, the Indian Plate broke away and gradually moved north. Eventually, the Indian Plate came into contact with the Eurasian Plate. This collision led to land being pushed inward and upward, creating the Himalaya mountain range.
In addition to the Himalayas, India is also separated from the rest of Asia by two other mountain ranges. These include the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush.
Different people include different countries in the Indian subcontinent. Broadly speaking, the countries making up the subcontinent include:
- Pakistan; and
- Sri Lanka.
Is India a Continent?
Today, most refer to the Indian subcontinent as either the Asian subcontinent or South Asia. However, is there a case to be made for India being its very own continent? After all, India does have its very own tectonic plate, and there are no fixed set of rules to identify any landmass as a continent.
In the end, we think the subcontinent label is a little more fitting than giving India full fledged continent status.
India, while large in size, is still only the 7th largest in the world. If it was its own continent, it would be the smallest by far. Plus, while India is unique in many ways from its neighbors, it still shares many similarities with other countries in Asia.
So what continent is India in? For now, let’s just stick with Asia. Got it? Now see if you know if Russia is in Europe or Asia?
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Mark Heald is an Associate Product Manager and Sporcle Admin. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and bemoaning the fact the Sonics left Seattle.