Geography of Tamil Nadu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Geography of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Country India India
Region Indian Peninsula
Area Ranked 11th
130,058 km2 (50,216 sq mi)
Borders Kerala (West)
Karnataka (Northwest)
Andhra Pradesh (North)
Bay of Bengal (East)
Indian Ocean (South)
Mountains Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats

Tamil Nadu is the eleventh largest state in India and covers an area of 130,058 square kilometres (50,216 sq mi). It is bordered by Kerala to the west, Karnataka to the northwest, Andhra Pradesh to the north, the Bay of Bengal to the east and the Indian Ocean to the south. Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari), the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula which is the meeting point of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean is located in Tamil Nadu.


The western, southern and the north-western parts are hilly and rich in vegetation. Tamil Nadu is the only state in India which has both the Western Ghat and the Eastern Ghat mountain ranges which both meet at the Nilgiri hills.[1] The Western Ghats dominate the entire western border with Kerala, effectively blocking much of the rain bearing clouds of the South West Monsoon from entering the state. The eastern parts are fertile coastal plains. The northern parts are a mix of hills and plains. The central and the south-central regions are arid plains.

Palakkad gap allows south-west monsoon winds to pass through the western ghats producing rain in western Tamil Nadu
A semi-arid wasteland near Tirunelveli. Monsoon winds are prevented by the Agasthyamalai Range of the Western Ghats

Natural hazards[edit]

Tamil Nadu has a coastline of about 1,076 kilometres (700 mi) which is the country’s second longest coastline. Tamil Nadu's coastline bore the brunt of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami when it hit India, which caused 7,793 direct deaths in the state.[2] Tamil Nadu falls mostly in a region of low seismic hazard with the exception of the western border areas that lie in a low to moderate hazard zone. Parts of this region have experienced seismic activity in the M5.0 range.[3]


Tamil Nadu is heavily dependent on monsoon rains, and thereby is prone to droughts when the monsoons fail. The climate of the state ranges from dry sub-humid to semi-arid. The state has distinct periods of rainfall, which are the advancing monsoon period, South-west monsoon (from June to September) with strong southwest winds, the North-east monsoon (from October to December), with dominant northeast winds, and the Dry season (from January to May). The normal annual rainfall of the state is about 945 mm (37.2 in),[4] of which 48% is through the North East monsoon, and 32% through the South West monsoon. Since the state is entirely dependent on rains for recharging its water resources, monsoon failures lead to acute water scarcity and severe drought.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joel Anderson. "Geography of India". Center for South Asia Outreach, University of Wisconsin-Manhattan. Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. 
  2. ^ "Tsunami: Magnitude of Terror – Effects - Damage to Countries - India". Oracle ThinkQuest. Archived from the original on 2009-05-13. 
  3. ^ "GSHAP seismic hazard map for Tamil Nadu & Puducherry (Pondicherry), India". Amateur Seismic Centre. March 30, 2007. 
  4. ^ Assessment Report from the National Drought Mitigation Center, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  5. ^ "Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu". United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition.