Why Is India Called A Subcontinent?

India is an interestingly complex and captivating region of Asia. It has a storied history and a vibrant culture, and an ever-changing geopolitical landscape.

But why is it so often referred to as a “subcontinent” rather than as just another country in Asia? In this article, we’ll uncover the reasons behind India’s unique designation, including its immense diversity, geology, and unique position both in the region and the rest of the world. Read on and explore why India is legally recognized as a subcontinent and how that affects the region.

Why is India Called a Subcontinent?

India, the seventh largest nation by area, is often called a subcontinent and almost everyone knows why?

Despite being small in size and factually speaking, not being a continent in itself, India still holds the title of ‘subcontinent’. The answer lies with the political, cultural and geographic traits amongst other important factors. Let’s explore why India is termed a subcontinent and much more.

Geographical Characteristics

Subcontinents, such as India, generally possess natural features that set them apart as a region or landmass from the other landmasses that surround it. India is surrounded by major water bodies viz.

the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. All these factors add up and make the subcontinent of India.

Historical Background

History has also played a significant role in India being termed as a subcontinent.

India has been unto itself for centuries, since the beginning of the first and second millennia of BC. Ancient India was regarded as an illustrious region with numerous tribal cultures and powerful empires such as the Gupta Empire, the Mughal Empire and the Maratha Empire and much more.

Cultural Influence

India is home to a plethora of languages, cultures and religions that make it distinct from the neighboring countries.

Most of the population here is Hindu with a significant Muslim influence. Several religions have engaged in this ancient land and there are also numerous languages that are spoken here.

Political View

India’s independence was hard fought and it was a long struggle. India had to fight for its sovereignty and it was not until 1947 that India officially became a single country, after almost over 200 years of foreign Indian rule. The fight for freedom marked a new beginning and the term ‘subcontinent’ was given to India after it was declared a powerhouse nation and the largest democracy in the world.


India, being a subcontinent, is blessed with abundant resources, cultures and languages and is necessarily also a powerhouse nation and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The geography, history, culture, and politics attached with India make it a unique entity, which is why the term ‘subcontinent’ is given to this amazing nation. Citation URL :- Geographical Characteristics: https://geography. yourdictionary. com/articles/what-makes-up-a-subcontinent. html- Historical Background: https://www. thoughtco. com/ancient-india-1055251- Cultural Influence: https://www. britannica. com/place/Indian-subcontinent- Political View: https://www. bbc. co. uk/bitesize/guides/zbsp4wx/revision/1

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