VEPACHEDU EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
About 225 million years ago, India was a large island situated off the Australian coast. A vast ocean, the Tethys Sea, separated India from the Asian continent. When Pangaea broke apart about 200 million years ago, India began to forge northward. About 80 million years ago, India was located roughly 6,400 km south of the Eurasian continent, moving northward at a rate of about 9 m a century. When India rammed into Eurasia about 40 to 50 million years ago, its northward advance slowed by about half. The collision resulted in the rapid uplift of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. In just 50 million years, peaks such as Mt. Everest have risen to heights of more than 9 km. The impinging of the two landmasses has yet to end. The Himalayas continue to rise more than 1 cm a year a growth rate of 10 km in a million years!
The European Continent is part of the bigger Eurasian Continent separated by the Ural mountains. We consider Europe as a separate continent, not only because of the cultural and racial differences and mountain borders, but also because Europe considered itself a continent and told the world that this part of Eurasia was a continent. When Europe (~ 750 million people) is considered a separate continent from Asia, what is the reason Indian Continent (~1.5 billion people) is accorded a status of a sub-continent?
The Indian Continent, owing to its origins and geographical isolation
by the Himalayas from Eurasia and the cultural and racial differences from
Eurasia, should be regarded as a separate continent. We should all
give due respect to the Indian Continent and address it as a Continent.
Sreenivasarao Vepachedu, February 1999 (updated 2007)
For more on the Indian Continent, please visit:
Vepachedu Home Page/references
The Indian Continent and Tibet