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Indian Climate and Vegetation

Last updated date: 20th May 2024
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How is Indian Climate and Vegetation?

The climate of India is sub- tropical and hence the vegetation of India is all a result of the landmass being located in a sub- tropical region. The climate of a place is affected by the location of the region, altitude of the region, distance from the sea and relief features. Knowing the wide diversity of regions in India, the regional experience of the climate of India is diverse and this is clearly visible in the diversity of the vegetation of India, which clearly has an effect on the wildlife and culture of the people in those regions as well.

Thus, in India climate vegetation and wildlife information clearly shows an interconnected relationship between the three. Moving forward, a brief account of the climate of India, vegetation of India and wildlife of India is given in the article.

Difference Between Climate and Weather 

Are you also one of them who have confusion in Indian climate and weather? Climate is simply defined as a sum total of all the weather variations and conditions over a long duration of time (this could be 30 or more years). In other words, the weather is a condition of the atmospheric state within a region at a specific point in time.

Both climate and weather are affected by diverse elements that are pressure, precipitation, velocity, wind direction, humidity, and temperature. Based on the atmospheric state and condition, there are varied seasons in India, including autumn, winter, summer, and rainy season. In India, the vegetation condition is more associated with the monsoon season. So, you got more curious to know about the ins and outs of the Indian climate! Vedantu has detailed these seasons in the next paragraphs. So keep scrolling to know more about the Indian climate. 

Climate of India

The climate of any region is the average weather condition measure over a period of many years. Thus, over a wide area, the weather is the local changes and variations taking place in the state of the atmosphere over a particular region. And overall the climate is the weather in a given region over long periods of time. Hence, there cannot be different types of climate of a particular place but the climate differs over vast geographical distances. 

The climate of India is described as the Monsoon type climate. The word monsoon has arabic roots and is derived from the word ‘mausim’. This is because most of the weather is controlled by the monsoon winds. Also, there are two types of monsoon in India, the south-west monsoon and north-east monsoon or the retreating monsoon spreading from the months of May to December. Hence, the climate of India is essentially a Monsoon climate. Another impact of the monsoon Monsoon climate is that agriculture which is the main economic activity of India in terms of number of people employed, is highly dependent on the Monsoon climate. Therefore there are different types of vegetation in India, not different types of climate in India. There are no different types of climate in India rather only one climate which is the Monsoon climate. 

The vegetation of India is also affected by the four seasons: Cold Weather Season or Winter, Hot Weather Season or Summer, South West Monsoon Season or Rainy Season, Season of Retreating Monsoons or Autumn.

The Fours Seasons

  • Cold Weather Season/Winter

This is the time when the sun rays do not fall directly in the region causing low temperatures.

  • Hot Weather Season/Summer

This is the time when the sun rays fall directly in the region leading to higher temperatures.

  • South West Monsoon Season/Rainy Season:                       

This is the season when rains are caused all over the country and mostly in the Northern, Eastern and Western regions due to the monsoon winds of the south-west winds.

  • Retreating Monsoon Season/Autumn: 

The north east monsoon winds bring the monsoon rain in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during October to December.

From the given definition of climate and the concept of seasons in India, it is clear that the climate of India is Tropical Monsoon type and there are no different types of climate in India such as the temperate, desert/dry, polar, mediterranean, etc. 

Prime Factors Affecting the Indian Climate Conditions

The factors that contribute to affecting the Indian climate are: 

Latitude: The extent of latitude mainland India is somewhere between 8⁰4ꞌN to 37⁰6ꞌN. it is divided by two latitude halves by cancer tropic. In the south direction of Cancer tropic, the region has the experience of higher temperature due to tropic climate and being near to tropic regions, high precipitation is also received. On the other hand, the region situated on the northern side of the cancer tropic bears extreme climate conditions with annual and daily temperature ranges. 

Altitude: We all are aware of the fact that temperature starts decreasing with the increase in height. This is why the place situated in the mountains are always cooler as compared to plain regions. So, altitude plays a key role in climatic conditions. 

Distance from the sea: The climate in the coastal regions is measured in moderation. And, the regions located farther from Sea, experience extreme climate. For example, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Punjab. 

Vegetation of India and Wildlife of India

The vegetation of India includes a very diverse plant life. There are season specific plants in India and there are also all season plants in India. The variety of plants include small plants called bushes, shrubs like cactus, and many types of flowering plants, etc. There are tall trees as well showing diversity such as the neem and the mango being trees with many branches and leaves while there are trees like the palm trees with few leaves. Indian climate has a huge effect on the natural vegetation of India.

The vegetation of India can be divided into five kinds. They are: Tropical evergreen forests, tropical deciduous forests, thorny bushes, mountain vegetation and mangrove forests. These different types of vegetation in India exhibit different ecosystems and in turn a varied wildlife of the country. As mentioned above India climate vegetation and wildlife are all interconnected. Considering the example of altitude effect. So out of curiosity when asked how does altitude affects vegetation and wildlife, the answer is that the altitude affects the climate and temperature, which in turn affects the vegetation and hence, wildlife of the region. At very high altitudes temperatures are low and also the relief features are close to the clouds, causing a high degree of rain and that too sometimes throughout the year. Hence, the region has evergreen vegetation causing a distinct wildlife. Another example of wildlife being influenced by the climate is the wildlife of the tropical monsoon region of India. This wildlife includes monkeys, parrots,, lemurs, ocelots, hummingbirds, etc. 


From the given information about the climate in India and the vegetation in India, it is clear how diverse and interconnected the three of them are. One can appreciate the diversity which is also represented by the six different biogeographical zones in India, the most any country usually has in the world. 

FAQs on Indian Climate and Vegetation

1. What is the Climate and Vegetation of India?

The overall climate of India is tropical monsoon type. But due to the locally changing climatic variations the vegetation of India is also very diverse. The vegetation of India can be divided into five types - Tropical evergreen forests, tropical deciduous forests, thorny bushes, mountain vegetation, and mangrove forests. The vegetation is completely impacted by the south-west and the north-east monsoon occurring from the month of June to December. The south-west monsoon brings rains mostly in the months of June to October especially in the northern regions and the north-east monsoon brings the rain from October to December especially in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, impacting the diversity of vegetation in India. 

2. What is the type of climate in India?

The type of climate in India is overall described as the tropical monsoon climate. Under this category of climate the climate of India can be further subdivided into tropical wet and dry climate. This climate of India is described based upon the weather conditions that have existed overall for thousands of years in the country and the subcontinental region. The climate of India is obtained from the wide range of weather conditions across the vast geography and varied topography of the country.

3. Which factors are responsible for the monsoon mechanism in India?

Well, this is really an interesting question for the students in both perspective reading and answering. There are varied factors that are responsible for the monsoon cycle such as different cooling and heating landmass along with the presence of water bodies. During summer, we can notice switching of ITCZ i.e. Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone that causes low pressure within equatorial latitudes. The next factor is the forming of high pressured regions with the east direction of Somali Jet streams also known as Madagascar. Tibetan Plateau is equally responsible due to its unequal heating. 

4. How to do the detailing of Tibetan Plateau role in the Indian monsoon?

The Tibet Plateau impact the monsoon of India by working as a high-level source of heat and mechanical barrier. Due to its great height, it gets more insolation as compared to the surrounding regions. This results in creating more heat at the time of the summer season. Similarly, a warm-edged anticyclone is made over Indian Plateau at the time of monsoon summer. At this time, the direction of the wind with the effect of anticyclone turns east to west and this Tropical jetstream plays a key role in impacting the south-west monsoon in India.