South India is the area including the five southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, as well as the three union territories of Andaman and Nicobar islands,Lakshadweep and Puducherry, occupying 19% of India’s area. Covering the southern part of the peninsular Deccan Plateau, South India is bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. The geography of the region is diverse with two mountain ranges–the Western and Eastern Ghats, bordering the plateau heartland. Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Periyar and Vaigai rivers are important non-perennial sources of water.
The majority of the people in South India speaking languages are Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. During its history, a number of dynastic kingdoms ruled over parts of South India whose invasions across southern and southeastern Asia impacted the history and culture in those regions.
After experiencing fluctuations in the decades immediately after Indian independence, the economies of South Indian states have registered higher than national average growth over the past three decades. While South Indian states have improved in some socio-economic metrics, poverty continues to affect the region much like the rest of the country, although it has considerably decreased over the years.
South India, also known as Peninsular India, has been known by several other names. The term “Deccan”, referring to the area covered by the Deccan Plateau that covers most of peninsular India excluding the coastal areas.
South India Climate
South India region has a tropical climate and depends on monsoons for rainfall. The southwest monsoon from June to September accounts for most of the rainfall in the region. The Arabian Sea branch of the southwest monsoon hits the Western Ghats along the coastal state of Kerala and moves northwards along the Konkan coast with precipitation on coastal areas, west of the Western Ghats.
Tamil Nadu and southeast Andhra Pradesh receive rains from the northeast monsoon. The northeast monsoon takes place from November to early March when the surface high-pressure system is strongest. The North Indian Ocean tropical cyclones occur throughout the year in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, bringing devastating winds and heavy rainfall.
The major languages spoken in South India include Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu and Konkani are listed amongst the 22 official languages of India as per the Official Languages Act (1963). Tamil was the first language to be granted classical language status by the Government of India in 2004. Other major languages declared classical were Kannada in 2008, Telugu in 2008 and Malayalam in 2013.