IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


19th December, 2023 Geography


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  • Madagascar, the world’s fourth-largest island and its second-largest island country, is known for its biodiversity.
  • But the Indian Ocean state, located just off the coast of the African mainland, has experienced a heat wave at least two months early this year, something which is worrying locals.

About Madagascar

  • After Indonesia, Madagascar is the second-largest island nation in the world.
  • Furthermore, Madagascar is the world's fourth-largest island, trailing only Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo.
  • Located in the Indian Ocean to the east of Tanzania and Mozambique, Madagascar is an island republic that is a part of Africa.
  • The main island is situated around 250 miles (400 km) offshore from the coast of East Africa.
  • Along the length of Madagascar’s coastline, which is around 3,100 miles long and 5,000 kilometres long, there are a number of smaller islands.
  • In Malagasy, Madagascar is referred to as Madagasikara, or just Mada.
  • The island of Madagascar is said to have been discovered for the first time by the explorer Marco Polo.
  • The island was originally visited by European explorers in the fifteenth century.
  • Madagascar is just somewhat smaller than Spain and Portugal all together, but its area is roughly four times larger than Georgia's in the United States.
  • On the other hand, the island is among the least populated regions in the nation with only 27 million residents.
  • Madagascar's capital city is called Antananarivo, although it's more commonly known as
  • With about 3.6 million residents, Antananarivo holds the title of most populated city in the nation.
  • Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, is perched on a hill 1,280 metres (4,199 ft) above sea level.
  • The Queen's palace and the city's historic heart are situated atop Analamanga hill.
  • There are twelve hills that surround the nation's capital.
  • The “lower town” is where most of the business districts are located and is encircled by huge rice fields.
  • The Imerina people's first ruler was Andrianjaka. He built the first rova on top of Analamanga hill. Rova translates to "royal fort."
  • Several distinct Merina kings controlled the island of Madagascar from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
  • That being said, Ambohimanga, a small town west of Antananarivo, served as the original royal residence of the Kingdom of Imerina for a considerable period of time.
  • Madagascar was a colony of France from the years 1897 until 1968, and it did not achieve full independence from France until the 26th of June in 1960.
  • On this day each year, the Malagasy people celebrate their nation’s achievement of independence.
  • The cities of Montreal in Canada, Suzhou in China, Nice in France, and Yerevan in Armenia are Antananarivo’s twin cities.

Landforms of Madagascar

  • Located off the coast of East Africa in the centre of the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is the second-largest island nation in the world.
  • Throughout the nation, there are three unique longitudinal physiographic zones that run parallel to one another.
  • The western regions of the nation are made up of the east coast strip, the central plateau, and the low plateaus and plains.
  • The eastern shore of Madagascar, which is distinguished by a narrow and steep escarpment, is home to the last remaining patches of tropical rainforest.
  • Along the island’s western shore, wetlands of mangroves give way to deep bays in various locations.
  • As one moves inward, the central highlands are characterised by rolling grassy hills that are devoid of forests and border rice-growing valleys.
  • Maromokotro, which stands at 2,876 metres, is the island’s highest peak and is located in the Tsaratanana Massif region in the northwestern part of the island.
  • The Mananara, Mangoro Sambirano, Mahajamba, Betsiboka, Mania, north and south Mahavavy, Mangoky, Onilahy, and the Ikopa are some of the most important rivers in Madagascar.
  • The country also has a number of lakes, including Alaotra, Lake Kinkony, and Lake Ihotry.
  • The Indian Ocean is the lowest point on the island of Madagascar, and it is 0 metres deep.


Examine the historical evolution and contemporary dynamics of India's diplomatic relations with Madagascar. Highlight the key areas of cooperation and challenges in the bilateral relationship.