Tropic of Cancer & India

The Tropic of Cancer is an imaginary line that runs across the center of India at an angle of 23.50 degrees north of the Equator. 

It is also known as the Northern Tropics and it is the only latitude that passes through India.

The word 'Tropic' is derived from the Greek word 'tropikos,' which means 'belonging to a turn of the sun at the solstice.' In addition, the word 'Cancer' implies 'crab' in Latin. During the Summer Solstice in June, the sun is in the Cancer constellation.

Cancer is associated with a crab that assaulted Hercules when he was fighting the multi-headed Hydra in Greek mythology. The crab bites Hercules on the foot, which he then smashes. At that time, Hera, Hercules' adversary, sets the crab among the stars.

The term for the Tropic of Cancer in Sanskrit is Karka Rekha, and the word Karka in Sanskrit also denotes a crab. Again, the disease, cancer is referred to as Karka Roga in Sanskrit and Ayurveda.

Equinoxes and Solstices

When viewed from Earth, it appears like the sun moves northwards and southwards every 6 months between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, which are located at 23.5 degrees north and south of the equator, respectively.

In India, the apparent northern migration of the sun from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer is known as Uttarayanam. Dakshinayanam, or 'Southern Journey,' refers to the sun's passage from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn.

The current equinoxes and solstices are as follows:

  • Spring or Vernal Equinox – March 20.
  • Summer Solstice – June 21.
  • Autumnal Equinox – Sept 22.
  • Winter Solstice – Dec 21.

Equinoxes & Solstices

Latin words 'Sol' denotes the solar/sun, while 'Stice' denotes a standstill. So the Solstice is the day when the Sun is still above the tropics. As a result, the Sun moves the following day. 

As a result, Dakshinayanam occurs on June 22nd and Uttarayanam occurs on December 22nd.

The Cancer Tropic passes through the center of India. The places south of the Tropic of Cancer are closer to the Equator and have exceptionally high temperatures all year. 

The northern regions, on the other hand, are in a warm temperature zone. As a result, they have low temperatures in comparison.

Important Points About Tropic of Cancer 

  • No. of states the Tropic of Cancer passes through India  8.
    • Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura & Mizoram.
    • Memory Code: MTയും MGRആറും JCB വാങ്ങി / രാമജപമി ഗുജത്ര
  • Tropic of Cancer passes through – 3 continents: North America, Africa & Asia.
  • Hemisphere in which the tropic of cancer pass through – Northern Hemisphere.
  • Westernmost state in India of the Tropic of Cancer – Gujarat.
  • Easternmost state in India of the Tropic of Cancer – Mizoram.
  • The shortest length of TOC is in – Rajasthan.
  • The longest length of TOC is in– Madhya Pradesh.
  • City nearest to the Tropic of Cancer – Udaipur.
  • Metropolitan city nearest to the Tropic of Cancer  Kolkata.
  • The town is nearest to the tropic of Cancer  – Gandhi Nagar (23°30′ North).
  • Capitals nearest to the Tropic of Cancer  Ranchi, Agartala & Aizwal.
  • Capital farthest from the Tropic of Cancer – Jaipur.
  • The river that crosses the Tropic of Cancer twice – Mahi.
    • The river originates in Madhya Pradesh and flows into Rajasthan. The river subsequently performs a u-turn, enters Gujarat, and flows into the Gulf of Khambhat.

Tropic of Cancer & Indian States

Tropic of Cancer

The Tropic of Cancer runs across eight Indian states. The table below lists the states, cities, and districts that the Tropic of Cancer passes through in India:

GujaratJasdanAravalli, Ahmedabad, Kutch, Mehsana, Sabarkantha & Surendranagar.
RajasthanKalinjarhBanswara & Dungarpur
Madhya PradeshShajapurRatlam, Ujjain, Shajapur, Rajgarh, Sehore, Bhopal, Vidisha,
Raisen, Sagar, Damoh, Katni, Jabalpur, Umariya & Shahdol.
ChhattisgarhSonhatSurguja, Koriya
JharkhandLohardagaRanchi, Gumla
West BengalKrishnanagarPurulia, Bankura, Paschim Bardhaman, Purba Bardhaman
 & Nadia.
TripuraUdaipurSouth Tripura
MizoramChamphaiLunglei, Sherchip

Tropic of Cancer & the World

Tropic of Cancer

Around the world, the Tropic of Cancer crosses through 16 nations, three continents, and six bodies of water. Mexico, the Bahamas Archipelago, Algeria, Mauritania, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Western Sahara, Myanmar, Oman, Bangladesh, India, Saudi Arabia, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Taiwan are among them.

  • North America: Mexico & Bahamas Archipelago.
  • Africa: Niger, Algeria, Mauritania, Egypt, Western Sahara, Libya & Mali
  •  Asia: Myanmar, Oman, Bangladesh, India, Saudi Arabia, China, United Arab Emirates & Taiwan.

Water Bodies  Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Taiwan Strait, Red Sea, Philippines Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of California.

 Question on Tropic of Cancer

1. The Tropic of Cancer does not pass through:
      A) India          B) Pakistan       C) Bangladesh       D) Myanmar

2. The tropic of cancer does not pass through which of these Indian states?
     A) Madhya Pradesh B) West Bengal   C) Rajasthan  D) Odisha

3. Which of the following cities in India is the farthest from the Tropic of Cancer?
     A) Gandhinagar     B) Ranchi      C) Agartala      D) Bhubaneswar

4. The Tropic of Cancer does not pass through:
    A) Mizoram   B) Manipur   C) Rajasthan   D) Tripura

5. What is the latitudinal value of the Tropic of Cancer?
     A) 23½ ° N   B) 23½ ° S    C) 23½ ° E   D) 23½ ° W

6. The area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn:
     A) North Temperate Zone   B)  Frigid Zone   C) Torrid Zone   D) South Temperate Zone

7. The Tropic of Cancer passes through:
    A) India & Iran   B) Iran & Pakistan   C) India & Saudi Arabia  D) Iran & Iraq

  • Tropic of Capricorn passes through Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Botswana, Madagascar, & Australia.
  • Equator  Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives & Indonesia.
    • Only Asian countries through which Equator passes  Maldives & Indonesia.
    • South Asian country is closest to the equator  Indonesia.
    • Only country that is crossed by both Equator and Tropic of Capricorn  Brazil.
  • GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)  UK, France, Spain, Algeria, Mali & Ghana.
  • IST (Indian Standard Time)  UP, MP, Odisha & Chhattisgarh.
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