A map of IndianaIndiana is located in the Midwest region of the United States. Apart from the Lake Michigan shoreline in the northwest, where there are high sand dunes, most of northern and central Indiana is flat with low rolling hills. The fertile soil is a mix of glacial sands, gravel and clay, which makes for exceptional farmland. Rivers such as the Wabash and Sugar Creek have carved deep valleys in the plain. There are numerous kettle lakes—formed by waters of the melting ice cap at the end of the Ice Ages—in the north. Southern Indiana consists of fertile valleys interspersed with rugged, hilly terrain. Here are found limestone caves, such as the Wyandotte Caves, and mineral springs, including French Lick and West Baden Springs.
The name Indiana means "Land of the Indians", or simply "Indian Land". In 1800, the US Congress divided the Northwest Territory into two areas, naming the western part Indiana Territory. In 1816, part of this became the area set aside for the new state of the same name.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the site of the famous 500-mile (800-kilometre) race, held annually. It is popularly known as the "Indy 500”. It attracts over 250,000 people every year, making it the largest single-day sporting event in the world.
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