Coastal Areas of India: The Indian coastline of about 7516.6 km includes 5422.6 km of mainland and 2094 km of coastline belonging to Indian islands, the major ones being the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea. The coastline touches 13 States and Union Territories of India.
India has acomparativelyunswerving and consistent coastline with not many sites for natural harbors of good quality. It is believed that the origin of the Indian coastline was the faulting or in other words the Continental Drift of the Gondwanaland during the Cretaceous period. The Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea also came into existence during the Cretaceous or early Tertiary period after the disintegration of Gondwanaland. The Indian Coastline comprises the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala,
Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. The Cities in the Coastline of
India are notable for trading through Ships from International as well as domestic coastal cities.Apart from the big port cities the coasts are also dotted with small yet beautiful towns and villages that have beautiful beaches and quaint ways of life that are major tourist attractions.
Eastern Coast of India
The eastern coast is situated in the middle ofthe Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal.It stretches from the Sunderbans delta to the southern tip of the Indian mainland, Kanyakumari.It is dotted with various deltas e.g. those of the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery.The lagoon in the the Pulicat lake and the Chilka lake are important geographical landmarks of the east coast. The eastern coast has regional names by which they are more popular locally e.g. Odisha coast is locally known as the Utkal Coast, south of the Utkal lies the Andhra coast and south to the Andhra lies the Tamil Nadu coast. The southern part of the Andhra coast and the Tamil Nadu together are called the Coramandal coast.
East Coastal Plain
The coastal plains commence in the north with the Suwarnarekha River and stretches to Kanyakumari in the south. The plains lie between the eastern coastline, bordered by the Bay of Bengal in the east and to the i.e. west are the Eastern Ghat Hills. The East Coastal Plains extend for about 1500 km.
In comparison to the western plains, the eastern coastal plains are wider. The fertile plains are known as the ‘Granary of the South’ as nearly a quarter of the eastern coastal plain area is a part of the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri deltas.
The Eastern Coastal Plain is dotted with a number of Sand Dune Lagoons that are enclosed between the sand dunes and the coast. These are slightly bridged to the bay e.g. Chilka Lake in the Utkal coast, Kolleru and Pulicat lakes in the Andhra coast. The island of Shriharikota, which is the satellite and rocket launching hub, the Space Research Centre, of India is situated in the Pulicatlake.
West Coast of India
The western coast is situated in the middle of the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea.It extends from the Gulf of Cambay in the north to Cape Comorin in the south. The coasts are rich in alluvium brought by the streams that originate in the Western Ghats. There are a number of small bays (coves), estuaries (Narmada and Tapi) and creeks in the west coast. The Kerala coast is dotted with geographical features like lakes, lagoons and backwaters, the largest being the Vembanad Lake.
The western coast has regional names by which they are more popular locally e.g. the Maharashtra and the Goa coast are known as the Konkan coast and the Karnataka and the Kerala coast are known as the Malabar Coast.
West Coastal Plain
The north to south extension of the Western Coastal Plain is from the white salt desert of Kutch to Kanyakumari,respectively. To the east of the plains are the Western Ghats and to the west is the clear blue Arabian Sea.The West Coastal Plains are comparatively narrower than the eastern coastal Plains, the plains get narrower as they proceed to the south. Andunlike, the eastern plains the rivers that originate in the Western Ghats Hills do not form deltas while draining into the Arabian Sea.
The West Coastal Plains are very important with the view of agriculture and trade. A lot of sugarcane, spices, rice and coconut are produced in these fertile plains and the ports of Chennai, Mormugao, Mumbai, Kochi etc. are important sea ports from which international trade is carried out.
Significance of Coastal Regions
- The Coastal areas of India are extremely fertile regions and are an important source of crops like rice, exotic crops like various spices and rich crops like dry fruits.
- Coconut trees grow all along the coast. These are not only fruit bearing trees but are also a source of coconut oil, coconut husk which is also used as fuel by the locals.
- The coastal areas are very significant for international and domestic sea-route trade. The complete length of the coast is marked with seaports of various sizes that aide and encourage trade.
- Mineral oil is another resource which is found in the sedimentary rocks of the coastal plains. Large deposits of mineral oil are said to be in theKrishna-Godavari Basin.
- MONAZITE, a reddish-brown phosphate mineral containing rare earth metals is found in fair amounts in the sands of the Kerala coast, is an important component in the generation of nuclear power.
- Another important occupation of coastal areas is fishing.
- Production of salt is prevalent in the low lying areas of Gujarat.
- Coastal areas are prime tourist destination as they have a spectacular variety of attractions to offer to visitors. The beaches, coral reefs, adventure activities, nature, scenic beauty are just to name a few.
List of Coastal Cities in India
|S. No.||Coastal Cities||States|
12 Most Popular Beaches of India
India has a splendour of mesmerising beaches. The coastline is a treasure trove for tourists with their golden and white beaches. Tourists from world over flock to the exotic beaches of Goa, Kerala, Andaman & Nicobar etc. Apart, from their beauty the beaches offer ample opportunities for adventures sports, mostly water adventure such as surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling etc.
1. Calangute Beach, Goa
It is amongst the popular beaches of North Goa. It is famous for the Goan nightlife and mouth-watering seafood. The beach also offers water sports like Parasailing, sailing, windsurfing etc. Otherfamous beaches of Goa are Anjuna, Palolem,Colva, Candolimetc.
2. Kovalam Beach, Kerala
The Kovalam is unanimously considered as the most beautiful beach of Kerala and amongst the most frequented beaches of India. Kovalam is in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram and is its natural beauty makes gives you a heavenly feeling. Kovalamis a group of three beaches and stretches for about 17 km on the Arabian Sea coast. The beaches that comprise Kovalam are the Lighthouse Beach, the Hawah Beach and the Samudra Beach. Other popular beaches of Kerala are the Alappuzha Beach and the Muzhappilangad Beach with, Muzhappilangad being the only Drive-in Beach in Asia.
Kovalam Beach, Kerala
3. Diveagar Beach, Maharashtra
This beautiful stretch of beach known as Diveagar, is a part of the Maharashtra or
Konkan coast, it is at a distance of about 170 km from Mumbai. Located on the MumbaiGoa highway, Diveagar Beach has a dense coverage of Belu trees. The Konkan coast of Maharashtra is famous for typical white-sand beaches and palm trees.
4. Marina Beach, Tamil Nadu
Marina is the hot spot of Chennai, located on the Coramandal coast.The beach stretches for about 13 km along the Bay of Bengal, making a name for itself for being the longest urban beach of the country.
5. Puri Beach, Orissa
The Puri Beach, situated in the same city as the famous JagannathPuri Temple, is a tourist attracting beacon.This beach is popular for sand art and the Puri Beach Festival, which is held annually. This treasure of nature is located just 35km from the famousKonark templeand 60 km from the capital city Bhubaneshwar.
6. Radhanagar Beach, Andaman Islands
The award winning Radhanagar Beach is on the Havelock Island in the Great Andaman. It has been awarded for its quality and beauty and is ranked amongst the best beaches of Asia and is one of the must visit beaches of India. Other, nearby, popular beaches are Vijaynagar Beach,and Elephant Beach.
7. Devka Beach, Daman and Diu
Located in Daman, Devka Beach is an importanttourist attractions of the area. The beach offers a number of water sports and a golden sand beach with Coconut, Palm and Hoka trees lining the coastline.Other popular beaches of Daman and Diu are
Chakratirth,Gomtimata, Nagao and a petite Sunset Point.
8. Agatti Island Beach, Lakshadweep
The tranquil beaches of the Lakshdweep islands are popular for their quality beaches, especially for swimming. Amongst them is the Agatti beach, which stretches for about 5.6 km. The coral atoll, sparkling clear waters,coral fishes and coral reefs make this beach unique. The availability of water adventure sports like scuba diving,snorkeling and kayaking is another point gainer for the beach.
9. Promenade Beach, Puducherry
A major attraction for the tourists in Puducherry, the Promenade beach is a fascinating natural site.The road runs alongsidethe Beach dotted with famous landmarks like the Heritage Town hall,Dupleix and Statue of Mahatma Gandhi situated along the beach.
Other popular beaches of Puducherry are Paradise beach and the Auroville beach.
10. Ramakrishna Beach, Andhra Pradesh
This beach is afamous tourist attraction siteof Visakhapatnam and believed to be one of the most exotic beaches on the Eastern Coast. The spectacular beach is full of action with swimming, sun bathing and beach volleyball. Apart from this, the nearby Aquarium museum and the Kali temple are also must visit sites for the tourists. Other popular beaches of Andhra Pradesh are Suryalanka, Manginapudi,Rishikondand Bheemunipatnambeaches.
11. Digha Beach, Kolkata
The Digha Beach of Kolkata is one of the most frequented beaches of the Bay of Bengal coast. The last few years have witnessed the growing popularity of the Digha beach, especially as an excursion or a weekend getaway destination.The other popular beaches around the Digha beach are the New Digha,Chandaneshwar and Shankarpur.
12. Karwar Beach, Karnataka
Situated on the banks of the river Kali, Karwar is a good place to enjoy sun, sea and sand. The beauty of this beach has inspired many an artist. Karwar Beach is abeautiful natural tourism product especially because of its flora and fauna and the fascinating Kali river bridge. Other popular beaches along the Karwar are the Devbagh Beach, Casurina Beach and Binaga Beach.