The physiographic division of India includes 7516.6 Km [6100 km of mainland coastline + coastline of 1197 Indian islands] long coastline. The coastal plains of India extend from Kachchh from Gujarat in the West to the Gangetic delta (60% is in Bangladesh & 40% is in West Bengal) in the East.
The coastal plains located along the Arabian Sea coast in the West and Bay of Bengal coast in the East.
The Coastal Plains of India (classification)
The western coastal plain and the eastern coastal plain, these are the two parts of the coastal plains of India.
Western Coastal Plain:
The western coastal plains lie between the Western Ghats, the Arabian Sea, and from the Gulf of Kachchh in the north up to Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari) in the south.
This coastline is divided into the following subdivisions.
1. Gujarat coastal plain:
This is the northern part of the western coastal plain. This plain lies in the vast area of central Gujarat.
- Lies between Gulf of Kachchh and Daman.
- This coastal plain extends over 33,000 square km.
- It is drained by the Sabarmati, Mahi, Tapti, Narmada, etc. rivers.
- Around 17% of India’s cotton and 34% of India’s tobacco are grown in this coastal area.
- This coast is one of the most industrially developed areas in India. Industries included textiles, iron & steel, gasoline engines, petrochemicals etc.
- Ahmadabad – Famous for cotton textiles
- Vadodara – Famous for petroleum refinery and petrochemical products.
2. Konkan coastal plain:
- Konkan coast is 450 miles long coastline of the Western coastal plains of India.
- It is a very narrow plain, probably the narrowest coastal plain in India.
- This plain includes the coastal districts of Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka.
- It is surrounded by the Western Ghats in the East and the Arabian Sea in the West.
- Mumbai is the largest city which is also the Capital of Maharashtra.
3. Malabar coastal plain:
Karnataka coast is situated in the Western part of the Karnataka State. This coastal plain expands an area of about 4,000 sq. miles. This sandy coastline has formed a transitional zone between North Maharashtra and South Kerala.
- This coast is drained by Gangavali, Bedti, Kali Nadi, etc. rivers.
- Mangalore city is in the southern part of this coastal plain, which is famous for coconut tree and beefwood trees, is also the major coffee port of India.
- Deepwater ports for the mineral ores export of India – Mangalore and Karwar
Eastern Coastal Plain:
The Eastern Coastal Plains of India are situated between the Gangetic Delta in the North to Kanyakumari in the South. In the North, the plain has been formed by the Subarnarekha river. The 1500 km long coastline has an average width of 100 km, which is wider than the Western Coastal Plains of India. To the East, this coastal plain is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal and Eastern Ghats mountain ranges lie to the West.
About 25% of the area of this plain has been formed by the Deltas of the Mahanadi, Godavari, Kaveri, and Krishna rivers. Due to the very fertile soil, this plain is very rich and prosperous in agriculture. The Delta of Krishna river is the most fertile plain and it is known as the “Granary of South India“.
According to the States, the Eastern Coastal Plains can be divided into three parts;
- Utkal or Odisha coastal plain
- Andhra coastal plain
- Tamil Nadu coastal plain
1. Utkal Coastal Plain:
It is a part of the Eastern Coastal Plain lies in Odisha state. This Plain is surrounded by the lower Gangetic Plain, Bay of Bengal, Andhra coastal plain, and the Eastern Ghats to the North, East, South, and West respectively.
- This plain consists the Deltas of Mahanadi, Baitarani, and Brahmani rivers.
- The most important geographical feature of this plain is the Chilka Lake, which is the biggest Lake in India.
- The main occupation of the people is agriculture and rice is the main crop.
2. Andhra Coastal Plain:
The coastal plain of Andhra Pradesh is the second longest (974 km) coastline among the states of India after Gujarat. It lies between the Utkal and Tamil Nadu coast.
3. Tamil Nadu Coastal Plain:
The coastal plain of Tamil Nadu is situated on the South-Eastern part of India. The 1076 km long coastline is the second longest coastline in India after Gujarat.
- Chennai is the Capital of Tamil Nadu, which is an important industrial & commercial centre of India is situated in the northern part of this coastline.
- This coastline also shares maritime boundaries with Sri Lanka across the Palk Strait in the Gulf of Mannar.