Major Sea Ports in India

The Indian peninsula is surrounded by water bodies on its three sides the Bay of Bengal on the east, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Indian Ocean on the south. Since the historic times, India has had a strong and extensive network of maritime trade relations with other nations, and ports were developed as a result of this. 

Nowadays, according to the Government's statistics, 95% of India’s foreign trade is carried out mainly via seaports. So ports play a pivotal role in the country’s overseas trade and commerce thereby in the development of the nation.

Major Sea Ports in India

Along India's 7,516.6 km long coastline, there are 13 major seaports and over 200 notified minor and intermediate ports that handle an enormous volume of traffic.  Of which 12 are government-controlled and the remaining one, Ennore port of Chennai is a corporate one. These are located in the 9 coastal Indian states (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal).

The Central Government is responsible for the development of the principal ports whereas minor ports are under the control of respective State Governments.

Sagarmala Project was an initiative launched by the Government of India in 2015 to modernize the country's leading ports.

Facts about Ports in India

  • Total no. of Major Seaports in India – 13. 
  • Largest Port in India – Mumbai Port.
    • Busiest Port in India.
    • Largest Natural Port and Harbor In India.
  • Second Largest Port in India – Chennai Port.
  • Oldest Shipyard of India – Vizag Port.
  • Oldest Port of India – Lothal Port (Gujarat).
  • Deepest Port in India – Gangavaram Port (Andhra Pradesh).
  • The Base of Indian Coast Guard – Haldia Port.
  • First Corporate Port in India – Ennore Port.
  • First Private Port in India – Port Pipavav (Gujarat).
  • Oldest Operating Port in India – Kolkata Port.
    • Only major Riverine Port in India.
  • Iron Ore Exporting Port in India – Mormugoa Port.
  • Largest Container Port in India – Jawaharlal Nehru Port.
    • Largest Artificial Port in India – Jawaharlal Nehru Port.
  • Asia’s first Export Processing Zone (EPZ) – Kandla Port (1965).
  • Only Natural Seaport in the shores of Bay of Bengal – Vizag Port.
  • First Major Port commissioned after Independence – Paradip Port.
  • Biggest port of India based on the volume of freight handled – Kandla Port.
  • Indian State with the Largest no. of Major Ports – Tamil Nadu.

List of Sea Ports in India

The major ports of India that are situated on the east and west coastlines are listed as below:

Western Coast

Port NameLocationYear
Cochin PortKochi, Kerala1926
Kandla PortGulf of Kutch, Gujarat1950
Jawaharlal Nehru PortSouth Mumbai, Maharashtra1989
New Mangalore PortMangalore, Karnataka1974
Mormugoa PortPanaji, Goa1888
Mumbai PortWest Mumbai, Maharashtra1870

Eastern Coast

Port NameLocationYear
Chennai PortChennai, Tamil Nadu1881
Ennore PortCoromandel Coast, Tamil Nadu2001
Haldia PortKolkata, West Bengal1967
Kolkata PortKolkata, West Bengal1870
Paradip PortJagatsinghpur, Odisha1962
Tuticorin PortTuticorin, Tamil Nadu1974
Vishakhapatnam  PortVisakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh1933

 New Names of Ports

  • Ennore Port – Kamarajar Port. 
  • Kandla Port – Deendayal Port Trust.  
  • Kolkata Port – Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee Port.
  • Nhava Sheva – Jawaharlal Nehru Port.
  • Panambur Port – New Mangalore Port.
  • Tuticorin Port – V.O. Chidambaram Port.

Recently in News

Port at Vadhavan

The Indian Govt. has given approval for setting up another major port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra based on the Landlord Port Model. In the Landlord Model, the port is owned and regulated by the publicly governed port authority which acts as the landlord, and the tenant private companies carry out port operations like cargo-handling activities.

Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020

Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Shipping with an aim to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. Its key objective is to introduce the Landlord Port Model.

📝 SideNotes - :

  • Peninsula – a landmass surrounded by water bodies on three sides.
  • Ministry of Shipping –
    • Headquarters – Parivahan Bhavan, Delhi
    • Minister – Mansukh L. Mandaviya,
  • Tidal Port – Kandla Port.
  • Front Bay – Mumbai Port.
  • Diamond Harbour – Kolkata Port.
  • Hitech Port of India –  Jawaharlal Nehru Port.
  • Offspring of Partition – Kandla Port.
  • Gateway of Eastern India – Haldia Port.
  • Port inaugurated by Lord Willingdon – Visakhapatnam port.
  • Port situated near the Rann of Kutch – Kandla Port.
  • Port that handles the export of iron ore concentrates from Kudremukh mines – New Mangalore Port.
  • Pearl City – Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), famous for pearl fishing in the Bay of Bengal.
    • City of Pearls – Hyderabad.
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