Coastal Plains of India

  • India has a coastline of 7517 Km
  • 6100 km of mainland coastline and 1417 km Indian islands
  • Cost line is touching 13 States and UTs
  • Coastal Length of Indian States & UTs in mainland
    1. Gujarat— 1215 Km
    1. Andhra Pradesh —974Km
    2. Tamil Nadu — 907 Km
    3. Maharashtra —652.6 Km
    4. Kerala — 569.7 Km
    5. Odisha —476.4 Km
    6. Karnataka —280 Km
    7. Goa (with Daman & Diu) — 160.5 Km
    1. West Bengal — 157.5 Km
    1. Puducherry — 30.6 Km (Union Territory)
Coastal Plains
Western Coast
  • Kutch and Kathiawar coast
  • Gujarat Plain
  • Konkan coast
  • Goan coast
  • Malabar coast
Eastern Coast
  • Utkal Plain
  • Andhra Plain
  • Tamil Nadu Plain
Western Coast
  • It extends from Rann of Kachchh  in the north to Cape Comorin (Kanniyakumari).
  • Western coastal plains are an example of submerged coastal plain.
  • Because of this submergence it is a narrow belt with an average width of about 65 km
  • It provides natural conditions for the development of ports and harbors.
  • Kandla, Mazagaon, JLN port Navha Sheva, Marmagao, Mangalore, Cochin, etc. are some of the important natural ports located along the west coast
  • Western coastal plains are narrow in the middle and get broader towards north and south
  • Rivers flowing through this coastal plain do not form any delta but  a few estuaries.
  • The estuaries, of the Narmada and the Tapi are the major ones.
Kutch and Kathiawar coast
  • It is extension of Peninsular plateau (Kathiawar is made of the Deccan Lava) treated as part of Western Coastal Plains as they are now levelled down.
  • The Kutch Peninsula was an island surrounded by seas and lagoons.
  • These seas and lagoons were later filled by sediment brought by the Indus River which used to flow through this area.
  • Lack of rains in recent times has turned it into arid and semi-arid landscape.
  • Salt-soaked plain to the north of Kutch is the Great Rann.
  • Its southern continuation, known as the Little Rann lies on the coast and south-east of Kachchh.
  • The Kathiawar Peninsula lies to the south of the Kachchh.
  • The Gir Range is located in the southern part of the Kathiawar peninsula.
  • It is covered with dense forests and is famous as home of the Gir lion.
  • Mt. Girnar (1,117 m) is the highest point and is of volcanic origin.
Gujarat Plain
  • The Gujarat Plain lies east of Kachchh and Kathiawar and slopes towards the west and south west.
  • Formed by the rivers Narmada, Tapi, Mahi and Sabarmati
  • The plain includes the southern part of Gujarat and the coastal areas of the Gulf of Khambat.
  • The eastern part of this plain is fertile enough to support agriculture
Konkan coast
  • The Konkan Plain south of the Gujarat plain extends from Daman to Goa
  • This is most submerged coastal area of India
  • It has some features of marine erosion including cliffs, shoals, reefs and islands in the Arabian Sea.
  • The Thane creek around Mumbai is an important embayment which provides an excellent natural harbour.
Goan coast
  • Coast of Goa and Karnataka
  • It is a narrowest coastal plain with an average width of 8-25 km, the maximum being 70 km near Mangalore.
  • Sharavati river makes Gersoppa (Jog) Falls which is 271 m high.
Malabar coast
  • The Kerala Plain also known as the Malabar Plain.
  • Between Mangalore and Kanniyakumari.
  • It is wider and low lying plain
  • Existence of lakes, lagoons, backwaters, spits, etc. is a significant characteristic of the malabar coast.
  • The backwaters, locally known as kayals are the shallow lagoons
  • Largest among these is the Vembanad Lake
  • Every year the famous Nehru Trophy Vallamkali (boat race) is held in Punnamada Kayal in Kerala
Eastern Coast
  • Extending from the Subarnarekha river along the West Bengal-Odisha border to Kanniyakumari.
  • Eastern coastal plain is broader and is an example of an emergent coast.
  • There are well developed deltas here, formed by the rivers flowing eastward in to the Bay of Bengal, include Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri
  • Because of its emergent nature and continental shelf, which  extends up to 500 km into the sea
  • It makes difficult for the development of good ports and harbours.
  • This plain is known as
    1. Northern Circars – Mahanadi to Krishna river
    2. Carnatic – Krishna to Cauvery river
Utkal Plain
  • The Utkal Plain comprises coastal areas of Odisha.
  • It includes the Mahanadi delta.
  • The most prominent physiographic feature of this plain is the Chilka Lake.
  • It is the biggest lake in the country and its area varies between 780 sq km in winter to 1,144 sq km in the monsoon months.
Andhra Plain
  • South of the Utkal Plain and extends upto Pulicat Lake.
  • Pulicat lake has been barred by a long sand spit known as Sriharikota Island
  • The two deltas of Godavari and Krishna have merged with each other and formed a single physiographic unit.
  • The combined delta has advanced by about 35 km towards the sea during the recent years.
  • Kolleru Lake which was once a lagoon at the shore but now lies far inland
  • This coast lacks good harbors with the exception of  Vishakhapatnam and Machilipatnam.
Tamil Nadu Plain or Coramandal Coast
  • Tamil Nadu Plain stretches from Pulicat lake to Kanniyakumari
  • The fertile soil and large scale irrigation facilities have made the Cauvery delta (Thanjavur) the granary of South India.
  • Coramandal or Payan Ghat plain stretches from Krishna delta to Kanyakumari
Significance of the Coastal Plains
  • Large parts of the coastal plains of India are covered by fertile soils on which different crops are grown
  • Coconut trees grow all along the coast.
  • The entire length of the coast is dotted with big and small ports which help in carrying out trade.
  • The sedimentary rocks of these plains are said to contain large deposits of mineral oil (KG Basin).
  • The sands of Kerala coast have large quantity of Monazite, use for nuclear power.
  • Fishing is an important occupation of the people living in the coastal areas.
  • Low lying areas of Gujarat are famous for producing salt.
  • Kerala backwaters are important tourist destinations.
  • Goa provides good beaches. This is also an important tourist destination.
Some Important Beaches
  • Marina, TN – Longest beach of India
  • Kovalam, Kerala – Monazite and Limonite found here
  • Girgaum Chowpatti, MH – Famous for Ganesh Chaturthi
  • Alappuzha, Kerala – Venice of the East
See Also