• India’s coastline stretches for 7516.6 kilometers [6100 kilometers of mainland coastline plus 1197 kilometers of Indian island coastline] and they pass through 13 states and union territories (UTs) in total.
    • Coastline of India spans from the south west Indian coastline along the Arabian sea from the coastline of the Gulf of Kutch in its westernmost corner and stretches across the Gulf of Khambhat, and through the Salsette Island of Mumbai along the Konkan and southwards across the Raigad district region and through Kanara and further down through Mangalore and along the Malabar through Cape Comorin in the southernmost region of South India with coastline along the Indian Ocean and through the Coromandal Coast or Cholamandalam.
    • The coastline on the South Eastern part of the Indian Subcontinent along the Bay of Bengal through the Utkala Kalinga region extends until the easternmost Corner of shoreline near the Sunderbans in Coastal East India.
  • Coastline of India stretches across nine states and four union territories, and it is bordered to the west by the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean and to the East by the Bay of Bengal.
    • The Coastal States of India are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha.
    • Daman & Diu, Puducherry, Lakshadweep Islands, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands are the coastal Union territories.
  • Gujarat has the longest Coastline among states, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have the longest Coastline among UTs.
  • Indian mainland coastlines can be divided into two groups based on their location and active geomorphological processes:
Coastal Plains
coastline of india

Coastlines of Emergence and Submergence

  • Coastline of emergence is formed either by an uplift of the land or by the lowering of the sea level. Coastline of submergence is an exact opposite case.
    • Bars, spits, lagoons, salt marshes, beaches, sea cliffs and arches are the typical features of emergence.
  • The east coast of India, especially its south-eastern part (Tamil Nadu coast), appears to be a coast of emergence.
    • Coromandel coast (Tamil Nadu) – Coastline of emergence
  • The west coast of India, on the other hand, is both emergent and submergent.
    • The northern portion of the coast is submerged as a result of faulting and the southern portion, that is the Kerala coast, is an example of an emergent coast.
      • Malabar coast (Kerala Coast) – Coastline of emergence
      • Konkan coast (Maharashtra and Goa Coast) – Coastline of submergence.
Coastlines of Emergence and Submergence upsc

Significance of Indian Coastlines

  • The coastlines of India extend up to 7516.6 km including the island groups Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep.
  • As a result, the areas that are covered under the Indian coastlines enjoys a favorable climate with no extreme temperature which is ideal for human development.
  • Some of the major significance of the coastal plains in India are mentioned below:
    • The coastal plains in India are mostly covered by fertile soils which are best for cultivations. Rice is the major crop that is cultivated in these regions.
    • The big and small ports along the Indian coastlines help in carrying out trade.
    • The sedimentary rocks of these coastal plains are said to contain large deposits of mineral oil which can be used as a source of marine economy.
    • Fishing has become an important occupation of the people living in coastal areas.
    • The coastal plains in India are rich in coastal and marine ecosystems which also include a wide range of mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries, and lagoons serving as great tourism potential.

State-wise Length of Coastline of India

State/UTLength of coastline (in km)
Andhra Pradesh973.7
Tamil Nadu906.9
Goa, Daman & Diu160.5
West Bengal 157.5
Puducherry 30.6
Lakshadeep Islands132.0
Andaman & Nicobar Islands1962.0
Total coastline of India7516.6

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