Coastal Plains of India
Coastal India spans across a major area stretching along the Arabian Sea in the western coast to Cape Comorin in the southern part and along the Bay of Bengal touching the Sunderbans in the eastern corner.
Eastern Coastal Plains
In the East, the coastal plains stretch from Tamil Nadu to West Bengal. The rivers Mahanadi, Kaveri, Godavari and Krishna flow through them. Alongside them, lies Chilika Lake which is the biggest salt water lake, lying in the state of Odisha. Being coastal regions, they usually remain humid. These plains are divided into six areas namely, Coromandel Coast, Kanyakumari Coast, Krishna-Godavari deltas, Mahanadi delta and south of Andhra Pradesh plain.
The coast is named after an ancient dynasty Cholas that ruled over Tamil Nadu. It is a wide coastal region covering an area of 8800 square miles in eastern Tamil Nadu and shares its borders with Utkal Plains, Bay of Bengal, Kaveri delta and Eastern Ghats. It is a straight coastline comprising of many temples and therefore, is also known as the ‘land of temples’. The coastline does not have dense forests and the soil is marshy. Coconut palms stand tall alongside the coastline. The economy of this region largely depends upon Agriculture. Crops of sugarcane, legumes, rice, groundnuts and cotton are grown here which serve as major source of income for farmers. Apart from this, there are several large-scale industries in the area that manufacture chemicals, fertilizers, automobiles and amplifiers. Running parallel to the coastline, are interlinking roads and railway tracks that link major cities like Chennai with Cuddalore, Chengalpattu, Puducherry and Cuddalore.
The coast covers the southernmost part of India’s coastline. Kanyakumari earlier known as Cape Comorin that lies at the coast, serves as an important tourist destination. The town is a meeting point of western coastal plains and eastern coastal plains. The entire Kanyakumari coastline is washed by the Laccadive Sea also known as Lakshadweep Sea.
The delta covering an area of 200 km lies towards the southeast of Vijaywada. The eastern parts of delta comprises of mangrove forest that have a network of three main channels, the Krishna river is divided into. The western area of the delta is used for agriculture.
It delta coast stretches about 150 kms with its geological base same as of Mahanadi river. It is quite smaller in size than the Mahanadi one, the reason being a lot of erosion happening there.
The delta lies at the eastern coastline that merges a big land mass of the Indian mainland into Bay of Bengal. It comprises of alluvial soil with comparatively more silt deposits then the deposits led by any other river. Covering the path of about 900 kms, river Mahanadi merges into the Bay.
Coastal Andhra Plain
The region lies in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and includes all the districts between Eastern Ghats and Bay of Bengal namely, Vizianagaram, Vishakhapatnam, Srikakulam, East and West Godavari, Guntur, Krishna, Nellore and Prakasam. Owing to the rich soil led by the rivers Krishna and Godavari, the region is used for farming of major crops like rice and pulses. Coconuts are also grown here in abundance. Apart from this, the fishing serves as an important source of income for people here.
Western Coastal Plains
At the West, the coastal plains form a strip of land, just 50 to 100 kms wide, that lies between Western Ghats and Arabian Sea. They stretch from Gujarat to Kerala, covering Maharashta, Goa and Karnataka. The rivers that flow through this region are Narmada, Tapi, Zuari and Mandovi. The western coat is further divided into Konkan Coast and Malabar Coast.
The coast refers to the region between Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea or in other words, India’s western coastline that stretches 720 km long, covering the districts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka namely, Mumbai, Thane, Ratnagiri, Raigad, Sindhugarh, North and South Goa, Uttara Kannada, Dakshin Kannada and Udupi. Towards its east, lies Sahyadri mountain range and the western region is washed by the Arabian Sea. At the south, flows Gangavali river that flows in the coastal region of Karnataka – the southern-most part of Konkan Coast. The place is inhabited by tribal communities named Konkana, Kolcha and Warli.
It is a thin coastline that runs over 845 km, through the south-western shore of mainland India covering south-western coastal states – Karnataka and Kerala, finally reaching Kanyakumari at down south. The region is known as ‘Cherrapunji of the South’ as it receives lots of rainfall. It is sometimes considered as the entire western coastline running from Konkan Coast to the southern-most part touching Kanyakumari. The coastline is washed by the Arabian Sea. The entire western coastline enjoys good rainfall and has fertile soil.