Natural Ports in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 2, 2023, 0:36

Natural Ports in India will be discussed here. The erstwhile Bombay Port Trust, now known as Mumbai Port Trust and Mumbai Harbour, is among the largest natural ports in India. Stretching across a location of 400 square kilometers, the Mumbai Port is the country's largest natural harbour along the western coast of India.

One of the oldest ports in India, the Mumbai Port, was once used by the Maratha Army alongside the Portuguese and British navies. However, the ownership resided with the Portuguese Army.

  • In 1652, the East India Council's Surat Council proposed to purchase the port in its entirety solely for the British Navy to operate.
  • Only nine years later, in 1661, the port was transferred to the British owing to a marital bond between Britain's Charles II and Portugal's Infant Catherine.
  • Besides the Mumbai Port, India's second-biggest natural port is the Cochin Port.

It is regarded as India's first transshipment terminal in India and is one of the busiest seaports in the country. Continue to read about India's top 10 Natural Ports and features.

List of Ports in India and Their Features

Since India has a coastline measuring a mammoth 7,516.6 km, it is quite natural for India to have numerous major and minor ports.

While the government has constructed many artificial ports recently, there are a few natural ports with natural harbours. Here's a list of natural ports in India

Port Name in India




Mumbai Port Trust


The largest natural port in India


Cochin Port Trust


First transhipment terminal in India


Kolkata Port Trust

West Bengal

India's first and only important riverine port


Kandla Port Trust


India's largest port by volume of shipment handled. Kandla port new name is Deendayal Port.


Paradip Port Trust


A natural harbour and deals with the export of aluminium and iron ore.


Vishakhapatnam Port Trust

Andhra Pradesh

The deepest ports in India; a major site of the operation for the Indian Navy.


Mormugao Port Trust


Located on the river Zuari estuary


New Mangalore Port


Specializes in exporting iron-ore


VO Chidambaranar Port

Tamil Nadu

A major port in South India dealing primarily with petrochemicals and fertilizers


Port Blair

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Situated at the junction of two major global shipping lines - Japan and US-Singapore.

Mumbai Port Trust

It stands first in the list of the largest natural ports in India, in Maharashtra. The port majorly exports leather, manganese, chemical products, textile, machinery, etc. The port consists of three habour, namely, Prince's Dock, Victoria Dock, and Indira Dock.

Cochin Port Trust

Kochi Port or Cochin Port is a prominent port on the south-western seaside of Willington Island in Kerala. It is another natural harbour that exports essential commodities like tea, coffee, spices, etc. Cochin port is a natural entryway for the industrial and farming market in South-west India.

Kolkata Port Trust

Another natural seaport in India, Kolkata Port Trust, is discovered in West Bengal, and the port, along with Haldia port, jointly creates the twin dockyard systems. A significant quantity of Jute is shipped from Kolkata Port, and export of entities like tea, steel, iron ore, coal, etc also takes place.

Kandla Port Trust

It is established in the Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat. Kandla port is a Tidal port that reduces the strain on Mumbai Port. It exports textile, manganese, machinery, leather, chemical products, etc.

Paradip Port Trust

This port is found at the intersection of the Mahanadi river and the Bay of Bengal in Odisha, India. Paradip Port is the first major port after Independence's start, mainly exporting iron ore and aluminum.

Vishakhapatnam Port Trust

It is between Chennai port and Kolkata Port in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is among the largest natural ports in India, exporting coal, alumina, oil, and coals.

Mormugao Port Trust

It is seen in the waterway of Juari River in Goa. Mormugao Port is a natural harbour in India that was identified as a leading dock in 1963. It is a top iron ore exporter.

New Mangalore Port

New Mangalore Port occupies the eighth position in the natural ports in India. This deep water all-weather port is located in Karnataka and mainly focuses on trading iron ore to other countries.

VO Chidambaranar Port

V.O. Chidambaranar Port is a medium seaport and is the third largest container terminal in Tamil Nadu, India. It exports general cargo, building materials, liquid cargoes, sugar, granite, and limonite ore.

Port Blair

It is a seaport in the South Andaman district of Andaman and Nicobar in India, near the city of Port Blair. It is a natural harbour owned by the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India.

Largest Natural Ports in India - The Mumbai Port

The Mumbai Port is the biggest natural port in India and the busiest port in the country. Since its inception, it was majorly seen as an international port, connecting India to the western world. Hence, it is one reason why Mumbai steadily became India's commercial capital.

  • Over the years, the Mumbai Port underwent numerous expansions and a genial increase in its cargo handling capacity.
  • Yet, in the 1970s, the city's accelerated growth and expansion became too much for the port to handle singlehandedly, and the Nhava Sheva port was built right across the Mumbai Port in Navi Mumbai.
  • The Nhava Sheva Port, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, is India's largest artificial port that handles Mumbai's significant container traffic even today.

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FAQs on Natural Port in India

Which is the largest natural port in India?

The Mumbai Port is the largest natural port in India. The port consists of three habour, namely, Prince's Dock, Victoria Dock, and Indira Dock.

Which is the second largest natural harbour port in India?

The Cochin Port Trust is the second-largest natural harbour port in India. It is a natural entryway for the industrial and farming market in South-west India.

Which is India's only riverine port on the list of natural ports in India?

The Kolkata Port is the country's only riverine port, and this port and Haldia port jointly create the twin dockyard systems.

What are the Two Natural Ports in India?

Mumbai and Kochi are the two Natural Ports in India. A natural harbor or port is a landform where a part of a water body is preserved and deep enough to permit anchorage.

How many natural ports are there in India?

India has 13 major ports and 205 reported minor and intermediate ports. Six new mega ports are to be established under the Sagarmala Project.

Is Visakhapatnam port a natural harbour?

Visakhapatnam Port is a natural port with deepwater basins formed by a high cliff into the sea, known as Dolphin's Nose Hill to the south and Ross Hill to the North of the entry channel.

Which is the best natural port in India?

Mumbai port is known to be the best natural port in India sought to change Mumbai into a trading hub for the East India Company. Being a natural harbor; it is the biggest port in India too.

Which is the oldest natural port in India?

Lothal Port is the oldest port in India and was an important port city of the Indus valley civilization, located in today's Bhal region of Gujarat.

Which is India's deepest port?

Krishnapatnam Port is the deepest port in India. It can manage 75 million tonnes of load per annum, with a draft of 18.5 meters.