The erstwhile Bombay Port Trust, which is now known by the names Mumbai Port Trust and Mumbai Harbour, is the largest natural port in India. Spread across an area of 400 square kilometres, the Mumbai Port is the country's largest deepwater harbour and is situated 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, though 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. It was only nine years later, in 1661, that the port was transferred to the British owing to a nuptial bond between Britain's Charles II and Portugal's Infant Catherine.
Apart from the Mumbai Port, India's second-biggest natural port is the Cochin Port. It is regarded as India's first transhipment terminal in India and is one of the busiest seaports in the country.
List of Natural Ports in India
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 -
Mumbai Port Trust
The largest natural port in India
Cochin Port Trust
First transhipment terminal in India
Kolkata Port Trust
India's first and only important riverine port
Kandla Port Trust
India's largest port by volume of shipment handled
Paradip Port Trust
A natural harbour and deals with the export of aluminium and iron ore.
Vishakhapatnam Port Trust
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
A major port in South India dealing primarily with petrochemicals and fertilizers
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Situated at the junction of two major global shipping lines - Japan and US-Singapore.
The Mumbai Port - The Biggest Natural Port in India
The Mumbai Port is considered 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, also known as the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, is India's largest artificial port that handles Mumbai's major container traffic even today.
FAQs about Natural Port in India
- Which is the largest natural port in India?
The Mumbai Port is the largest natural port in India.
- Which is the second largest natural harbour port in India?
The Cochin Port Trust is the second-largest natural harbour port in India.
- Which is India's only riverine port in the list of natural ports in India?
The Kolkata Port is the country's only riverine port.