Coastal Plains of India: Types, Importance, Eastern and Western Coastal Plains

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The Coastal Plains of India are located on both sides of the peninsula. India’s western and eastern coasts have these plains along the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, respectively. Western coastal plains reach from the Rann of Kutch of Gujarat to Kanyakumari’s southernmost point, whereas the eastern coastal plains stretch from West Bengal to that location. India’s long mountain ranges and water bodies on either side are situated between these areas.

Coastal Plains of India is indeed an important topic for the UPSC exam and is covered in the syllabus of the geography section. To understand the characteristics, significance, and types of the Coastal Plains of India, we have provided detailed UPSC Notes below for better learning and understanding.

Coastal Plains of India

Along with the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep islands, the Indian coastline, which is 7516.6 km long, also includes 6100 km of continental coastline. There are 13 states & union territories along India’s coastline. The eastern coastal plains are bordered by the Bay of Bengal, whereas the western coastal plains are bordered by the Arabian Sea. The geographical landmasses known as coastal plains are level, low-lying areas next to the seashore. India’s eastern and western beaches are bordered by the Coastal Plains, which are located on either side of the Deccan Plateau.

Coastal Plains PDF

India’s coastal regions are highly known for their commerce, agriculture, tourist destinations, business and industrial sectors, salt manufacturing, and fishing. The hinterlands they supply are crucial for the major ports. Rich, fertile soil can be found in several parts of the coastal plains of India, where it can support the cultivation of numerous other crops in addition to tice. A coastal plain is a region of low relief that is only surrounded by water, sometimes even an ocean, on one side and mountains on the other. They are therefore limited by the coastline to the sea & by the mountains to the land. The land area gently ascends in a series of flat-land terraces split by scraps and hills, with altitudes varying from 100m to 300m, as one travels first from sea to the highlands.

Coastal Plains of India and their Formation

The Indian subcontinent was a component of Gondwanaland’s supercontinent about 140 million years ago. Over millions of years, during the tectonic movements, the Indian continent split from Gondwanaland and united with the Eurasian plate. A remarkably straight and regular shoreline was created along the eastern & western coastal plains as a result of this separation from Gondwanaland.

India’s coastline stretches for roughly 7517 km. 6100 km of shoreline on the continent and 1417 km of islands are in India. Coastal plains in India are found in 13 states and UTs. Below is a list of the Indian States’ and the Union’s territorial coastlines:

  • 1215 Km in Gujarat
  • 974 Km in Andhra Pradesh
  • 907 Km in Tamil Nadu
  • 652.6 Km in Maharashtra
  • 569.7 Km in Kerala
  • 476.4 Km in Odisha
  • 280 Km in Karnataka
  • 160.5 Km in Goa (with Daman & Diu)
  • 157.5 Km in West Bengal
  • 30.6 Km in Puducherry (UT)

Types of Coastal Plains of India

India is a country whose three borders are bordered by the ocean. India’s west and east coasts are bordered by coastal plains. The Eastern and Western are two types of Coastal Plains of India that is 7516.6 km long.

Eastern Coastal Plains of India

The Andhra Pradesh and Odisha regions are part of the eastern coastal plains, which stretch from West Bengal throughout the north to Tamil Nadu throughout the south. The eastern coastal plains of India contain deltas for the Godavari, Mahanadi, Kauveri, and Krishna rivers. Farming in the deltas is immensely effective and fertile. And along the East coast are three divisions:

  • Utkal coast: The Utkal coast bordering Kolleru Lake and Chilika Lake is significantly wider than the western coastal plains and receives a lot of rainfall. Rice, coconut, and bananas are a few of the crops that are grown here.
  • Andhra coast: Starting from the southernmost point of the Utkal Shore, this coast rises all the way to Pulicat Lake. The two deltas of the Godavari and Krishna combine here to form a single geomorphologic unit that is specific to this coastal region.
  • Coromandel coast: This coastline stretches from Kanyakumari to Pulicat Lake. The soil of the Cauvery delta along the coast is extremely rich, earning the area the moniker “Granary of South India.”

Western Coastal Plains of India

Western Coastal Plains extends from Kerala in the south to Gujarat in the north, passing across Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Goa. The western coastal lowlands are 1500 km long and 10 to 25 km wide. Off the coast of Mumbai, the West Coastal Shelf is at its biggest peak in history. Here, oil is abundant. The Malabar Coast is well-liked by tourists due to the abundance of beautiful lagoons there. Western coastal plains are narrower, while the eastern coasts are wider. The western coast is further divided into the following four categories:

  • Kachchh and Kathiawar coast: Sediment deposited by the Indus River helped to shape Kachchh’s coastline. Previously, Kachchh was a gulf. In the monsoon season, shallow water divides the Kachchh region into the Little Rann towards the east and the Great Rann towards the north. In contrast, Kathiawar is found south of Kachchh.
  • Konkan coast: It reaches all the way from Daman throughout the north to Goa in the south. Rice and cashews are this area’s two main crops. This coastline stretches from Daman to Goa and is located south of Gujarat. Along this coast, Thane Creek serves as a significant natural port. Additionally, this coast is a popular tourist destination due to the abundance of cliffs, islets, shoals, and reefs that line it.
  • Kanada Coast: It stretches from Marmagaon & to Mangalore and is known as the Kannada coast. These coastal plains reach all the way to Mangalore from Marmagoan. As streams from western ghats down steep hillsides, they create a number of waterfalls in these Indian Coastal Plains. One of the well-known waterfalls in this area is called Jog Falls. Additionally, this area has many iron ore resources.
  • Malabar coast: From Mangalore till Kanyakumari, the Malabar coast is relatively broad. This southern Kerala region also includes lagoons that stretch parallel to the coastline.

India has a diversified geography. There are several different types of landforms in this nation, including the Coastal Plains of India. Both Eastern & western coastal plains have unique qualities that set them apart from other geographic regions.

Significance of Coastal Plains of India

The Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep island groups are included in India’s 7516.6 km of coastline. Because of this, the regions that are covered by the Indian coastlines have a suitable atmosphere with moderate temperatures that are perfect for human development. The following are some of the important contributions made by coastal plains in India:

  • In India, the fertile soils that are optimal for farming cover the majority of the coastal plains. In these areas, rice is primarily grown as a crop.
  • The trade is aided by the numerous small and big ports that line the Indian coastlines.
  • According to reports, the rock layers of such coastal plains contain significant amounts of mineral oil that could be used as a resource for the marine economy.
  • In coastal areas, fishing has grown in importance as a source of income.
  • The coastal plains in India are home to a variety of mangroves, reefs, estuaries, and lagoons, as well as a wealth of marine and coastal habitats that offer excellent tourism opportunities.
  • Large amounts of MONAZITE, which is utilised in nuclear power, are found in the sands along the Keralan coast.
  • The low-lying areas of Gujarat are famous for high salt production.
  • Popular tourist destinations include Kerala’s backwaters.
  • Along India’s coastline, coconut trees are there in abundance.

Coastal Plains of India UPSC

Coastal Plains of India UPSC notes are important from the perspective of IAS preparation. The 7516.6 km long Indian coastline contains 6100 km of mainland shoreline in addition to the islands of Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep. 13 states and union territories make up the coastline of India. The Eastern and Western Coastal Plains have been discussed in detail in this article, and understanding them helps in preparing for the geography subject for the UPSC exam. Candidates should know the important information about the Coastal Plains of India that is provided below for a better understanding of this topic.

  • Eastern & Western are two Coastal Plains of India.
  • The Eastern Plains consist of Utkal Coast, Andhra Coast, and Coromandel Coast.
  • Western Coastal Plains of India consist of Kachchh and Kathiawar Coasts, Konkan Coast, Kanada Coast, and Malabar Coast.
  • These plains are covered with lush soil that is suitable for agriculture.
  • Eastern Coastal Plains are on a flat surface.
  • Mountain ranges cut through the western plains.
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