Ports of India are very important gateway for international trade i.e. imports and exports. Maximum of the cargo that goes out of the country and that comes in the country is through these ports of India. These ports play an important role in strategic planning of imports and exports of the country. India’s international trade by sea amounts to over 90% of foreign trade that take place via 13 major and 187 minor ports of India. These ports of India are held responsible for playing a dominant role in developing the country’s trade and commerce.
India being the largest peninsular country in the world has about 7516.6 kilometers long coastline, which currently houses 13 major and 187 minor ports that contribute about 90% of the Foreign Trade. Out of these 12 are managed by Government and one by Corporate. The latest addition to the list of major ports of India is Port Blair. It was added in June 2010, making it the 13th port in the country. India is lucky to have major water bodies on its sides that is the east as well as the west side. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of Bengal on the south-east.
The Oldest Ports in India
Calicut was one of the very important ports of India in ancient times. This was the point where Portuguese sailor Vasco Da Gama landed. Soon this place became an important route of trade between east and west. Majority of the trades that took place from this port included spices mainly pepper, cloves and cinnamon. Gradually it became one of the most important shipping ports of India.
Lothal was an ancient city believed to be located some where around Ahmedabad District. Lothal was an important port city of India. The city existed 4500 years ago and that time it was a part of most important ports of India that worked as check points to enter the country. Remains of port city of Lothal were discovered in 1954, showing signs of activity that go back to Indus Valley Civilization.
Mumbai port is the biggest and busiest of all the ports of India. Mumbai Port was established as the Bombay Port Trust on June 26, 1873. The port was the pre-eminent commercial ports of India in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is known as the gateway to India, and has been a primary factor in the emergence of Mumbai as the commercial capital of India.
Tuticorin Port was constructed somewhere around 6th Century. It was established by Dutch as one of the most important Ports of India. The port was used majorly for trading pearls and withing a short span it became the pearl trading centers in India.
It is the oldest of all the shipping ports of India. Kolkata also enjoys the importance of one of the major ports of India. The Kolkata port is the only riverine port of all the ports of India and has two docks namely Kolkata dock and Haldia dock. Kolkata port has the largest dry dock of all the major ports of India.
Chennai Port is considered the third oldest port among the present 13 major ports of India. The Chennai Port has an artificial harbor. This gateway port for all cargo has completed about 130 years of service to India’s maritime trade. Before it was made an artificial harbor, the initial piers were built in 1861 but was destroyed by 1868 and 1872 storms.
Marmugao is one of the oldest Ports of India located on the west coast. It is believed to have flourished as a trade route point between India and Persia, Turkey and Arabia. It is one of the premier iron ore exporting ports of India with an annual throughput of around 26.74 million tonnes of iron ore traffic.