Merchant Navy

Major Sea Ports of India

We are a country surrounded by sea on three sides- the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of Bengal on the south-east. This proximity to sea has given us an advantage in terms of Shipping Industry and as a result of flourishing sea trade many ports have been active since time immemorial in India. Some of the best and major sea ports of India are as below:-

1. Kandla Port- Gujarat:

One of the nine coastal states of India, Gujarat has some major sea ports and has therefore emerged as a prominent centre of trade and commerce. Kandla Port is located in Kutch district of the state and was constructed in the 1950s. Today it is the largest port of India by volume of cargo handled. It is close to Gandhidham, which is a well-known tourist spot. One can visit Shri Chandra Prabh Labdhi Dham Teerth, Purneshwar Temple and Modhera while docked at Kandla Port.

2. Nhava Sheva- Maharashtra:

This one is in Maharashtra and is the largest container port of India. It is also known as Jawaharlal Nehru Port. The major exports from this port are textiles,carpets,boneless meat and main imports include machinery, vegetable oils and chemicals. It is located east of Mumbai. One can visit Gateway of India, Haji Ali, Shree Siddhivinayak Temple and other tourist destinations of Mumbai by travelling an hour or two.

3. Mumbai Port- Maharashtra:

This port is located in the mainland of west Mumbai. It is the largest port in India and handles crude and petroleum products trade. The city of Mumbai is a store house of treasure for those looking to explore. So, if you are docked here, take the time to explore the city. Haji Ali Dargah, Gateway of India, Hanging Gardens, Marine Drive, Elephanta Caves, Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, Gateway of India, Crawford Market, Flora Fountain, Majestic House, Watson’s Hotel, ruins of St. John the Baptist Church – the list of places to visit is endless.

4. Marmagao Port- Goa:

Located in South Goa, Marmagao port is one of the leading iron ores exporter port in India and raw materials too. It is very close to Vasco da Gama, which is an important town. If your ship is docked here, you could visit the Marmagao Fort and Varca Beach. If you are willing to travel a few hours you can easily explore the whole state of Goa in a few days. It is a traveller’s dream destination.

5. Panambur Port- Karnataka:

It is also known as the New Mangalore Port. It is located close to the Surathkal railway station in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. It is one of the major ports of India. While here, you can relax at the Surathkal Beach, visit the Surathkal Lighthouse, or take a trip to St. Mary’s Islands.

6. Cochin Port- Kerala:

It is one of the largest sea ports in our country and is also referred to as the maritime gateway to peninsular India. It’s also crucial as it is an all-weather natural port. It handles about 13.5 million tons of cargo annually. If your ship is docked at this port, understand you are in Kochi, Queen of Arabian Sea. There are many places to visit and explore. Backwaters of Kochi should be your first stop. Marine Drive, Fort Kochi, Hill Palace, Mattancherry Palace,Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Jewish Synagogue and Bolgatty Palace are some of the many tourist attractions that one should explore.

7. Port Blair- Andaman:

This sea port is located in the administrative capital of Andaman Nicobar Islands and is the most recent sea port of India. Apart from being a shipping port, it is a very popular tourist destination. If you and your ship are there, make sure to visit and enjoy the local attractions like Cellular Jail also known by the name “Kala Pani”, Anthropological Museum, and enjoy adventure sports like motor boat rides or water scooter rides.

8. Tuticorin Port- Tamil Nadu:

This one is an artificial deep sea harbor. It is the largest container terminal in India. The city is also known as the Pearl City as it also used for pearl fishery. Our Lady of Snows Basilica, Thiruchendur Murugan Temple, Kalugumalai, Ottapidaram, Kattabomman Memorial Fort, Tiruchendur Sri Subrahmanya Swami Devasthanam, Ettaiyapuram Palace, Holy Trinity Church are some of the tourist attractions that can be explored while there.

9. Chennai Port- Tamil Nadu:

This is one of the oldest sea ports in the country and was previously called the Madras port. This is a hub port for cars, big containers and cargo traffic in the east coast of India. Chennai port has many beautiful tourist destinations close by for you to explore. St Mary’s Cathedral Church, Fort Museum, St. George Fort, Iskcon Temple,Cholamandalam Artist’s village and Covelong Beach are some of the must explore places close by.

10. Vizag Port- Andhra Pradesh:

Last but not the least on our list is Vizag port of Andhra Pradesh. It is the oldest shipyard of India. The port city of Visakhapatnam is beautiful and offers a lot for the travellers. Borra Caves, Araku Valley, Yarada Beach, Rishikonda Beach, Katiki Waterfalls, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Kailasagiri Hill Park and VUDA Park will all appeal to your wanderer’s heart.

This marks the end of our list of 10 major sea ports of India. If you have something to add regarding the sea ports or a suggestion to make, leave us a comment.


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Neha Gupta

A Professional writer with over 10 years of experience, I love writing and learning about new areas during the process. Writing about merchant navy has given me a close look at the sacrifices made by the seafaring community and it is a pleasure to bring to light, through my blogs, for all to see and view, the hard work and dedication of these unsung heroes i.e. the seafarers.

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