Major Ports in India - List of Western & Eastern Coast Ports in India (UPSC Prelims)

Marine transport in India is controlled and administered by the state and the central governments. While the shipping ministry manages the major ports, the intermediate and the minor ports are administered by the State government in which the port is located.

India’s 95% of trading is done through maritime transport.

The majority of ports in India are located in the below-given states:

  1. Maharashtra -53
  2. Gujarat -40
  3. Tamil Nadu – 15
  4. Karnataka – 10

The other 82 major and intermediates ports are distributed across the remaining part of India. For details on similar topics mentioned in the UPSC Syllabus, refer to the linked article.

List of major ports in India:- Download PDF Here

Introduction to Major Ports in India

All ports in India are situated in the following 9 coastal states of India namely Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. India’s extended coastline forms one of the major portions of land that juts out into a water body. Thirteen major ports in the country handle a lot of volume of container and cargo traffic.

On the west coast, there are the ports of Mumbai, Kandla, Mangalore, JNPT, Mormugao, and Cochin. The ones on the east coast are the ports at Chennai, Tuticorin, Visakhapatnam, Paradip, Kolkata, and Ennore. The last one, Ennore is a registered public company with the government owning a 68% stake. In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there is Port Blair. Mumbai is the largest natural port in India.

Out of the 13 major ports, there are 12 government ports and 1 corporate port.

This topic is relevant for IAS Exam and other government exams in India.

Important ports in India

The list of important ports in India is given below:


Zone State Port Features
Eastern Coast Tamil Nadu Chennai Artificial Port

Second busiest port

Western Coast Kerala Kochi Sited in the Vembanad lake
Exports of spices and salts
Eastern Coast Tamil Nadu Ennore India’s First corporatized port
Eastern Coast West Bengal Kolkata India’s only major Riverine port

Situated on Hugli river
Known as Diamond Harbour

Western Coast Gujarat Kandla Known as Tidal Port
Acknowledged as Trade Free Zone
Largest port by volume of cargo handled.
Western Coast Karnataka Mangalore Deals with the iron ore exports
Western Coast Goa Mormugao Situated on the estuary of the river Zuari
Western Coast Maharashtra Mumbai Port Trust Largest Natural Port and harbour In India

The busiest port in India

Western Coast Maharashtra Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) also known as Nhava Sheva, Navi Mumbai  Largest Artificial Port

It is the Largest Container Port in India.

Eastern Coast Odisha Paradip Natural Harbor
deals with the export of iron and aluminium
Eastern Coast Tamil Nadu Tuticorin A major port in south India
deals with the fertilizers and petrochemical products
Eastern Coast Andhra Pradesh Visakhapatnam Deepest port of India
deals with the export of iron ore to Japan. Amenities for building and fixing of ships are available

List of major ports in India:- Download PDF Here

Major Ports in India is an important static GK topic. For information on various static GK topics check the article linked here.

Apart from the major ports, there are 200 minor and intermediate ports in India. The classification of ports into major, minor, and intermediate has administrative significance.

The Union Shipping Ministry handles the major ports, the minor and intermediate ports are administered by the relevant departments or ministries of the respective coastal states.

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