Major Seaports in India That Are Worth a Visit

The Indian coastline covers more than 7,500 km, covering 10 states in three different directions. But perhaps what is as impressive as these numbers is the history of India’s maritime trade, all of which was conducted along this very same coastline. It goes back to the Indus Valley civilization that engaged in long distance voyages dating back to 2,900 BCE. Even during the 17th century, under the British occupation, India’s shipping flourished with the export of cotton, jute, spices and other commodities.

We bring you a list of six seaports that are worth exploring to catch a glimpse of enormous assets and our wonderful coastline that is steeped in history. Read on:

Kandla, Gujarat

Kandla Port, in the Kutch district of Gujarat, is a half an hour drive from the town of Gandhidham. The port is the largest in India in terms of the cargo handled daily and is always bustling with activity. The foundation of this port was created with a single pier in 1931. Though you need prior permission to enter the port area, it’s worth the effort to get a firsthand view of how cargo is handled.

While in Kandla, you can also explore the nearby Balaji Temple and Kandla stream. The port town is very well-connected from all major cities in Gujarat and will make for a perfect drive in your Ford Figo.

Panambur, Mangalore

Located in an industrial area and key to the economy of the city of Mangalore and coastal Karnataka in general, Panambur will enlighten you with the intricacies of trade transactions and operations. Just 10 km from the port is one of Karnataka’s most popular beaches, Panambur beach.

Get there on time to catch the sunset with your family in your Ford Endeavour. And while you’re at it, you can tune into your favourite driving music (handsfree) for a more enjoyable experience.

V.O Chidambaranar Port, Tamil Nadu

VO Chidambaranar Port, formerly known as Tuticorin Port, is located in the Gulf of Mannar. This all-weather ‘artificial’ port was declared a minor anchorage port in 1898 and is an engineering marvel. Operational throughout the year, it is one of the two ports in southern India that provides a direct weekly container service to Europe and the US. Though you need special permission to visit this port, it will prove to be a very educational and fascinating trip.

Paradip, Odisha

Paradip is located at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and River Mahanadi and is one of the most scenic ports in the country. It is just 120 km from the capital city of Bhubaneshwar, which is about a three-hour drive. The white rocks that line the harbour and the beach nearby offer a view that’s worth capturing.

The port trust also houses a golf course, so add an extra hour or two if you enjoy playing golf. Set the Cruise Control on your Ford EcoSport and enjoy a beautiful and peaceful drive to this interesting port.

Nhava Sheva, Maharashtra

Also known as Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Nhava Sheva is the biggest container handling port in the country and is in Navi Mumbai. It is an easy drive from both, Mumbai and Pune. When here, you can opt for an educational tour with a trained guide, who will take you through the port’s warehouse, logistics, and terminal operations.

The view of the Arabian sea from here is enchanting and witnessing the sunset is a must-do. Don’t forget to take a camera to capture some spectacular views of the port.

Mormugao Port, Goa

A natural harbour, Mormugao Port in Goa is one of the oldest ports in India. Back in the 19th century, the British and Portuguese decided to join forces to boost trade. This was in line with their Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1878. It’s interesting to note that the first ship that sailed to this port in April 1885, carried significant railway equipment. This port has tons of history attached to it, so it is a must-visit if you are a history buff.

The distance from Panaji to Mormugao is just 30 km. So, the next time you go to Goa, spare a little time from your beach holiday to visit this historical port and get a glimpse of India’s colonial past. Mormugao Port Trust also has a mini township that you can explore to experience the local life. With your Ford Freestyle’s compact design, sporty suspension and high ground clearance, you can easily navigate twists and turns on the road and any terrain that’s in front of you.

Now that you know all the fun and adventure that await you at India’s historic seaports, block your dates, prep your car, and get your camera ready. Happy exploring!

*All images are representational only