The Western Coastal Plain lies between the Western Ghats and the.Arabian Sea. It extends from the Gulf of Kutch in the North to Kany Kumari (Cape Comorin) in the South. Its Northern part is in Gujarat. This part of the Coastal Plain is broad, but as we go towards the South, it narrows down. In the Southern part it is 45 to 60 km. wide. This coast can be divided into two parts. The Northern part of the coast up to Goa is called Konkan Coast and the Southern part from Goa to Kanya Kumari is called Malabar Coast.
The climate of the Western Coastal Plain is hot and humid throughout the year. It gets heavy rainfall. Due to the effect of the sea the climate is almost the same throughout the year. The people wear light cotton clothes.
(a) The Konkan Coast :
The Northernmost part of the plain that lies between the Gulf of Khambhat and the Gulf of Kutch is called Saurashtra or Kathiawad Peninsula. The plain here is broad and fertile. The rivers Sabarmati, Narbada and Taptl flow through this part. Cotton, groundnut, tobacco and sugarcane are grown here. Coconut palms also grow along the coast. Kqndla and Okha are the major ports of this part. Ahmedabad which is on the banks of Sabarmati river is a big centre of cotton textiles.
From Khambhat onwards the plain is narrow. It is not more than 65 km. wide. It is rocky and uneven. Some hills of the coast reach up-to the sea. Therefore towers called light houses have been built along the coast to warn the ships of the rocks hidden in the sea. Rice is the main crop of the region. Mumbai is the largest city of this part. It is a natural harbor. This city is a big. trade centre. It is famous for its film, textile and engineering goods industries. Natural oil is extracted from Bombay High. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is at Trombay. Marmagao in Goa is another important port of this coast.
( b) The Malabar Coast:
The Southern part of the coast from Goa to Kanya Kumari is called Malabar Coast. This part of the coast is not as rocky as the Konkan Coast. All along the coast sand bars have been formed by the sea-waves. The sea waves bring sand with them and deposit it along the coast. These sand bars prevent the water of the small streams from going to the sea. As a result backwaters or lagoons have been formed along this shore. These lagoons are connected by channels or canals. The people go from one place to another in small boats called Kattuvalams.
The Malabar Coast gets heavy rainfall. The coast is evergreen. The hill slopes have thick forests. Rice is the main food crop of this plain. Coconut and bananas are also grown. This coast is the house of coconuts. Cash crops like coconuts, bananas and spices like pepper, cloves, ginger and cinnamon are grown here. Cashew nuts are grown in plenty. Tea, coffee and rubber trees are also grown here. Rubber is used for making tyres, tubes and other things. Fishing is also done in this area. Now-a-days large fishing boats go far into the sea to catch large quantities of fish. Fish is supplied to other parts of the country. Cochin is an important port in the Malabar Coast. It is situated on a lagoon. It has a big shipyard and an oil refinery.