India is a blessed country. She is surrounded by three seas such as the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arbian Sea. The vast coastline is a precious gift of nature to our country. As a result of the opening to the sea on all sides, we have many ports which are helpful in sea-trade and commerce.
There were ports in ancient India. People in those days had trade-relations with other countries. Tamralipti was a famous port in ancient India. This port traded with the South- East-Asian Countries. This Tamralipti of the 6th Century B.C. is identified with Tamluk in West Bengal at present. There were also ports in Tamilnadu-and Gujarat. They traded With the Eastern Roman Empire.
The ports did not develop in the middle ages, because the Moghul rulers paid their attention to the trade on roads rather than on seas. However, the Britishers, during their reign in India, tried to improve the ports in India and used them for trade and commerce. They established many new ports in different parts of India. They used the ports in Surat, Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras) and Calcutta.
Thus there was an expansion of ports during the British rule in India. Trade and Commerce were monopolised in those days by the British rulers. Therefore, the scope of development of ports in those days depended upon the mercy of the British traders. But this situation was changed when India became free.
The Government of India took the responsibility of developing the ports in order to enhance Trade and Commerce. A port was constructed at Haldia in West Bengal. It was the second Port in that State. Thus the pressure on the port at Calcutta decreased. Three other ports were also built at Paradeep of Orissa, Tuticorin of Tamilnadu and at Mangalore of Karnatak. The Government also modernised the existing ports at Bombay (Mumbai) and Kandla (Gujarat).
India is famous in the world for the production of tea, jute, cotton, sugarcane and rice. Further, there are leather, iron-ore, and handicrafts which are exported from India to other countries in the world. India imports several goods such as food grains, mineral oil, metals chemicals, fertilizers and medicines from other countries. All these exports and imports are made through ports in India.
There are other ports in India. They are situated at Calicut, Cochin, Kandala, Marmagoa and Paradeep. Marmagoa is the finest port in India. Paradeep is the deepest all weather port while Calcutta is the largest Port in India. Both the ports are on the Bay of Bengal. Now in Orissa, there is another port at Gopalpur.