The southeastern coast of India is home to an interesting coastline which is known as the Coromandel Coast. The coast gets its name from the Dutch who mispronounced the name of a village found in the region known as Karimanal. Upon settling on the village, the Dutch named the coast as the Corimondal. The British who later settled along the coast further corrupted the name into the name the coast is known as today, the Coromandel Coast.
Geography of the Coromandel Coast
The coast lies on a region of low elevation averaging at 264 feet above sea level with the few prominent geographical features being the Eastern Ghats, a stretch of low-lying hills which are notable for their flat tops. The coast is generally straight and flat, but there are few sandbars. There are also numerous coral islands found offshore of the coastline. The Western Ghats mountain range borders the Coromandel Coast and the coast is effectively under the mountain’s rain shadow. Lying in the Western Ghats’ rain shadow, the region experiences low rainfall, relative to the surrounding areas and receives an average of 30.5 inches of rainfall each year. Several rivers have their lower courses running down the coast and ultimately draining into the Bay of Bengal. Examples of these rivers include the Cheyyar, Palar, Ponnaiyar, and the Pamban rivers.
Economic Activities Along the Coromandel Coast
The region receives sufficient rainfall, making it an ideal place for agriculture. Agriculture has been practiced on the coast for hundreds of years and remains the primary economic activity in the Coromandel Coast. Some of the agricultural products farmed in the Coromandel Coast include sugarcane, rice, groundnuts, and cotton. Betel nuts, rice, and bananas are the main crops cultivated in areas where rainfall is not robust. Coconuts are the chief crops along the coast where the warm climatic conditions favor their cultivation.
However, the coast also supports a thriving manufacturing industry where industrial goods such as fertilizers, chemicals, vehicles, and electronics are manufactured. Major industrial centers in the Coromandel Coast such as Kalapakkam and Avadi house most of the manufacturing industry in the coast. While the region receives electricity from the national grid, the Coromandel Coast is notable for being home to a large nuclear station which is found at Kalapakkam. Transport in the region is serviced by a rail and road network which connects the coast to other parts of the country. The coast is also home to several major ports which include the Ennore, Chennai, and Thoothukkudi ports which are major players in the country’s maritime trade.
Flora and Fauna at the Coromandel Coast
The Coromandel Coast is home to a wide range of flora ranging from tropical forests to towering coconut trees. However, the coast is best known for the East Deccan forests, an ecoregion which is notable for being one of the few dry forests whose trees do not shed their leaves during the dry seasons. With the leathery leaves are able to retain precious water, the trees can withstand extensive dry seasons with their leaves intact. Extensive mangrove forests line the coastline of the Coromandel and they are an important aquatic habitat which supports a large variety of animal species.