Bay of Bengal

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A map showing the location of the Bay of Bengal.
A map showing the location of the Bay of Bengal.

The Bay of Bengal is a bay that forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered on the east by Malay Peninsula, and on the west by India. On the northern tip of the "bay" lies the Bengal region, comprising the Indian state of West Bengal and the country of Bangladesh, thus the name. The southern extremes reach the island country of Sri Lanka, and the Indian Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

A zone 50 m. wide extending from the island of Ceylon and the Coromandel coast to the head of the bay, and thence southwards through a strip embracing the Andaman and Nicobar islands, is bounded by the ioo fathom line of sea bottom; some 50 m. beyond this lies the Soo-fathom limit. Opposite the mouth of the Ganges, however, the intervals between these depths are very much extended by deltaic influence.

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Rivers

Many major rivers of India flow west to east into the Bay of Bengal: in the north, the Ganges River (or Ganga), Meghna River and Brahmaputra River rivers, and in the south Mahanadi River through the Mahanadi River Delta, Godavari River, Krishna River, Irrawaddy and Kaveri River (sometimes written as Cauvery) rivers. The Sundarbans mangrove forest is formed at the delta of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. The Ayeyarwady River of Myanmar also flows into the bay.

Fishing boats on the Bay of Bengal
Fishing boats on the Bay of Bengal
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Seaports

Major Bangladeshi ports on the bay include Chittagong and Mongla. Major Indian ports on the bay include Chennai (formerly Madras), Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Pondicherry.

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Tropical Storms and Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone 2B (May 2002)
For more information on Tropical Storms and Cyclones see: 2000-2004 North Indian cyclone seasons | 1985-1989 North Indian cyclone seasons | Pre-1980 North Indian cyclone seasons | India Meteorological Department
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Islands

The islands in the bay are very numerous, including the Andaman, Nicobar and Mergui groups. The group of islands, Cheduba and others, in the north-east, off the Burmese coast, are remarkable for a chain of mud volcanoes, which are occasionally active.

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Beaches

Cox's Bazar, on the northeastern coast of the bay, is one of the longest unbroken natural beaches of the world. Other beaches along the bay are Bakkhali, Digha, Chandipur, Puri, Waltair, and Marina Beach at Chennai.

The Bay of Bengal occupies an area of 2,172,000 sq kms. It is bordered by India and Sri Lanka to the West, Bangladesh to the North, and Myanmar and the southern part of Thailand to the East. Its southern boundary extends as an imaginary line from Dondra Head at the southern end of Sri Lanka to the northern tip of Sumatra. A number of large rivers – Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna and Cauvery – flow into the Bay of Bengal. Among the important ports are Calcutta, Cuddalore, Kakinada, Machlipatnam, Madras, Paradip and Vishakapatnam.

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Sacred Sites

Seven Pagodas of Mahabalipuram is the name for Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram’s Shore Temple was constructed in the eighth century A.D and myth has it that six other temples were also built here. Another historic site which has been preserved is Vivekanandar Illam. It was contstructed in 1842 by the Ice King Frederic Tudor to store and market ice year round. In 1897, Swami Vivekananda famous lectures were recorded here at Castle Kernan. The site is an exhibition devoted to Swami Vivekananda and his legacy.

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Economy

British and other European settlements along Bay of Bengal coastline
British and other European settlements along Bay of Bengal coastline
Map of early Sea Trade Route (in red) and the Early transpeninsula routeways of the Bay of Bengal.
Map of early Sea Trade Route (in red) and the Early transpeninsula routeways of the Bay of Bengal.

One of the first trading ventures along the Bay of Bengal was the The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies more commonly referred to as British East India Company. Other Trading companies along the Bay of Bengal shorelines were English East India Company and French East India Company,

For more information on trading ventures see also Early history of Kedah; History of modern Penang
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History

Bay of Bengal from Ptolemy's geography. Redrawn in the 15th century.
Bay of Bengal from Ptolemy's geography. Redrawn in the 15th century.

Northern Circars were a which occupied the western coast of the Bay of Bengal and is now considered to be India's Madras state. The [[Kakatiya dynasty]] reached the the western coastline of the Bay of Bengal between the Godavari and the Krishna rivers.

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British penal colony.

Cellular Jail or "Black Waters" built in 1896 on Ross Island, a part of the Andaman Island Chain. As early as 1858 this island was used as a British penal colony for politial prisoners facing life imprisonment.

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Profile: Facts and figures at a glance

List of seaports#Bay of Bengal

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Location

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See also

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Did You Know?

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Sources

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

          Waters of South Asia          
Inland Indus | Ganges | Yamuna | Chenab | Jhelum | Brahmaputra | Godavari | Narmada | Tapti | Ravi | Beas | Sutlej | Dudh Kosi | Padma | Sarasvati | Krishna | Kaveri | Meghna | Mahanadi | Son | Ghaghara | Betwa | Chambal | Koshi | Sapt Koshi | Tamur | Mo Chhu | Sankosh | Drangme Chhu | Ganga basin | Ganges Delta | Indus Delta | Dal Lake | Pookode Lake | Skeleton Lake | Chilika Lake | Lake Powai | Borith Lake | Saiful Muluk | Gosaikunda | Nizam Sagar | Red Hills Lake | Malampuzha | Kerala Backwaters
Off the Coast Indian Ocean | Arabian Sea | Laccadive Sea | Bay of Bengal | Gulf of Kutch | Gulf of Khambhat | Palk Bay | Gulf of Mannar
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