Coromandel coast

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Indian districts along the Coromandel Coast

Coromandel Coast is called the southeast coast of the Indian subcontinent . It is generally believed that the name is derived from the Tamil words Chola Mandal for "region (mandalam) of the Chola " (a historical South Indian dynasty). Historically, the Coromandel Coast refers to the coast between Point Calmere (also Cape Calimere or Kodikkarai ) near the river delta of the Kaveri to the north to the mouth of the Krishna . Today the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are dividedand the Union Territory of Puducherry the Coromandel Coast.


The coast is generally very flat and is interrupted by the deltas of several large rivers, including the Kaveri, Palar, Penner and Krishna , which arise in the high plains of the Western Ghats (Sahyadri Mountains) and by the Deccan Plateau into the Bay of Bengal flow. The alluvial plains of these rivers are fertile and used for agriculture. The coast is also known for its ports in Pulicat (Pazhaverkadu), Chennai (Madras), Sadras , Puducherry (Pondichéry), Karaikal , Cuddalore , Tharangambadi (Trankebar), Nagore and Nagappattinam (Negapatam), which range from their proximity to regions with natural and mineral resources such as the Chhattisgarh belt and the mines of Golkonda and Kolar and / or good transport infrastructure. The flat geography of the region also promotes urban growth and the merging of cities.


The Coromandel coast lies in the rain shadow of the Western Ghats and therefore receives a significantly lower amount of precipitation during the summer southwest monsoons than the rest of India. The regional average is 800 mm per year, most of it falls between October and December. The topography of the Bay of Bengal and the seasonally staggered weather conditions encourage the northwest monsoons, which have a tendency to bring cyclones and hurricanes rather than uniform precipitation. As a result, the coast is hit by harsh weather almost every year between October and January. The very different amounts of precipitation are also responsible for water scarcity and famine in most areas that are not served by large rivers. Chennai, for example, is one of the driest cities in the country in terms of the availability of drinking water because of the difficult to assess seasonal nature of the monsoons, despite the high humidity.


European possessions in India from 1501 to 1739

The Coromandel Coast was the scene of battles between European forces for control of the Indian trade in the 17th and 18th centuries . The British settled in Fort St. George ( Madras ) and Masulipatnam , the Dutch in Pulicat and Sadras , the French in Pondicherry , Karaikal and Nizampatnam, and the Danes in Tranquebar . Ultimately, the British won the British-French colonial conflict around 1812 , and France also kept the two small enclaves in Pondicherry and Karaikal until 1954. Goods made from shellac - which was also obtained on the Coromandel coast - such as boxes, umbrellas and Chests became known as coromandel goods in the 18th century . Many Chinese goods were also included, as Chinese exports were often handled via coromandel ports. The best known of these has become the coromandel varnish.


The Coromandel Coast is home to the east deccanic evergreen dry forest ecoregion that runs as a narrow strip along the coast. Unlike the other tropical and subtropical dry-leaf forest regions in India, where the trees lose their leaves during the dry season, the East Deccan evergreen dry forest keeps its leaves all year round. The Coromandel Coast is also home to extensive mangrove forests along the low-lying coast and river deltas and various important wetlands , such as the Kaliveli and Pulicat lakes , which provide a habitat for thousands of migratory and resident birds .

The Coromandel Coast was hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the subsequent tsunami , which killed many people and destroyed many coastal villages.


  • S. Jeyaseela Stephen: The Coromandel Coast and its Hinterland . Economy, Society, and Political System (AD 1500-1600). Manohar Publishers, New Delhi 1997.

Web links

Commons : Coromandel Coast  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Percival Spear: A History of India . Vol. 2. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth 1973. p. 88.
  2. ^ Percival Spear: A History of India . Vol. 2. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth 1973. p. 78.