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The Arabian Sea ( , transliterated: Sindhu Sagar; , transliterated: BaŠł•r al-'Arab; ) is a region of the Indian Oceanmarker bounded on the east by Indiamarker, on the north by Pakistanmarker and Iranmarker, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui, the north-east point of Somaliamarker, Socotramarker, Kanyakumarimarker (Cape Comorinmarker) in Indiamarker, and the western coast of Sri Lankamarker.


The Arabian Sea's surface area is about . The maximum width of the Arabian Sea is approximately , and its maximum depth is , in the Arabian Basin approximately at the same latitude as the southernmost tip of Indiamarker. The Indus Rivermarker, the largest river in Pakistanmarker, also known as the Sindhu river, is the largest river flowing directly into this sea; others include the Netravathimarker, Sharavathi, Narmadamarker, Taptimarker, Mahimarker, and the numerous rivers of Kerala in India. The Arabian Sea coast of central India is known as the Konkan Coast, and that of southern India is known as the Malabar Coast.

The Arabian Sea has two important branches ‚ÄĒ the Gulf of Adenmarker in the southwest, connecting with the Red Seamarker through the strait of Bab-el-Mandebmarker; and the Gulf of Omanmarker to the northwest, connecting with the Persian Gulfmarker. Besides these larger ramifications, there are the gulfs of Cambaymarker and Kutchmarker on the Indian coast. Its islands are few, the chief being Socotramarker, off the African, and the Lakshadweepmarker, off the Indian coast.

The countries with coastlines on the Arabian Sea are Indiamarker, Yemenmarker, Omanmarker, Iranmarker, Pakistanmarker, Sri Lankamarker, the Maldivesmarker, and Somaliamarker.

Cities on the coast include Karachimarker and Gwadarmarker in Pakistanmarker, Mumbaimarker (Formerly known as Bombay), Suratmarker, Panjimmarker, Mangaloremarker, Kozhikodemarker(also known as Calicut), Kochimarker (also known as Cochin, nicknamed as The Queen of Arabian Sea) and Thiruvananthapurammarker(also known as Trivandrum) in Indiamarker, Adenmarker in Yemenmarker, Salalahmarker in Omanmarker, Chabaharmarker in Iran, Mogadishumarker in Somaliamarker and Colombomarker in Sri Lankamarker.

Trade routes

It is known as the Sindhu Sagar to Indians since the Vedic period of their history, and an important marine trade route in the era of the coastal sailing vessels from possibly as early as the 3rd millennium BCE, certainly the late 2nd millennium BCE through the later days known as the Age of Sail. By the time of Julius Caesar, several well-established combined land-sea trade routes depended upon water transport through the Sea around the rough inland terrain features to its north.

These routes usually began in the Far East or down river from Madhya Pradeshmarker with transshipment via historic Bharuch (Bharakuccha), traversed past the inhospitable coast of today's Iranmarker then split around Hadhramaut into two streams north into the Gulf of Adenmarker and thence into the Levant, or south into Alexandriamarker via Red Seamarker ports such as Axummarker. Each major route involved transshipping to pack animal caravan, travel through desert country and risk of bandits and extortionary tolls by local potentiates. These are the reality of the conditions which gave rise to the truth behind the tales of the Arabian Nights stories, and those of Sinbad the Sailor.

So important was this southern coastal route past the rough country in the southern Arabian peninsula (Yemenmarker and Omanmarker today), that the Egyptianmarker Pharaohs built several shallow canals to service the trade, one more or less along the route of today's Suez canalmarker, and another from the Red Seamarker to the Nile River, both shallow works that were swallowed up by huge sand storms in antiquity. Later the kingdom of Axum arose in Ethiopiamarker to rule a mercantile empire rooted in the trade with Europe via Alexandria.

Ocean trade routes have crossed the Arabian Sea since ancient times, linking the Near East with East Africa, Indiamarker, Southeast Asia, and Chinamarker. Historically, sailors in a type of ship called a dhow used the seasonal monsoon winds to cross the water. The sea forms part of the chief shipping route between Europe and India via the Suez Canalmarker, which links the Red Seamarker with the Mediterranean Seamarker.

See also


  1. Arabian Sea, Encyclopædia Britannica

External links

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