Bay of Bengal (Bangla:
ŗ¶¨ŗ¶ôŗßćŗ¶óŗßčŗ¶™ŗ¶łŗ¶ĺŗ¶óŗ¶į):ňąb…íŇč…°opo É…Ďňźňągo…Ĺ), the largest bay of the world, forms the
northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered by Bangladesh and the Indian state of
Bengal to the north (where the name comes from), India and Sri Lanka to the west and Myanmar and the
Nicobar Islands to the east.
southern boundary extends as an imaginary line from Dondra Head at the southern end of Sri Lanka to the northern tip of Sumatra.
The Bay of Bengal occupies an area of 2,172,000 km¬≤.
of large rivers ‚Äď Padma (distributary of
(distributary of Brahmaputra), Jamuna (branch of
Brahmaputra, Ayeyarwady, Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna and
Kaveri ‚Äď flow into the Bay of Bengal.
important ports are Cuddalore, Chennai, Kakinada, Tuticorin, Machilipatnam, Vishakapatnam, Paradip, Kolkata, Mongla, Chittagong and Yangon.
In the 10th century the explosion of Indianized kingdoms
, led by the Chola Empire
, resulted in the Bay of Bengal
being known as the Chola Lake
. It later came to be
known as Bangal ki Khadi in Hindi
after the region of Bengal.
comes from the Sanskrit Banga or
Vanga which refers to the delta waters of the river
rivers of India and Bangladesh 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.
shortest classified river which drains into the Bay of Bengal is
River at 64 km. Brahmaputra is the
28th longest River in the
World (2,948 km or 1,832 mi), and it discharges into the
'Bay of Bengal' and travels through India, P.R. China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
Sundarbans mangrove forest is formed at the delta of the
Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal.
River of Myanmar also flows
into the bay.
Bangladesh ports on the bay include Chittagong and Mongla.
Indian ports on the bay include Krishnapatnam, Chennai (formerly Madras), Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), and Pondicherry.
Yangon, the largest city and former capital
of Myanmar is also an important port in the bay.
islands in the bay are very numerous, including the Andaman,
Nicobar and Mergui
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. Great Andaman is the main archipelago or
island group of the Andaman Islands, whereas Ritchie's Archipelago consists of smaller islands. Only 37 of the 572
islands and islets of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are inhabited, or 6.5%.
of Bengal is a salt water sea and is a part of
It is also the largest bay in the world by
Floor of Bay of Bengal
of the earth is broken
up into what are called tectonic
. Underneath the Bay of Bengal is the Indian Plate
which is part of the great
slowly moving north east. This plate meets the Burma Microplate at the Sunda Trench. The Nicobar Islands, and the Andaman Islands are part of the Burma
Microplate. The India Plate subducts beneath the Burma
Plate at the Sunda
Trench or Java Trench.
Here, the pressure of the
two plates on each other increase pressure and temperature
resulting in the formation of volcanoes such as the volcanoes in Myanmar
, and a
called the Sunda Arc
. Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and Asian
Tsunami was a result of the pressure at this zone causing a
submarine earthquake which then
resulted in a huge Tsunamai.
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 100 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.
Swatch of No Ground is a 14 km-wide deep sea canyon of the Bay
of Bengal. The deepest recorded area of this valley is about 1340
Marine biology, flora and fauna
The Bay of Bengal is full of biological diversity, diverging
amongst coral reefs
, fish spawning and nursery areas, and
. The Bay of Bengal is one of the
World's 64 largest marine ecosystems
is a sea snake of
the Bay of Bengal. Glory of Bengal Cone (Conus bengalensis) is just
one of the seashells which can be photographed along beaches of the
Bay of Bengal. An endangered species, the Olive Ridley sea
turtle can survive because of the nesting grounds made
available at the Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, Gahirmatha Beach, Orissa, India.
, yellowfin tuna
, Indo-Pacific humpbacked
, and Bryde's whale
few of the marine animals. Bay of Bengal Hogfish (Bodianus neilli)
is a type of Wrass
which live in turbid lagoon
reefs or shallow coastal reefs. Schools of dolphins
can be seen, whether they are the bottle nose dolphin
, Pantropical spotted dolphin
the spinner dolphin
residing in the same waters. In shallower and warmer coastal waters
the Irrawaddy Dolphins
The Great Nicobar
proides sanctuary to many animals some of
which include the saltwater
, giant Leatherback
, and Malayan box
to name a few.
endangered species Royal Bengal Tiger
is supported by Sundarbans a large estuarine delta that holds a mangrove area
in the Ganges River Delta.
regions bordering the Bay of Bengal
are rich in minerals. Sri Lanka, Serendib
or Ratna ‚Äď Dweepa
which means Gem Island. Amethyst
, and garnet
are just some
of the gems of Sri Lanka
and other precious gems are also found in abundance in the Indian states of Orissa and
Physical oceanography - Climate of the Bay of Bengal
From January to October, the current is northward flowing, and the
clockwise circulation pattern is called the "East Indian Current."
of Bengal monsoon moves in a
northwest direction striking the Nicobar Islands, and the Andaman Islands first end of May, then the North Eastern Coast of
India by end of June.
The remainder of the year, the counterclockwise current is
southwestward flowing, and the circulation pattern is called the
East Indian Winter Jet. September and December see very active
weather, season varsha (or monsoon), in the Bay of Bengal producing
severe Cyclones which affect Eastern India. Several efforts have
been initiated to cope with Storm
Tropical storms and cyclones
A tropical storm with rotating winds blowing at speeds of 74 miles
(119 kilometres) per hour are called cyclones
when they originate over the Bay of Bengal;
they are hurricanes
in the Atlantic.
Between 100,000 and 500,000 residents of East Pakistan (Bangladesh)
were killed because of the 1970 Bhola
- 2008, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm
- 2007, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm
- 2006, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm
- 2006, September Typhoon
- 2004, November Typhoon
- 2002, May Tropical Cyclone 2B
- 1991, April Bangladesh
- 1989, November Typhoon
- 1985, May Tropical Storm One (1B)
- 1982, April Cyclone One (1B)
- 1982, May Tropical Storm Two (2B)
- 1982, October Tropical Storm Three (3B)
- 1981, December Cyclone Three (3B)
- 1980, October Tropical Storm One (1B)
- 1980, December Unknown Storm Four (4B)
- 1980, December Tropical Storm Five (5B)
- 1971, Cyclone Orissa
- 1970, November Bhola
- Kumari Kandam, an antediluvian civilization, (South India) is
also held in myth to be under the Bay of Bengal. Fisherman claim
their nets have snagged, and on dives to free them they find
pagodas, doorways, and temples to reinforce their belief of this
- The remains of Sri Vaisakheswara Swamy temple lies under the
Bay of Bengal. Spokespersons from Andhra University Centre for
Marine Archaeology say the temple may be located opposite the
- Seven Pagodas of
Mahabalipuram is the name for Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram's Shore Temple was constructed in the eighth century AD and myth
has it that six other temples were also built here.
- Another historic site which has been
preserved is Vivekanandar Illam. It was constructed 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
- Konark is the
home of the Sun Temple or Black Pagoda. This Brahman
sanctuary was built of black granite mid 1200 AD and has been
declared a World Heritage
- Ramanathaswami Temple located at Dhanushkodi, where the Bay of
Bengal and the Indian Ocean come together.
One of the first trading ventures along the Bay of Bengal was The
Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies more
commonly referred to as British East India Company
was one of their main trading
centers. Other trading companies along the Bay of Bengal shorelines
were English East India
and French East
BIMSTEC Bay of Bengal Initiative for MultiSectoral
Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) supports free trade
internationally around the Bay of Bengal between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
Shipping Canal Project
is a new venture proposed which would
create a channel for a shipping route to link the Gulf of Mannar
with the Bay of Bengal. This would connect India east to west
without the necessity of going around Sri Lanka.
Thoni and catamaran fishing boats of fishing villages thrive along
the Bay of Bengal shorelines. Fishermen can catch between 26-44
species of marine fish. In one year, the average catch is 2 million
tons of fish from the Bay of Bengal alone.
Being Bangladesh's only sea boundary, Bay of Bengal is high
imporatant for the country. Bangladesh navy performs annual
exercise in the bay and exercise with international navy is also
frequent. Bangladesh navy's last joint exercise with US navy held
on early 2009.
Rumour exis that China possibly has a naval base in Mayanmar's Coco
island of Bay of Bengal.
of Bengal is strategically crucial for India because of the
presence of outlying islands, namely Andaman islands and Nicobar islands and several major ports such as Kolkata and Vizag along its
coast with the Bay of Bengal.
Much of the naval operations
of the 1971 Indo-Pakistani
took place in the Bay of Bengal.
The growing influence of China, due to support provided by Myanmar,
has created geo-political implications for India. India has held
several major naval exercises with friendly countries, especially
States, to counter increasing Chinese presence in the
The largest ever wargame
in Bay of Bengal, known as Malabar 2007
, was held in 2007 and naval
warships from India, US, Singapore, Japan and Australia took part
in it. This exercise was widely viewed as "strategic encirclement
of China". India has forged naval cooperation agreements with
Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to increase its strategic reach in
the region. India also established Far Eastern Naval
Command off Port
Blair to increase surveillance in the adjoining Andaman Sea.
The potential of natural gas
exploitation also makes the Bay of Bengal important for India,
Bangladesh and Myanmar. Disputes over rights of some oil and gas
blocks have caused brief diplomatic spats between India and
The Asian brown cloud
, a layer of
air pollution that covers much of South Asia and the Indian Ocean
every year between January and March, and possibly also during
earlier and later months, hangs over the Bay of Bengal. It is
considered to be a combination of vehicle exhaust, smoke from
cooking fires, and industrial discharges.
western coast of the Bay of Bengal and is now considered to be
India's Madras state. The Kakatiya
reached the western coastline of the Bay of Bengal
between the Godavari and the Krishna rivers. Kushanas
about the middle of the 1st
invaded northern India perhaps extending as far as
the Bay of Bengal. Chola dynasty
century to 12th century) when ruled by Rajaraja Chola I
occupied the western
coastline of the Bay of Bengal circa AD 1014 Chandragupta Maurya
across Northern India to the Bay of Bengal.
Hajipur was a stronghold of Portuguese Pirates.
the 1500s the Portuguese built trading posts in the North of the
Bay of Bengal at Chittagong (Porto Grande) and Satgaon
British penal colony
Cellular Jail or "Black Waters" built in 1896 on Ross Island, a part of the Andaman
early as 1858 this island was used as a British penal colony for
political prisoners facing life imprisonment.
archaeology is the study of material remains of ancient peoples. A
specialized branch, Archaeology of shipwrecks
the salvaged artifacts of ancient ships. Stoneanchors, amphorae
shards, elephant tusks, hippopotamus teeth, ceramic pottery, a rare
wood mast and lead ingots are examples which may survive the test
of time for archaeologists to study and place the salvaged findings
into a time line of history. Coral reefs, tsuanamis, cyclones,
mangrove swamps, battles and a criss cross of sea routes in a high
trading area combined with pirating have all contributed to
shipwrecks in the Bay of Bengal.
Famous ships and shipwrecks
- 1778 to 1783 The Naval
operations in the American Revolutionary War or American War of
Independence ranged as far as the Bay of Bengal.
- c1816 Mornington Ship burned in the Bay of Bengal
- 1850 American clipper brig Eagle is supposed to have sunk in a
Bay of Bengal
- American Baptist missionary Adoniram
Judson, Jr. died April 12, 1850 and was buried at sea in the
Bay of Bengal.
- 1855 The Bark "Incredible" struck on a sunken rock in the Bay
a gale dismasted the Euterpe while traversing the Bay of Bengal
- 1875 Veleda 76 m (250 ft) long and 15 m
(50 ft) wide is a part of a current salvage operation.
- 1942 Japanese cruiser Yura
of the Second Expeditionary Fleet, Malay Force attacked merchant
ships in the Bay of Bengal.
- 1971 December 3 - It was claimed that
Indian Navy destroyer INS Rajput sunk the Pakistan Navy submarine
PNS Ghazi off of Vishakapatnam, in Bay Of Bengal List of naval battles