Bengal, Bay of

Bengal, Bay of, arm of the Indian Ocean, c.1,300 mi (2,090 km) long and 1,000 mi (1,610 km) wide, bordered on the W by Sri Lanka and India, on the N by Bangladesh, and on the E by Myanmar and Thailand; the Andaman and Nicobar Islands separate it from the Andaman Sea, its eastern arm. The bay receives many large rivers including the Ayeyarwady, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri, all forming fertile, heavily populated deltas. Sediment from the rivers has made the bay a shallow sea, and the waters have reduced the salinity of surface waters along the shore. Monsoon rains and destructive cyclone storms have caused great loss of life along the bay's northern coast. The main ports are Vishakhapatnam, Paradip, Chennai (Madras), and Kolkata (Calcutta), India; Chittagong, Bangladesh; and Sittwe, Myanmar.

See S. S. Amrith, Crossing the Bay of Bengal (2013).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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