The Port of Paradip is the major port of the Orissa state in eastern India. Located on the Bay of Bengal, it is about eight kilometers southeast of the town of Paradeep and some 185 nautical miles southwest of the Port of Kolkata, one of India's leading ports and cities. The Port of Paradip rests on the delta of the Mahanadi River as it enters the Bay of Bengal. In 2001, the city of Paradeep was home to over 73 thousand people.
Development of the Port of Paradip was begun in the late 1950s. The port development effort was led by former Chief Minister Orissa Biju Patnaik, a famous pilot and freedom fighter.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone for the Port of Paradip in early 1962, and construction of the port began. Dredging operations began in 1964. During this period, the government of the State of Orissa controlled the Port of Paradip.
In 1965, India's government assumed management of the Port of Paradip. The iron ore berth was completed in 1966. That year, the port was declared open for business and named the Eighth Major Port of India, making it the first major port on independent India's east coast.
In the 30 years following the Port of Paradip's opening, it had completely transformed. Cargoes expanded far beyond the initial iron ore to include thermal coke, coking coal, several raw ores, steel materials, limestone, fertilizers, and food grains.
The Port of Paradip began handling containers and petroleum in 1991. Since it was opened, the Port of Paradip has become the state of Orissa's most important port.
The Port of Paradip is also emerging as an important area for future development for the state of Orissa. The area will soon have several steel plants, alumina refineries, a petrochemical complex, and thermal power plants. By the time the developments are completed, the Port of Paradip will be one of the world's biggest petrochemical centers in the world.