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Modern Districts of India forming the Konkan

Konkan, also known as the Konkan Coast or Kokan, is a rugged section of the western coastline of India. It is a 720 kilometres (450 miles) long coastline. It consists of the coastal districts of the western Indian states of Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka. The ancient Saptakonkana is a slightly larger region. The region is known as Karavali in Karnataka.

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EtymologyEdit

 
Deogad Beach in Sindhudurg district, Konkan region,Maharashtra

According to the Sahyadrikhanda of the Skanda Purana, Parashurama shot his arrow into the sea and commanded the Sea God to recede up to the point where his arrow landed. The new piece of land thus recovered came to be known as Sapta-Konkana, meaning "piece of earth", "corner of earth", or "piece of corner", derived from Sanskrit words: koṇa (कोण, corner) + kaṇa (कण, piece).[1][2] Xuanzang, the noted Chinese Buddhist monk, mentioned this region in his book as Konkana Desha; Varahamihira's Brihat-Samhita described Konkan as a region of India; and 15th century author Ratnakosh mentioned the word Konkandesha.[3]

GeographyEdit

Konkan extends throughout the western coasts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.[3] It is bounded by the Western Ghats mountain range (also known as Sahyadri) in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, the Mayura River in the north and the Gangavalli River in the south.

The Gangavali flows in the district of Uttara Kannada in present-day Karnataka. Its northern bank constitutes the southernmost portion of Konkan. The towns of Karwar, Ankola, Kumta, Honavar and Bhatkal fall within the Konkan coast. The exact identity of the Mayura River, the northern limits of the historic Konkan, is indeterminate.

 
A schematic map of the Konkan belt in Maharashtra, showing hill stations and the roadways and railways connecting them

The largest city on the Konkan coast is Mumbai, the state capital of Maharashtra. It lies within the Konkan division, an administrative sub-division of Maharashtra which comprises all the coastal districts of the state. These are, from north to south[4]:

  1. Palghar district
  2. Thane district
  3. Mumbai Suburban district
  4. Mumbai City district
  5. Raigad district
  6. Ratnagiri district
  7. Sindhudurg district

EthnologyEdit

Some of the ethnic groups and communities found in the region include the Vaishya Vani Malvani, Aagri, Koli, Konkanastha Brahmins, Maratha, Bhandari, Goud Saraswath Brahmins, Kumbhar, Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins, Gabit, Padti, Chitpavan, Daivajna, Kudaldeshkar Brahmins, Kuruba, Kunbi.

Tribal communities in Konkan include the Konkana, Warli and Kolcha in southern Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Maharashtra's Palghar district. The Katkari are found in Raigad and Ratnagiri districts.

The population of the area is predominantly Hindu, with Buddhist, Christian and Muslim minorities.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Shastri Gaytonde, Gajanan (ed.). Shree Scanda Puran (Sayadri Khandha) (in Marathi). Mumbai: Shree Katyani Publication.
  2. ^ Satoskar, B. D. Gomantak Prakruti ani Sanskruti. Part 1 (in Marathi). Shubhada Publication. p. 206.
  3. ^ a b Saradesāya, Manohararāya (2000). "The Land, the People and the Language". A History of Konkani Literature: From 1500 to 1992. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 1–14. ISBN 8172016646.
  4. ^ List of districts in Konkan division, http://www.swapp.co.in/site/indianstatedistrictlist.php?stateid=j1YKCtUvHkShwKBqk6iHow%3D%3D&divisionid=bRbHGKvCu7LMDJJGUsYuQA%3D%3D

External linksEdit