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Devgad beach on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra

Konkan, also known as the Konkan Coast, is a rugged section of the western coastline of India. In Marathi it is called as kōkan (कोकण), in Konkani as kōñkan (कोंकण), and the Kannada word karāvalli (ಕರಾವಳಿ/करावळी), literally meaning 'coast', is generally applied to the Kanara subregion.

DefinitionEdit

Geographically, the stretch of land from the Daman Ganga River in the north to the Gangavalli River in the south is considered to form the Konkan.[1]

The ancient Sapta Konkan was a larger geographical area that extended from Gujarat to Kerala. Currently, the Konkan covers the seaside towns from Palghar district in the north to Karwar in the south.[2]

The whole of coastal Karnataka is sometimes included within the Konkan. However, this segment overlaps the Konkan and Malabar coast continuum; and usually corresponds to the southernmost and northernmost stretches of these locales respectively.

EtymologyEdit

 
Beaches dotted with swaying coconut palms are a ubiquitous sight along the Konkan coast

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).[3][4] 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.[5]

GeographyEdit

Konkan extends throughout the western coasts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.[5] It is bounded by the Western Ghats mountain range (also known as Sahyadri) in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, the Daman Ganga 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.

 
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[6]:

  1. Palghar district
  2. Thane district
  3. Mumbai Suburban district
  4. Mumbai City district
  5. Raigad district
  6. Ratnagiri district
  7. Sindhudurg district
  8. Goa
  9. Uttara Kannada
  10. Udupi
  11. Dakshina Kannada

EthnologyEdit

Ethnic groups and communities found in the region which makes a larger Konkani community are the Vaishya Vani, Malvani, Aagri, Kunbi, Koli, Vadavali, Maratha, Bhandari, Mahar, Goud Saraswath Brahmins, Daivadnya Brahmins, Kumbhar, Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins, Gabit, Padti, Chitpavan Brahmins, Brahmins, Kudaldeshkar Gaud Brahmins, Kuruba, Namdev Shimpi, Other castes.

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

Minorities of Muslim community form Konkani Muslims, Bene Israel in Raigad district, Christians form East Indians in Mumbai, Goan Catholics in Goa, Karwari Catholics in Uttara Kannada, Mangalorean Catholics in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bhandare, Vasant Ramchandra (1985) Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute: politics of manipulation. Kirti Prakashan. p. 63.
  2. ^ 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 9788172016647.
  3. ^ Shastri Gaytonde, Gajanan (ed.). Shree Scanda Puran (Sayadri Khandha) (in Marathi). Mumbai: Shree Katyani Publication.
  4. ^ Satoskar, B. D. Gomantak Prakruti ani Sanskruti. Part 1 (in Marathi). Shubhada Publication. p. 206.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ List of districts in Konkan division, http://www.swapp.co.in/site/indianstatedistrictlist.php?stateid=j1YKCtUvHkShwKBqk6iHow%3D%3D&divisionid=bRbHGKvCu7LMDJJGUsYuQA%3D%3D

External linksEdit