Konkan Maratha

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Konkan Marathas are Konkani-speaking Hindu Marathas who lie in the Kshatriya varna of the Hindu social system,[1] with their ancestral homes in Karwar, Ankola, Supa/Joida, and Goa with surnames such as Shinde/Kadams (Daspatkars), Naik/Nayak, Parab, Bagwe, Powar/Pawar, Savant/Sawant,Thakur, Khalwadekar, Gaonkar, Khanvilkar,Rawool, Salunke, Desai/Dessai, Phal, Sail, Aigal, Rane, Kadam, Shet, Chapolekar, Bhagat, NaikRane, Phaldesai, Dalvi, NaikDesai, Rajeshirke and others. The members of this community with native in Goa prefer to call themselves as Kshatriya Marathas with a Desai (to assert their landlord status) attached to their surname like NaikDesai, PhalDesai, etc.

Gaonkar's specially also belong to the Aryan Race and are designated as Pronounced Warriors and played a very important role in defeating Muhammed Ghori

They are colloquially referred to along with Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) as bhaatkaars (plantations owners) in Goa. This community is a subgroup among the 96 Maratha clans. They have been the most dominant caste politically in Karwar region owing to their overwhelming majority and political acumen but in recent times have lost that clout as a result of falling numbers due to the compulsion of migrations to bigger cities because of the lack of industrialization in Karwar as well better opportunities outside. Strictly endogamous they occasionally marry outside Konkani region(i.e., Goa and Karwar) with other 96 Maratha clans from Joida, Belgaum and Konkan Maharashtra.


Prior to the Portuguese conquest of Goa in 1510, they were known as Chardo or Chatur-rathi.[2] The caste appellation of Chardo eventually fell into disuse among the Hindu Kshatriyas, who joined the other Kshatriyas of the Deccan and began to be known as Marathas, in order to differentiate themselves from those Kshatriyas who had embraced Christianity.[2] The Portuguese, fearing the relapses of their converts to Hinduism, destroyed all available material reminiscent of the old religion including literary works which are stated by historians to have been in Konkani, mainly religious or socio-religious in nature. Thus leading to significant loss of history before the Portuguese era, which couldn't be preserved due to repressive treatment of the Hindus by the Portuguese regime.


Most members of the community trace their origins to the royal family of Shringarpur of Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra (Kankunkars like Ranes, Savants,Thakur, Naiks, Gaonkar, Desai,Bagwe etc.), while Bagwe original kingdom in madhapradesh Dhar, They were Sardar of vijapur (like shahaji maharaj)and they came for a mission of saving the land and after victory they setteled in Konkan. While Kadams originated from Goa and KarwarKadambas and the Sawants (savant) owe their origins to the ancient Shilahara dynasty of Konkan Maharashtra (Sawantwadi region), while the Salunkhes (Salunke) are the descendants the great Chalukyas. The Konkana community has been in the area for quite some time. Muhammad Gavan’s conquest of the fort of Shringarpur in Ratnagiri district of Maharastra and around 1471 AD 3. The period of the devastating invasions of Goa by Malik Kafur in 1313 AD and Muhammad-bin-Tughluk in 1327 AD and the upheavals in Goa and around thereafter in the 14th century AD and 4. The date mentioned in the Sadashivgad copper plates available with the Kadamba family of Deva-wada (Sadashivgad) — 14 October 1179 AD. Shivaji’s conquests of Shiveshwar Mahal and around (Karwar area) — 1665 AD to 1675 AD 2. The Dalvi who was in command of about 1000 men stationed at Karwar under the Sultan of Bijapur played an important role in helping Shivaji in this victory.


The precise etymology of the word Chardo is unknown. The most probable explanation given by historian B.D. Satoskar is that the Konkani word comes from the Sanskrit word Chatur-rathi or the Prakrit Chau-radi, which literally means "the ones who ride a chariot yoked with four horses", like the Maha-rathi(great charioteer) for the origin of word Maratha.


The Konkan Maratha people primarily speak Konkani, and secondarily Marathi language. They partake non vegetarian food like most Kshatriyas. Their cuisine is similar to that of others in the Konkan region and is loosely similar to Malvani, Goan and Mangalorean cuisine. Parboiled rice with various kinds of Gaalne curry is their favourite traditional food. Pej and Bhaje Aambat. Their ancestral attire is similar to the Maharashtrian and Goan Hindu attire.


Karwar is 520 km north-west of Bangalore. The Kali river flows through the town into Arabian Sea. Motor launches are available for boating up to the Kali river. Karwar is also known for its fine muslin. The muslin industry was started in 1638 by Sir Willam Counten who had opened a factory here. Karwar was a part of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century. After the defeat of the wodeyars in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, it became a part of British territory. It was a part of the Bombay Presidency until 1950.


Canacona is one of the five talukas that constitute the South Goa district.The name Canacona is a correction of the name Konkan. The area was one of the districts of the former Kingdom of Soonda, itself a remnant of the former Vijayanagara Empire. When Soonda was invaded and partially occupied by Hyder Ali of Mysore, the heirless Raja ceded the remaining parts to Portugal and these were incorporated into Goa as the districts of Quepem, Sanguem and Canacona. Canacona experienced less Lusitanisation than the central Velhas Conquistas.

Notable Personalities[edit]

Prabhakar S. Rane, Former Minister of Karnataka

  • Kamalaksha R. Naik, MD, Smartlink Network Systems Ltd
  • Satish K Sail, MLA, Vidhan Soudha

See also[edit]



  • Gomes, Olivinho (1987). "Village Goa: a study of Goan social structure and change". S. Chand. .