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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 km long coastline. It consists of the coastal districts of the western Indian states of Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra. The ancient Saptakonkana is a slightly larger region.


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]

Traditional houses in the Konkan region


Konkan extends throughout the western coasts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.[4] It is bounded by the Western Ghats (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:


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

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

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

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