Sawantwadi taluka

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Sawantwadi is located in Maharashtra
Location in Maharashtra, India
Coordinates: 16°00′N 73°45′E / 16°N 73.75°E / 16; 73.75Coordinates: 16°00′N 73°45′E / 16°N 73.75°E / 16; 73.75
Country  India
State Maharashtra
District Sindhudurg
Elevation 111.86 m (366.99 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 47,921
 • Official Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 416510
Telephone code 91(0)2363
Vehicle registration MH-07

Sawantwadi taluka About this sound pronunciation ) is a taluka (a unit of administration) in the Sindhudurg district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The taluka headquarters is Sawantwadi which has a municipal council, which is a local civic body. Sawantwadi was formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Sawantwadi, ruled by the Bhonsle royal clan of the Marathas.

Until 1850, Sawantwadi was known as Sunderwadi. The name Sawantwadi came into the practice because of the surname of the state's ruling family of Khem-sawants. The palace was earlier located on Narendra hill. Khemsawant III constructed the existing palace in late 18th century (1755–1803), and Moti-Talao (Talao-lake) was built in front in 1874.

Sawantwadi is known for its wooden toys and models thanks to an active woodcraft industry. It is also becoming a major tourist attraction.


Sawantwadi was the former capital of the Kingdom of Sawantwadi during the pre-independence era. It was ruled by the Bhonsale royal clan of the Maratha. In 1947, it merged into the Dominion of India. Border issues at that time with nearby areas of Belgaum and Karwar were prevalent. There were initial plans of making it a union territory as it was a Konkani speaking area, However it was merged with the old Ratnagiri district. (The district was later divided into two districts called Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg). Until the 18th century, the Kingdom of Sawantwadi included a major portion of today's North Goa district (Pedne, Bicholim, and Sattari), as well as modern Kudal and Vengurla from today's Sindhudurg district. Pedne, Bicholim, Sattari were later taken over by the Portuguese as a part of their New Conquest (between 1765 and 1788) and merged with their Old Conquest to form Goa.

Geography and climate[edit]

Sawantwadi is located at 16°00′N 73°45′E / 16°N 73.75°E / 16; 73.75 in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra.[1] It has an average elevation of 22 metres (72 ft) above mean sea level. It is the administrative headquarters of the Sindhudurg district. Sawantvadi is situated on the west coast of India, and is bounded by the Arabian Sea to its west and the Western Ghats to its east. As a municipal entity, it spans an area of 132.45 km2 (51.14 sq mi), and experiences moderate to gusty winds during the day and gentle winds at night. The topography of the city ranges from plain to undulating, with several hills, valleys and flat areas within the city. The geology of the city is characterised by hard laterite in hilly tracts and sandy soil along the seashore. The Geological Survey of India has identified Sawantwadi as a moderately earthquake-prone urban centre and categorised the city in the Seismic III Zone.

The city is often used as a staging point for traffic along the Konkan Coast. Sawantwadi has a tropical climate; summer and winter months experience similar temperate conditions, with average temperatures ranging from 27 °C (81 °F) to 34 °C (93 °F). Humidity is approximately 78% on average, and peaks during May, June and July. The maximum average humidity is 93% in July and average minimum humidity is 56% in January. Under the Köppen climate classification, Sawantvadi belongs to the Tropical/megathermal zone and is under the direct influence of the Arabian Sea branch of the South-West monsoon. It receives about 90% of its total annual rainfall within a period of about six months from May to October, while remaining extremely dry from December to March. The annual precipitation in Sawantvadi is 4,242.5 millimetres (167 in).

The most pleasant months in Sawantvadi are from December to February, during which time the humidity and heat are at their lowest. During this period, temperatures during the day stay below 30 °C (86 °F) and drop to about 19 °C (66 °F) at night. This season is soon followed by a hot summer, from March to May, when temperatures rise as high as 38 °C (100 °F). The summer gives way to the monsoon season, when the city experiences more precipitation than most urban centres in India, due to the Western Ghats. Rainfall up to 4,000 millimetres (157 in) could be recorded during the period from June to September. The rains subside in September, with the occasional rainfall in October.


As of 2011,[2] Sawantwadi had a population of 247,921, with a 50:50 ratio between males and females, based on the Indian census. Sawantwadi has an average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 85%, and female literacy is 79%. In Sawantwadi, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.



Main article: Malvani people

Most of the people of Sawantvadi are Malvanis, as Sawantwadi falls in the Malvan region.


Main article: Malvani cuisine

Typical households of Sawantvadi follow the norms of Malvani cuisine. On special occasions they eat vadas, fried cakes of rice and udid flour; puran-polis, wheat cakes staffed with gram flour and sugar; and rarely, ladus, sugared and buttered wheat balls. Brahmans, Lingayats, and Gujarat Vanis, whether Vaishnavs or Shravaks, are an exception to this, as except the Gaud Brahmans or Shenvis who eat fish, they touch no animal food. The food of a middle-class household is rice, nachni bread, curry, and vegetables, for every day, with vadas on special occasions. The everyday food of a poor household is nachni bread, and occasionally rice and curry with vadas. Besides dried fish, which is usually bought in October, stores of rice, pulse, salt, and red pepper, enough to last from four to six months, are laid in during March and April.[3]


Attire varies to some extent according to caste and creed, with the upper classes generally wearing more lavish garments. In addition to the traditional attire of the city, ornaments are worn by both men and women in Sawantvadi, mainly necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.[3]

Arts and handicrafts[edit]

Sawantvadi is famous for its arts and culture. It is especially known for its wooden crafts, and various traditional arts still thrive in the city.

Lacquerware – Sawantvadi is well known for its lacquerware, an art form that was brought to the attention the public by Queen Satwasheela Devi. Local artisans employed in the palace have proved instrumental in the production of lacquer-ware furniture, chess sets, board games, candlesticks, fruits, vegetables, and dolls. The quality of the articles render the items extremely expensive.[4]

Village structure[edit]

According to the 1872 census, there were 221 towns and villages or about one village to every four square miles, containing an average of 840 inhabitants and about 197 houses. Of the 221 villages, 36 had less than 200 inhabitants; 57 from 200 to 500; 64 from 500 to 1,000; 41 from 1000 to 2,000; 18 from 2,000 to 3,000; four from 3,000 to 5,000; and one, Vadi, over 8,000.[5]


Konkani (Malwani Konkani) is the predominant spoken language in Sawantvadi. Marathi, being the state language, is also understood and implemented. Urdu , Hindi and English are also used in social communication.

Vishal Gomantak[edit]

Sawantwadi is part of the plan of larger Konkani speaking state by KEMS[clarification needed] as it formed one kingdom along with Dodamarg, Kudal, Vengurla and the northern portion of Goa. Vishal Gomantak or greater Goa also stretches to Karwar, Joida and Bhatkal in the south.


Sawantwadi is connected to other parts of Maharashtra state by MSRTC buses. Local sharing rickshaw, known as six seaters in the region are used widely by the people which connect the small villages to the city. Konkan Railway Corporation Limited's railway line connecting Mumbai to Mangalore, popularly known as the Konkan Railway, passes through Sawantwadi Road station, an occasional stopping point.[6]

Notable people[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Sawantwadi Road (SWV)
Next 'Small' station towards Mumbai :
Konkan Railway : Railway (India) Next 'Small' station from Mumbai:
Distance from Mumbai (CST) = 0655 km
Next 'Main' station towards Mumbai:
Konkan Railway : Railway (India) Next 'Main' station from Mumbai:


  1. ^ "Sawantwadi, India Page". Falling Rain Genomics, Inc. Retrieved 19 March 2008. 
  2. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ a b Ratnagiri and Savantvadi District Gazetteer 1996, Introductory Details
  4. ^ Devarajan, P. (5 October 2002). "A craft struggles to survive – Amid the sights and sounds of Sawantwadi". The Hindu Business line. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  5. ^ Ratnagiri and Savantvadi District Gazetteer 1996, Villages
  6. ^ "KR station with phone and amenities". Retrieved 9 October 2012. 

External links[edit]