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Kolhapur

Kolhapur, the land of magnificent temples and palaces, is located on the banks of river Panchganga in the laps of the Sahayadri mountain ranges. Kolhapur is also known as the Dakshin Kashi for its spiritual history. It is believed that during the 3rd century B.C, Kolhapur was an important Buddhist base.

Kolhapur has witnessed the rule of many rulers from the Hindu Era till 1347 and the Muslim rule till 1700, the Maratha rulers who ruled till 1849 and the British rule since 1849. The temples and monuments here are the remains of these regimes. Kolhapur was known as Karveer which was once a rich and glorious town and got destroyed due to natural calamities between 8th and 9th century. Later during the 12th century, the Rashtrakoot kings rebuilt the city and made it their capital.

Mughal forces captured Kolhapur and till the early 19th century, the city witnessed the rise and fall of Mughals. Kolhapur was under the British rule and in 1894, it saw the crowning of Shri Chatrapati Shahu Maharaja.

Till 1947, it was known as the province which spread from Western Ghats to the Deccan plains which was ruled by the Marathas.

Major Attractions in Kolhapur

Kolhapur is one of the states that are known for its great historical importance. There are various places to be visited here and a few among them are

The Mahalaxmi Temple

The Mahalaxmi Temple is the most renowned temples. The temple is the main reason why Kolhapur is known as the Dakshin Kashi. The Mahalaxmi temple popularly known as Amba Bai temple has been worshipped by many royal families for centuries. It is believed that construction of the temple began in 7th century by Karandev, the Chalukya ruler and beautified in 9th century during the reign of Shilahara Yadavas. The artistically done temple is of great architectural importance and became one of greatest tourist attractions in Kolhapur.

Chatrapati Shahu Museum

Chatrapati Shahu Maharaja is known as the brain behind the development of Kolhapur. He is known as the founder and architect of modern Kolhapur. Today, the royal palace is partly converted into a museum that houses paintings and artefacts of the royal family. There is also a tableau created in the palace which depicts the court life of early aristocratic family. The museum also has a beautifully landscaped gardens, zoo and lake flowing by which gives a real visual treat to the visitors.

Rankala Lake

Rankala Lake has a Rankabhairav temple located at the centre of lake. As per the legend, there is a golden temple which is submerged under the existing temple. The temple is architecturally carved and is a great visual treat to the tourists.

Shopping Attractions

Kolhapuri chappals are world famous for its comfort to wear as well as its look and feel. Kolhapur is also famous for the textiles and especially for Kolhapur Jewellery with its intricate design and workmanship. Major shopping destinations in Kolhapur are Mahadwar and Shivaji roads. Good leather chappals can be brought from Bhausinji Road as well as Rajarampuri area. Another most famous shopping location is the Shetkaari Bazaar.

Best Time to Visit


Winter

Kolhapur experiences winters during the months of November to February and is considered as the best time to visit Kolhapur.

Summers

Summers are relatively hot in Kolhapur and May is considered as the hottest month. Hence, it is not a good time to visit Kolhapur.

Monsoon

Kolhapur receives only moderate rainfall during the months of June and September.

How to Reach


By Train

Kolhapur is well connected with major cities in India through trains. Three trains run daily from Mumbai to Kolhapur. Moreover, there are daily trains to Kolhapur from Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Bangalore, Tirupati and Hyderabad. There are weekly trains to Delhi, Dhanbad and Ahmadabad.

By Road

Being the most popular city in Maharashtra, this city has excellent roads. Mumbai and Kolhapur is only 8 hours drive away and Pune and Kolhapur is only 3 hours. There are Maharashtra State Road Transport (MSRTC) buses that do regular services to Kolhapur from Pune. Also, there are buses from other major cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mangalore etc.

By Air

The nearest airport to reach Kolhapur is located in Ujlaiwadi. There are flights available from Mumbai.

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