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Solapur

Solapur is flanked by the districts of Bijapur, Sanglui and Gulbarga in the Eastern region. The singularly interesting feature of this tourist attraction is the amalgamation of various cultures that has been accomplished seamlessly where the people adhere to the Marathi, Kannada and Telugu speaking tongues and celebrate a large number of festivals in unison.

Solapur district is famous for its power loom, handloom and ‘beedi’ (tobacco leaf rolled cheroots) industries besides also having a name for being a producer of comforting mattresses. Solapur had grown as a market centre for cotton and several other industries. It is a famous textile town known for its talented weavers.

The weather of Solapur offers a comfortable time for exploring its quaint wonders and the tourist enjoys the pleasant climate while exploring, sightseeing, paying homeage, shopping or simply relaxing here.

Historical Significance

Solapur is drained by Bhimariver and lies in the midst of Bhima and Seema river basins. According to historians, the name of the district ‘Sola Pur’ was derived from the description as sixteen villages. However, there is skepticism regarding the accuracy of this claim as there are other scholars who claim that earlier during the Muslim reign the given name of the district had been Sandalpur or the area of sandalwood trees.

Somehow with the advent of the British the name was corrupted to its present day form of Solapur. The region has been etched in history as having seen the reign of most of the leading dynasties that ruled the region having a long and ancient history.

Near to India’s Independence, Solapur has the unique privilege of obtaining independence on ninth, tenth and eleventh May in 1930. This act of rebellion, however, resulted in the execution of valorous freedom fighters like Shri Mallapa Dhanshetti, Shri Kurban Hussein, Shri Jagannath Shinde and Shri Kisan Sarda. They were hanged to death on 12th January in 1931 in a prison of Pune. This episode in history is commemorated as a singular event as it gave Solapur the name of the ‘City of Hutatmas’ as a mark of its unique distinction.

The historicity of Solapur is sanctified because of its association with the Gramadaiwata Shri Siddharameshwar who was a historical figure of the twelfth century. He became larger than life in his own lifetime because of his ‘karmayoga’ or good deeds which made the people of Solapur regard him as a divine personality embodying him with the deification of God.

He is considered to be the greatest contributor to the Lingayat religion and has been proclaimed as one of the six prominent prophets of the Lingayat religion. It is said that during a severe drought he had dug a lake with the help of 4000 people or ‘sharanas’ to help harvest the rainwater and solve the problem of potable drinking water.

He took ‘Siddhi’ and entombed himself (Shivosamadhi) at Solapur. His resting place is a great attraction for religious and spiritual devotees as also tourists interested in knowing about his life and work. The Siddeshwar Temple located here is constructed in the middle of the lake. It is located near Fort Buikot.

Tourist Attractions


Pandharpur

Among the many religious, historical and scenic beauty attractions of Solapur are the city of Vithoba or the city of Lord Vishnu. It is popularly known as Pandharpur and also called the Dakshin Kashi or southern Kashi of India as the original Kashi that has great spiritual significance for the average Hindu is located in the North near Haridwar on the banks of the Ganga River.

It is a significant religious centre to which millions throng on the festivals of Kartiki and Ashadhi Ekadashi for a holy dip and to pay obeisance. Lord Vitthal or Lord Vishu is the presiding deity of entire Maharashtra and is believed to reside at Pandharpur.

Akkalkot

Located near Solapur, this is another spiritually significant religious centre. It is dedicated to the divine grace of Shri Swami Akkalkot Maharaj who is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. The Sami’s Math is a haven of peace and tranquility while the Vatavrikhsha Temple is a central attraction. The devotees come to the temple all the year round to seek favor from their presiding spiritual head. Among the nearby places of pilgrimage is the temple of Goddess Tulja Bhawani and is a must visit for all the devotees thronging to the Akkalkot pilgrimage.

Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Motibaug Tank has come to be a haven for bird watchers as large numbers of migratory birds have been known to flock to the water body during the winter months. Another nearby attraction is the Revanisiddheshwar Temple. Located proximal to the Motibaug Tank is the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary at Nannaj. It is a major attraction for environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts.

Nearby Attractions

Proximal to Solapur are a number of tourist attractions of historical and religious significance like the Ground Fort, the Mallikarjuna Temple, the Adinath Temple, the Parasnath temple as also the several significant Masjids and Churches besides Agyari that add to the repertoire of the tourist who is willing to seek them out on an adventurous trip.

Significant Fairs and Festivals

There are a number of fairs and festivals celebrated all over Solapur all through the year. Some of the significant ones, however, are the fair organized in the last six days of shravana at the Saint Temple in honor of Saint Nath. Thousands of people come to pay their respects to their Lord during this festival. Millions of devotees also take part in the Nandidhwaj procession held on Makar Sankranti on 14th of January every year.

How to Get There

The Solapur city lies on the rail and road routes from Mumbai to Hyderabad and is well connected by a number of trains travelling from various parts of the country. The Solapur airport provides connectivity by air to any of the domestic airports with the nearest international airport being located at Mumbai.

Where to Stay

Solapur lies 400 kms away from Mumbai and around 250 kms from Pune. It is well connected by roads and is one of the prominent cities of Maharashtra State in India. The entire Solapur district stretches over about fifteen thousand square kilometers and is proximal to the districts of Osmanabad and Ahmednagar towards the northern region and the districts of Satara and Pune towards the western region.

There are a number of government and privately owned properties that offer hospitality at Solapur. There are five star facilities to comfortable and affordable three to four star facilities that would suit the average holiday maker or tourist on a shoe string budget. They suit the pocket of every tourist from any walk of life and desirous of having a comfortable stay.

Best Time to Visit

Best months to visit Solapur are from October to December and February to March.

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