Travelogue – Series 13… Kolhapur

In continuation of my Travelogue Series…

I have discovered “Incredible India” travelling extensively and took the opportunity to share my awesome experiences of the rich Indian Culture through my blogs…..

Kolhapur Visit in April 2018

Kolhapur is a historic City of Maharashtra.  It is the district headquarters of Kolhapur district. Prior to Indian Independence, Kolhapur was a nineteen gun salute princely state ruled by the Bhosale Chhatrapati (Bhosale royal clan) of the Maratha Empire.

Kolhapur is a city on the banks of the Panchaganga River, in the west Indian state of Maharashtra. It’s known for its temples, like the ancient Mahalakshmi Temple, a Hindu pilgrimage site. The Bhavani Mandap is an imposing old palace with a small museum displaying stuffed wild animals. Close by, Rankala Lake is surrounded by gardens. The hilltop Jyotiba Temple complex is on the city’s outskirts.

Kolhapur lies in a prosperous agricultural region and is an important commercial city. Its industries include sugar processing and the manufacture of textiles and engineering products. Shivaji University was established there in 1962. To the south of Kolhapur is the urban complex of Gokul Shirgaon, which specializes in food processing (milk) and the production of pharmaceuticals. Sugar factories are commonplace in the surrounding region.

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Mahalaxmi Temple – Kolhapur
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Mahalaxmi Temple – Kolhapur

 

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Fort Panhalagad – Kolhapur

Panhala fort (also known as PanhalgadPahalla and Panalla (literally “the home of serpents”)),  is located in Panhala, 20 kilometres northwest of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, India. It is strategically located looking over a pass in the Sahyadri mountain range which was a major trade route from Bijapur in the interior of Maharashtra to the coastal areas. Due to its strategic location, it was the centre of several skirmishes in the Deccan involving the Marathas, the Mughals and the British East India Company, the most notable being the Battle of Pavan Khind. Here, the queen regent of Kolhapur State, Tarabai, spent her formative years. Several parts of the fort and the structures within are still intact.

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It is one of the largest forts in the Deccan, with a perimeter of 14 km (9 mi) and 110 lookout posts. It is 845 m (2,772 ft) above sea level. This fort is built on the Sahyadris, rising more than 400 m (1,312 ft) above its surrounding plain. Numerous underground tunnels stretch out from underneath the fort, one of which is almost 1 km long. Most of the architecture is of the Bijapuri style with the peacock motif of the Bahmani Sultanate prominently visible on several structures. Some of the older bastions also have the lotus motif of Bhoja II. There are several monuments at the fort which are considered notable by the Archaeological Survey of India

More than 7 km of fortifications (Tatabandi) define the approximately triangular zone of Panhala fort. The walls are protected for long sections by steep escarpments, reinforced by a parapet with slit holes. The remaining sections have 5–9 m (16–30 ft) high ramparts without a parapet, strengthened by round bastions the most notable of which is Rajdindi;

Andhar Bavadi ;  Kalavanticha Mahal;  Ambarkhana; Dharma Kothi;  Sajja Kothi;  Teen Darwaza; Wagh Darwaza; Rajdindi bastion;  Temples and mausoleums – are some of the remarkable areas inside the Panhala fort !!

The palace of Tarabai, arguably the fort’s most famous resident, is still intact. It is now used to house a school, several government offices and a boys’ hostel. The rest of the fort is in ruins though the structures within the fort are frequented by tourists who visit Panhala town- a major hill station.

imagesThe Famous Kolhapuri Chappals

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