Kolhapur
The city of handicrafts

Kolhapur

Situated on the banks of River Panchganga, the traditional city of Kolhapur, in Maharashtra, is peppered with a number of grand monuments and old temples. Home to at least one of the most important forts within the Deccan region, Panhala, where Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji is claimed to possess spent tons of your time , the town may be a mine of Maratha legends. Kolhapur also hosts one among the 51 shaktipeethas (devotional shrines where the body parts of Goddess Sati fell) and draws an outsized number of pilgrims per annum .

 

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Such is Kolhapur’s spiritual significance that it’s colloquially called Dakshin Kashi (Southern Kashi), since it’s located within the southernmost a part of the state.Lying within the lap of the Sahyadri range, Kolhapur also boasts a number of wildlife sanctuaries that are teeming with flora and fauna. Enjoy a jungle safari and knowledge nature at close quarters, as you’ll get to ascertain a tiger ambling by your jeep or an elusive leopard peeping from behind a tree.The city’s heritage sites are worth exploring and its bustling bazaars are a delight for shoppers. the most attraction is that the Kolhapuri saaj, an opulent necklace renowned everywhere the country. Shoppers also can refill on the famous Kolhapuri chappals (leather sandals) that are available multiple styles, colours and embellishments.Once a princely state in pre-independent India, the town is mentioned within the holy Puranas. Founded by Chhatrapati Tarabai, Kolhapur flourished under the rule of the Chhatrapati clan of Kolhapur (1710–1949).

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How to get there ?

By Air

The nearest airport is Ujalaiwadi, about 10 km from the city.

By Road

Good motorable roads connect Kolhapur with all parts of the state and the country.

Rail

Kolhapur railway station falls on Pune-Miraj-Kolhapur section of South Central Railway.

Attractions in Kolhapur

Ambabai Temple

Dedicated to Goddess Ambabai, the temple houses an idol of the deity that’s made from precious stones. It weighs about 40 kg and has four hands, bearing a sword, a shield, a mhalung, which may be a quite fruit, and a dish of pan.

Ambabai Temple finds a high spiritual significance among devotees because it is one among the 51 shaktipeethas (devotional shrines where the body parts of Goddess Sati fell) and has been mentioned in many Puranas. As per history, the temple is believed to be about five to 6 thousand years old. it’s inbuilt Hemadpanti sort of architecture and has five tops. A pandal, called Garud-Pandal, is attached to the temple. The famous arti of the temple attracts many devotees and additional artis are done during festivals like Tryarnbuli Fair, Rathosava, Ashtami Jagar, eclipse, Gokul Ashtami, Kiranotsava etc.

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Panhala Fort

Lying on the outskirts of the town , Panhala Fort is one among the most important within the Deccan region. Overlooking the verdant hills of the Sahyadri range, it’s perched at a height of 977 m and bordered by 7-km-long fortifications. the whole stretch is peppered with watchtowers, bastions and ramparts. The fort was constructed by Raja Bhoja within the 12th century within the Indo-Islamic sort of architecture.

The best time to go to the fort is during the monsoon months when the fog hangs over the world , lending it a mysterious and exciting feel. Tourists can get a stimulating view of the pass connecting Maharashtra with its coastal areas from the fort. The place also features a historic significance because it was from here that Shivaji laid a siege for four months, and is believed to be the sole place where he spent quite 500 days.

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Vijaydurg

Lying about 140 km from Kolhapur, Vijaydurg is sprawled along the Arabian Sea . Flanked by the picturesque Sahyadri ranges on the opposite side, Vijaydurg is understood for its secluded beaches, historical forts and pristine natural environs. Tourists can soak within the natural great thing about this idyllic retreat and visit golden beaches that are lined with tall palm trees. Vijaydurg is noted for its Alphonso mango plantations and therefore the sweet smell of the fruit lingers almost everywhere. Quite popular among tourists is Vijaydurg Fort that was built over 300 years ago by Maharaj Shivaji. Since it had been surrounded by water on all sides, it had been considered impregnable in its heyday. The structure of the fort has three layers of walls and a smattering of watchtowers that helped keep the enemy cornered . Today, the fort provides sweeping views of the encompassing areas.

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Kolhapuri Chappals

Immensely fashionable footwear, Kolhapuri chappals are renowned everywhere the country for his or her feather-like lightness and a flat and a skinny sole. they’re made during a sort of colours and styles and go well with both ethnic and fusion attires. Kolhapuri chappals are made up of fine quality leather and traditionally are available a brown shade. They feature intricate thread designs woven on the wooden flap with a red tassel ball within the centre. Today, this ethnic version has been improved upon to offer it vivid hues of purple, orange, gold, red, green and pink. rather than thread embroidery, the flap also features pearls, sequins or stones. These footwear are often worn as daily wear and at parties, depending upon their embellishments.

It is said that Kolhapuri chappals originated within the villages of Maharashtra within the 13th century. The royalty discovered their unique designs and under their patronage, the chappals grew to become more beautiful and popular.

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