Kolhapur Tourist Places
There are some of forts around Kolhapur(कोल्हापूर) like Panhala, Vishalgad, Mahipalgad, Kalanandigad. Panhala,Maharashtra, where you can yet view three large buildings called the Amberkhana – a granary with the capacity to store 50,000 pounds of corn – is now a hill-station.
Panhala is situated around 20 km from the industrial city of Kolhapur. Panhala(पन्हाळा) is a charming hill resort Situated at an altitude of 977.2 m. which makes for a complete holiday. With its hoary heritage, Panhala(पन्हाळा) provides the right locale.
It was built by King Bhoja between 1178-1209 and is the largest of all Deccan forts (पन्हाळा) The innermost citadel is enclosed by a strong wall over 7 Km in length fortified by bastions.
Panhala’s (पन्हाळा) historic fort throws up memories of Chhatrapati Shivaji, It was from here that Shivaji beleaguered for over four months, escaped one rainy night to Vishalgad, while his faithful general Baji Prabhu Deshpande laid down his life holding down the forces of Siddi Johar at a narrow pass, since christened Pavankhind(पावनखिंड). It was here in the same building, Sajja Kothi, built by Ibrahim Adil-Shah in 1500 AD, that Shivaji(शिवाजी) imprisoned his errant son Sambhaji who escaped… right into the arms of his father’s foes.
Today it is redolent with memories of Shivaji(शिवाजी). Not surprising, though, considering that barring his capitals at Rajgad(रायगड) and later Raigad, and Shivneri, where he spent his childhood, Panhala is the only fort where Shivaji spent more than 500 days. It was Maratha State capital until 1782 and in 1827 it went to the British.Besides, there’s the Sambhaji temple Someshwar temple, Teen Darwaza, Raj Dindi (पन्हाळा) .
This imposing fort, 20km northwest of Kolhapur(कोल्हापूर), is built on an outlying spur of the Sahyadris, rising more than 400m above plain. The strategic importance of Panhala(पन्हाळा) , guarding one of the principal routes through the Western Ghat, can be judged from its long and varied history. After serving the headquarter of the Shilahara ruler Bhoja II (1178-1209), the site subsequently passed into hands of Yadavas. It was favorite outpost of the Bahamanis of Bidar ; Mahmud Gawan, the powerful Prime Minister, encamped here during the rainy season of 1469. By the beginning of the 16c Panhala(पन्हाळा) was absorbed into the kingdom of Bijapur(बिजापूर).The Adil Shahis were responsible for strengthening and rebuilding the ramparts and Gateways.The fort was raided by Shivaji(शिवाजी) in 1659, but it was not until 1673 that he was able to occupy it permanently.
Ambabai(अंबाबाई) is mentioned in many Puranas. The idol of the Devi is made of precious stone, weighing about 40 Kgs. It contains mater mixed with Hirak bits. This throws light on its ancientness. The form resembles the out-side of Shiva-Ling. It’s standing on a stone square, in which Hirak & Sand are found. A lion stands behind. At the middle, there is a natural Mandir(अंबाबाई).
The idol is four handed (चार हजार )bearing a cane sword & shield,Down the right hand holds “Mhalung” and the left holds dish of “Pan”. There is a crown on head, which is overshadowed by Sheshanag (Mythological Cobra with hood, the bed of lord Vishnu विष्णू). According to the research it is over 5-6 thousand years old.
Since 1000 B.C. the Mouryas ruled, since 30 A.D. Shaliwahan ruled, when in 109 A. D. Raja Karnadeo came from Konkan to Kolhapur(कोल्हापूर), this idol was in a small temple. Karnedeo cut down the surrounding forest(जंगल) and brought it to the light.
New palace is an ancient building on the Bhavani Mandap(भवानी मंडप)-Kasaba Bavda Road. It was constructed during 1877-1884. Being an excellent specimen of architecture build in black, polished stone(दगड), it has been an attraction for the tourists. It has extensive premises with a beautiful garden, fountain and wresting ground. The all whole building is eight-angled and has a tower in the middle. The clock on it fixed in 1877. At separate distance there are small towers. On every glass are painted the events in Shivaji’s life(शिवाजी महाराज). There is zoo and a ground lake. Even today, it is the residence of Shreemant Shahu Maharaj(शाहू महाराज).
Shalini Palace was built in 193l -34 at a cost of Rs Eight lakhs(८लाख) was named after Princes Shrimant Shalini Raje of Kolhapur(कोल्हापूर). The Palace stands on the west bank of the picturesque Rankala Lake (Circumferenc-2.5 miles) & is surrounded by towering palm trees, lush greenery & lovely gardens. The Palace is built of intricately carved black stone and Italian marble Rich decorative wooden doorways fitted with etched Belgium glass bearing the crest of the Maharaja of Kolhapur, add to the regal grandeur. The majestic black stone arches forming the verandah(वरंडा) and the porch are breathtakingly beautiful. The stained glass arches & the huge tower clock (घड्याळ)are restored to their original beauty. On a moonlit night watching the reflection of the Palace in the placid water of Rankala (रंकाळा तलाव)from the Sandhyamath(संद्यामट) point is an enchanting experience.
Jotiba temple(जोतीबा मंदिर) is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. This is also called Kedarnath and Wadi Ratnagiri. Mythology says, Jotiba(जोतीबा) helped Mahalaxmi in her fight with the demons. He founded his kingdom on this mountain. He belongs to the Nath cult. He was born (जल्म)in the hands of Vimalmbuja, the wife of the sage Pougand, on Chaitra Shukla 6.
It is situated to the north of Kolhapur(कोल्हापूर) in the deep, surrounded by green mountains and black precipices. The original temple was build in 1730 by Navajisaya. It is 330′ high from sea-level. The interior is ancient and the idol is over four-handed. There are other temples and Light-towers. On Chaitra Poornima a big fair is held, when lacs of devotees come with tall (Sasan सासन काटी)sticks.
Kashi Vishveshwar Temple
Shankaracharya Cloister (Math)