Kolhapur is a small town situated in the South-Western state of Maharashtra. Kolhapur has developed itself into a popular tourist destination in the recent years. This town can be aptly described as a perfect mix of natural beauty and history. Kolhapur is also an important spiritual centre as it houses a significant number of temples from Medieval India. Apart from the above mentioned features, Kolhapur is also a crucial business centre as it deals in the manufacturing of commodities, like Kolhapuri Necklaces and Kolhapuri Leather Slippers. If you are a food lover, this town will not disappoint you as it offers some of the best non-veg dishes prepared with rare spices. Kolhapur is also a hub of aspiring wrestlers as this town houses some of the best training centres of the country. If you are planning to visit this beautiful town, here are the top 5 places to visit in Kolhapur that you should definitely have on your list.
1. Mahalakshmi Temple
Dedicated to the Hindu deity Amba Devi, Mahalakshmi Temple stands as the symbol of Hindu faith and devotion of this town. This temple was built during the 7th century under the reign of Chalukyas and is composed of beautiful carvings and sculptures on both the inner as well as outer walls. The temple compound is a mix of various styles of architecture and displays the images of Hindu deities like Vishnu, Shiv and Ganesha. It is believed that a visit to this temple can take you close to spiritual enlightenment. This temple speaks loudly of the historical importance of Kolhapur and should not be missed on the trip to this town.
2. Jyotiba Temple
Jyotiba Temple lies at an altitude of 3200 feet and is situated at around 16 km from the town of Kolhapur. Lord Jyotiba, who is the prime deity of this magnificent temple, is believed to be an Avatar of Lord Shiva. Every year on the two occasions of full moon, a huge fair is organized in the temple complex which attracts a significant number of local and outside visitors. For reaching this temple, you can avail private auto services which are easily available from Kolhapur at reasonable rates. This temple was built in the 1700s and holds a crucial mythological value among the devotees.
3. Rankala Lake
Rankala Lake was built during the 1800s under the guidance of Chattrapati ruler Shivaji and is often regarded as one of the most ancient lakes in the state of Maharashtra. This lake receives maximum visitors during the sunset as it provides a consummate view of the falling sun from its corners. Rankala Lake has derived its name from an ancient temple named Rankabhairaw which is situated in the centre of this lake. Popularly known as the heart of Kolhapur city, this lake also offers recreational activities like horse rides and boating.
4. Chhatrapati Sahu Museum
Popularly known as the Palace of Maharaja, Chhatrapati Sahu Museum was built in 1883 and is one of the most architecturally equipped places in Maharashtra. Museum is situated on the ground floor of Royal Family’s new residence and is decorated with a beautiful collection of sculptures, jewels, stone carvings and war artefacts. The architecture of this museum can be defined as a collective influence of Hinduism and Jainism combined with the local style of Royal families. This museum holds an extremely important spot in the history of Marathas and houses few of the rarest belongings of Chhatrapati Shivaji including weapons and clothes.
5. Panhala Fort
Panhala Fort is popularly known as ‘Panhalgad’ and is situated at a distance of 21 km from Kolhapur. Built under the guidance of emperor Bhoja in 1050 A.D, this fort draws you back to history through its artistically designed walls and scriptures. Thousands of tourists visit this place for its peaceful environment and historical importance. Situated at a height of 3128 feet, Panhala Fort is considered as a perfect weekend destination in Kolhapur. Major attractions of this fort include Teen Darvaza, Sajji Kothi, Amber khana and various Mausoleums.
Through its beautiful lakes, ancient forts, temples and cultural fairs, the town of Kolhapur fills you with immense satisfaction on your visit. Kolhapur is a meagrely populated town and is undoubtedly one of the cleanest cities of Maharashtra. The above mentioned places have been wisely selected and will definitely give you the best experience of this town.
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