Best Places to Visit in Kolhapur: Kolhapur, situated on the banks of the Panchganga River, is a beautiful destination in Maharashtra famed for its religious and historical sites. The traditional city finds mention as a place of Kollamma worship within the holy Devi Bhagavat Purana and is home to several revered religious sites, including Mahalakshmi Temple that’s dedicated to the guardian deity of the town – Mahalakshmi or Ambabai, who killed demon Kolhasura. Along with a variety of temples, the town is dotted with heritage sites, museums, a water park, a lake, etc. Here is a list of the favored places to visit in Kolhapur to make the best of your time within the city.
11 Best Places to Visit in Kolhapur
Shri Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur
Shri Mahalakshmi Temple also referred to as Dakshin Kashi, is one of the Shakti Peethas dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi the guardian deity of Kolhapur who killed demon Kolhasura. It’s one among the six Shaktipeeth’s where devotees come to fulfill their wishes or attain salvation.
The shrine is believed to possess been constructed during the reign of Kannada Chalukya around 700 AD. The 3 feet tall black stone idol of the goddess is adorned with precious gemstones and weighs around 40 kg. A singular feature of this temple is that it faces west and not north or east as is usually adopted in the Hindu religion.
Location: Kalamba, Kolhapur
Timings: 4 am to 10:30 pm
Temblabai Temple, Kolhapur
Just a couple of minutes’ drive from Mahalakshmi Temple lies Temblabai Temple, which is found on Temblai Hill. This temple is devoted to Goddess Renukadevi, who is claimed to be the sister of Goddess Mahalakshmi and is additionally referred to as Trayamali. Interestingly, the idols of both the goddesses in their respective temples face in opposite directions because it is believed that Goddess Renukadevi got upset with Goddess Mahalakshmi for not giving her due respect for helping her become victorious during a war.
There is a very interesting festival celebrated here in the month of Aashaadha when water is poured on the steps of the temple. Another festival that’s celebrated here on a grand scale is that the palanquin procession on Lalita Panchami the fifth day of Navratri.
Location: Vikramnagar, Kolhapur
Timings: 5 am to 9 pm
Bhavani Mandap Kolhapur
Another popular tourist attraction near Mahalakshmi Temple is Bhavani Mandap, which is visited by many devotees of Goddess Tulja Bhavani, who is taken into account to be the younger sister of Goddess Mahalakshmi and was invited as a guest to Kolhapur. Many believe that the idol here is that the one worshipped by Shivaji Maharaj, while others claim that the one at Tuljapur is that the real idol that the good Maratha ruler worshipped.
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This place isn’t only significant for religious reasons but also historical because it was the palace and court of Chhatrapati Maharaj. A life size statue of Shahu Maharaj is on display here, alongside a wooden throne and various stuffed animals like deer and panther.
Location: C Ward, Kolhapur
Timings: 8 am to eight pm
New Palace Museum Kolhapur
One of the must-visit tourist attractions in Kolhapur is that the New Palace Museum that has been alluded to Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Museum for being the residence of Shrimant Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. Located on the bottom floor of the palace, the museum provides a glimpse into the lifetime of the royals of Kolhapur through its impressive display, which incorporates jewellery, attire, coins, weapons, paintings, and even stuffed animals like tiger, lion, deer, etc. alongside the Photo Gallery, Darbar Hall with lobed arches, carved columns, and a raised throne exudes magnificence.
Location: Bhavani Mandap-Kasaba Bawada Road, Kolhapur
Timings: 9 am to 1 pm & 2:30 pm to six pm (Closed on Mondays)
Jyotiba Temple Kolhapur
Jyotiba Temple is one among the twelve Jyotirlingas that was built in 1730 on a hill at a height of 3124 feet above the sea level. As per legends the three gods (Trinity) Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh reincarnated as Jyotiba to kill demons Ratnasur and Raktabhoj that were terrorising locals.
Prior to the development of the present day temple by Maharaja Ranoji Shinde, the first shrine referred to as Kedareshwar Temple was erected at the location by a devotee Navji Saya. There are two more shrines within the premises one built by Malji Nilam Panhalkar in 1780 and the other by Daulat Rao Shinde in 1808. Although many devotees visit the temple throughout the year, the footfall increases manifold during the annual fairs celebrated on Chaitra Poornima and Vaisakha Poornima.
Location: Wadi Ratnagiri, Kolhapur
Timings: 6 am to 9 pm
Rankala Lake Kolhapur
One of the best places to relax with family & friends is that the beautiful Rankala Lake that’s often mentioned as Rankala Chowpatty and Marine Drive of Kolhapur due to the resemblance; food vendors selling tasty snacks, a pathway for a stroll, gardens, horse riding, and boating facilities, etc. Many believe that this lake near the statue of Nandi was constructed by Maharaja Shri Shahu Chhatrapati of Kolhapur, while others believe that the lake was formed naturally when the stone quarry got submerged by underground water after an earthquake. The Rankabhairav Temple also got submerged at the centre of the lake, & doubtless, this is often why the lake was named Rankala.
Location: Hari Om Nagar, Kolhapur
Timings: 6 am to 7 pm
Kopeshwar Temple Kolhapur
One of the favored religious places to visit in Kolhapur is Kopeshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple with a conical shaped sanctum was built on the banks of the Krishna River within the 12th century by Shilahara King Gandaraditya. This stone temple is considered to be an architectural marvel due to its intricate carvings and stunning sculptures that were an excellent feat to realize at that point.
However, during Aurangzeb’s Deccan campaign, many carvings and sculptures on the lower part of the walls were damaged. Nonetheless, you must still visit this site to wish and admire the amazing architecture with great detailing.
Location: Khidrapur, Kolhapur
Timings: 6 am to 9 pm
Vishalgad also referred to as Khelna or Khilna, is a heritage site located at a height of over 3500 feet above water level. This fort was initially built by Shilahara King Marsinh in 1058 and was called Khilgil. Over the years, it came under the rule of varied kings, before being annexed from Adil Shah of Bijapur by Shivaji in 1659, and was thereafter renamed Vishalgad, which means grand fort in Marathi.
Apart from its main entrance, it’s almost impossible to reach in the fort because it surrounded by steep cliffs and mountainous terrain of the Sahyadri Range, and thus, conquering it had been an excellent thing achieved by Shivaji. Although in ruins, this site of historical significance is worth a visit.
Location: Vishalgad, Kolhapur
Timings: 9 am to six pm
Dream World Water Park Kolhapur
One of the best places to visit in Kolhapur is Dream World Water Park that gives unlimited fun to visitors of all ages. One of the most highlights is Sky Magic Vortex park, which is perhaps the primary of its kind within the state. Other popular attractions of the water park include the fun speed rides, entertaining ritual dancing, artificial wave pool, dragon rides, tube rides & separate rides for smaller kids.
Make sure that you simply carry your swimwear & towel alternatively you’ll need to buy them at the in house shop.
Location: Kasaba Bawada Road, Kolhapur
Timings: 10 am to 7 pm
Entry Fee: Starting ₹ 550 (adults), ₹ 500 (children)
Panhala Fort Kolhapur
Surrounded by the Sahyadri Range, Panhala Fort was strategically built at a height of 3177 feet above the water level. The 7-kilometer fortified monument was built between 1178 & 1209 by Raja Bhoja with alterations made by Marathas, Bahamanis, Mughals & others who ruled here, including Shivaji & Tarabai. As per folklore, during the attack on the fort by Bijapur General Siddi Johar, Shivaji escaped while Shiva Kashid fought with the previous disguised as Shivaji.
This Indo Islamic style fort impresses you at the very first glimpse with its three double gateways Teen Darwaza that reflect intricate craftsmanship. Besides, Sajja Kothi where Shivaji imprisoned his son Sambhaji is a must-visit.
Location: Panhala, Kolhapur
Timings: 6:30 am to 7 pm
Shalini Palace Kolhapur
One of the best magnificent landmarks in Kolhapur is that the Shalini Palace on the banks of the picturesque Rankala Lake. The heritage structure is known as after Princess Shrimant Shalini Raje daughter of Chhatrapati Shahaji II Puar Maharaj & Queen Pramila Raje. Cover 12 acres, this opulent building with beautiful gardens was constructed between 1931 & 1934 at a price of 8 lakhs. The black stone and Italian marble edifice are adorned with glass arches, wooden doors, and windows, a huge tower clock, Belgian glass, etc. It became Maharashtra’s first and only heritage luxury hotel, after being converted into a 3-star hotel in 1987.
Location: Rankala, Kolhapur
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