The location is the city of Kolhapur that lies along the riverbanks of Panchgana in Southern part of Maharashtra, India. The city of Kolhapur is another princely state. it is situated just about 230 km from Pune, with an history that dates back to the times of the Marathas.
Nowadays, kolhapur is renowned for manufacturing of the widely sold kolhapuri slippers and neklace. Its name is derived from a mythological tale that tells of Kolhasur, an emperor-saint and demons layer, killed by Goddess Mahalakshmi. Here you can find one popular Mahalakshmi temple devoted to this deity. Famous all over the country are Kolhapuris.
This is an ideal tourism location for easily moving around and reaching places of accommodation and food consumption. Kolhapur appears most charming on a sacred day like Naag Panchami. Live snakes attract thousands of worshippers for milk and rice offerings.
The other notable cultural festival of Kolhapur is Rankala Mahotsav organised by the Municipal Corporation. Time well spent to observe the colourful culture and traditions of this land. The event stretches over five days as a cultural festival of live performances, music concert, exhibitions as well as culinary delights.
In this article, we will take you on a journey through the famous places to visit in Kolhapur, giving you a glimpse into the spiritual and historical wonders that await you.
- Best Time to Visit: November – March
- Ideal Vacation Duration: 3 to 5 days
- Places to Visit:Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary, Panhala Fort, Gagangad Fort and Gagangiri Ashram, etc.
- Things to Do: Explore the historical heritage and visit temples and museums.
- How to Reach: Via air, rail and road.
If you’re looking for peace and spirituality, you can visit all the places in Kolhapur through our great Maharashtra Tour Packages deal!
Here are some popular places to visit in Kolhapur:
- Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary
- Panhala Fort
- Gagangad Fort and Gagangiri Ashram
- Bhavani Mandap
- Pant Amatya Wada
- Palsambe (Ramling) Caves
- Shri Chatrapati Shahu Museum
- Ramtirth Waterfall
- Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Kopeshwar Temple
- Narsinhwadi Datta Mandir
- Vishalgad Fort
- Mahalakshmi Temple
- Binkhambi Temple
- Rankala Lake
- Chinmaya Gandhish
- Jyotiba Temple
- Sajja Kothi
- Radhanagari Dam
- Teen Darwaza
- Khasbag Wrestling Stadium
- Shalini Palace
- Tabak Udyan
- Temlabai Temple
If you are planning to visit Solapur? Here, we have compiled a list of top 23 places to visit in Kolhapur & things to do in Kolhapur that should be on your wishlist!
1.) Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary was established in 1985 when the hunters of the Maharaja of Kolhapur were no longer allowed to hunt on the lands now converted into Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also referred to as a bison sanctuary and it is most famous for the Indian Bison or Gaurs.
It is located 1200 meters above sea level which makes it a magnificent and interesting place for your unforgettable vacation. The tourists have a delightful walk on an excursion to Gagangiri Maharaj’s Math nearby. Moreover, there are other spots such as leopards, tigers, and sloth bears. It is a green haven that provides ideal escapade from the town.
2.) Panhala Fort
The Panhala Fort is located approximately twenty kilometres to the north-western side of the main Kolhapur town. The structure occupies a prominent spot amongst the most impressive sites of the country, being the biggest in the Deccan region. The fortress was constructed at the right time when there was a main trading route that passed via Maharashtra from Bijapur to the coast of Arabian sea. Aside from the lovers of historical sites, it is a must-visit to the trekkers too.
It extends over about seven kms of green Sahyadri slopes having massive fortification including full proof protection through three huge double walled gates. The entire length of the Panhala Fort is composed of parapets, ramparts and bastions decorated with ornate patterns reflecting various reigns – the Marathas, Bahamas, the Mughals and others. Old Panhala Fort which was established around 12th century by Raja Bhoja.
It was built between 1178 and 1209, and the Marathas subsequently altered it. Such a fort is infamous for having been the residence of Great Maratha Ruler of Shivaji and the Queen Regent of Kolhapur – Tarabai of the Indo-Islamic Style.
3.) Gagangad Fort and Gagangiri Ashram
The ruins of Gagangad Fort were situated 1 km from Gaganbawada town. It was the headquarters of Gaganbawada tehsil covering an area of about 243 square miles and presently part of Sidhudurg district. In the fort, there is a small mosque and Bhavani temple. In several places, the guarding walls of the fort are visible.
In those days Shri Gageere Maharaj had undergone some penance when he stayed at a cave called Garbageeera, located near Garbha-giria fort for perfecting tantric practices. Current there is a temple of Gurudatta and ashram of followers of Shri Gagangiri Maharaj. In fact many devotees visit this shrine on Datta Jayanti, which is one of the notable festival in the town of Gaganbawada.
4.) Bhavani Mandap
The Kolhapur city today hosts this public monument, previously known as the court and palace of Chhatrapati Maharaja since Yesteryear, called the Bhavani Mandap. It contains sculpture of Shahu Maharaj, stuffed animals, wooden throne, etc; it is a well-known place for tourists in the city.
5.) Pant Amatya Wada
It holds mini-heritage museum as well as several antiques belonging to the Pant Amatya Bavdekar family which was once a colonial residence. There have also been numerous films recorded at this stage; among them, the most famous one is called ‘Pachhadlela’. Visitors can enter it between 10.30 am and 5.30 pm. This Wada is an admission free Wada in Kaajva.
6.) Palsambe (Ramling) Caves
These unique cave temples/structures make palsambe famous too. ## Such monolithic buildings were supposedly constructed by Pandava’s as they spent period in the forest and thus termed as Pandavleni. At the entrance there is a statute of Lord Ganesha and twelve self-living Shivan’s inside the caves. The Shivlinga receives a slow drip of water, which flows through the cave in the form of driblets. It’s a good place to visit, and it’s only 5 kms from Kaajva.
6.) Shri Chatrapati Shahu Museum
A NEW PALACE, situated on the Bahvani Mandap-Kasaba Bavda Road, was built between 1877-84 and is a residential place of Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj. On the other hand, the first floor of the palace became a museum in 1980 that holds items from their rule period and the personal belongings of the kings. The black polished stone building is a wonder in architecture which would be expected within that era. Through photographs and exhibits, you can experience the court life.
7.) Ramtirth Waterfall
Ramtirth Waterfall is such a natural waterfall that gushes down to the banks of River Hiranya Keshi at Ajara Taluk in Kolhapur with its great peace as well as wonderful beauty. The spot is mainly a day picnic ground and a relaxation zone from city’s rowdiness. There are many temples in that area, which are always crowded by pilgrims.
8.) Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
A distinctive man-made forest called Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary can be found in the region of Kolhapur district. The wildlife is also spread over approximately 11 sq km area of land which has been artificially brought here. It is one of richest floral and faunal regions and also a major tourism centre for Maharashtra.
9.) Kopeshwar Temple
The Kopeshwar temple lies at the convergence of Maharashtra and Karnataka in the area of Khidrapur at Kolhapur District. It is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The shrine was built on the banks of River Krishna displaying elegant architectural designs with detailed engravings on the inner and outer sides of the walls. Additionally, it contains other icons including Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
10.) Narsinhwadi Datta Mandir
This temple called Narsinhwadi Datta Mandir is situated in Narsobawadi at a distance of 48 kms from Kolhapur and has devoted to Sri Narsinh Saraswatiji who is an embodiment of lord Shri Dattatre. The temple constructed at the banks of river Krishna, is one of the most sought-after pilgrimages for Hindus.
11.) Vishalgad Fort
Locally called Khelna, Vishalgad is a fort situated in Shahuwadi tehsil of Kolhapur district. This fort became famous because when king Shivaji passed over it escaping his foes, it was here where the fight took place between the Maratha sardar Baji Prabhu and Siddi Masud of Bijapur Sultanate. Vishalgad means a grand or large fort. It took King Shivaji just conquer this fort to have it bear his name since 1659. This fort occupies a 1,130-m-land and is at an elevation of approximately 3,500ft.
12.) Mahalakshmi Temple
Built in the seventh century by Chalukyas, the Mahalakshmi Temple is considered as the temple of ‘Shakti’ who is believed to give satisfaction and fulfilment of desires among various other benefits. The Hindu community is another time worships the same Goddess Mahalakshmi whom they refer to as the Ambabai. One of the sacred places and places of pilgrimage in India, it is the temple itself.
The temple lies approximately 5 km away from the railway station and central bus stand of the city. Close by is a temple dedicated to Goddess Bhavani.
13.) Binkhambi Temple
The Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir in Dapoli was established way back in 1882 dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The idol of Lord Ganesha installed in the temple is said been found when they were repairing the well. Likewise, some people claim that the idol existed even before being placed in the temple at the stated period of time.
It’s known to locals as Joshirao Ganapati Temple; many archaeo-logical students flock here to study its structure. Another significant aspect of the temple is that its sanctum was constructed with no pillar support. There is also numerous carved structure all over the temple’s outer wall, including tortoise made out of stone.
14.) Rankala Lake
Rankala Lake, which attracts many tourists globally. It is characterized with unique beautiful nature and calmness of surroundings which make it a place worth visiting definitely. It was built by Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, King of Kolhapur at that time. The two ghats are Rajgath and Marathghat. This is a land that spreads over as much as 107 hectares. Usually, people visit the lake in the evenings.
15.) Chinmaya Gandhish
The largest statue of Hindu god Ganesh known as Chinmaya Ganadhish stands in Chinmaya Sandeepany Ashram. It comprises of a Ganapati sitting on a 24 feet high meditation hall which is 61 feet long. This circular structure measures approximately 60 feet in diameter and weighs some 800 tonnes. The Ganesha idol is supported by approximately 24 pillars.
There was also an additional workforce of fifty skilled workers from Shimoga who laboured vigorously for almost a year on this site. Parampujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji unveiled it, in 2001. Morning worships are done for lord whereas aarti is rendered every evening. It is visited by more than five thousand pilgrims during the ten day’s celebration of Ganeshtoap-Sambhapur festival.
16.) Jyotiba Temple
Kolhapur has a very delightful temple called the Jyotiba Temple which is situated in the village of Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. The Rang, on the other hand, translates to colour signifying the colours employed during Holi. The pilgrims offer gulal to Lord Jyotiba as a gesture of faithfulness.
As its name implies, it has been established to build a glorious temple in honor of Lord Jyotiba who symbolises three different gods. However, it is argued that one ought to first visit the Mahalaxmi Temple and then go to the temple of Shree Guru Raghavendra. The temple standing at a height of 3124 feet above sea level gives an amazing sight. The tranquil surroundings together with the holiness of the building offer tranquillity and solace to all the pilgrims and visitors.
17.) Sajja Kothi
The building lies within a single storied structure inside the Panhala fort at Kolhapur. The monument possesses a Mughal type of architecture and stands in the midst of great natural beauty with being one of the significant strategic points to the renowned king Shivaji. Sajja Kothi, overlooking the beautiful Waranna Valley, is an important heritage site as well as a tourist attraction in the city.
18.) Radhanagari Dam
The oldest dam in India is the Radhanagari Dam located at Bhogavati River in Radhanagari near Kolhapur. In addition, the dam water also helps in irrigating several surrounding villages, apart from tapping hydro-power energy. Moreover, tourism thrives on this beautiful surrounding of the dam that has become the pride of the city.
19.) Teen Darwaza
The main entrance gate to the Panhala Fort, known as Teen Darwaza, is situated at Kolhapur. It comprises of two gates, an arched courtyard between the two gates. The outer archway is also very beautiful, particularly its roomy cell that extends over the roof. The inner gate exhibits beautiful carvings, including one of Lord Ganesh. These walls include elaborate inscription engravings.
20.) Khasbag Wrestling Stadium
Khasbag Wrestling Stadium, situated at Kolhapur, is perhaps the largest stadium of its kind in India and can boast an immense public attendance for a sporting event. It can accommodate over thirty thousand spectators. There is a huge wrestling ring called Houd, located smack dab in the middle of the arena. Members of the royal family have special seating facilities.
21.) Shalini Palace
The Shalini Palace is situated along the shores of Lake Rankala and has been described as a lavish royal residence that took four years to construct between the period of 1931-1934 with the expenditure of nearly one million rupees. The garden is also covered with a number of palm trees. Later it was converted into a luxurious heritage hotel, but has been closed because of huge losses.
22.) Tabak Udyan
The name of the park is the Tabak Udyan also called the Botanical gardens and is situated within the Panhala fort complex in Kolhapur. Such gardens provide a variety of vegetation and wildlife, and they are situated in woody areas with designated hiking and bicycle roads. You may also pay a visit to see any rare bird that might come around there, or just to enjoy yourself in the tranquillity of nature beauty.
23.) Temlabai Temple
The Temlabai temple is located at the base of the Temlabai hill. Both derived their names from the Goddess Temlabai, an alleged sister of Goddess Mahalakshmi. According to legends, Temlabai allied herself with Mahalakshmi who defeated the evil forces; but Mahalakshmi failed to recognize Temlabai’s contribution following the war.
With anger, Temlabai left for the hills that later were named after her. According to legend, only on this specific day do Mahalakshmi meet her sister TemplaiBai in order for Mahalakshmi to perform a journey from Mahalaxmin Temple to Tembaleshwori Devi Temple during Navaratri Festival.
Naag Panchami transforms Kolhapur into a charming place. Live snakes are worshipped by thousands of people who offer them milk and rice. The Rankala Mahotsav, organized by the municipal corporation is another famous cultural festival of Kolhapur. At this particular point, it is an opportunity to watch the abundant culture and customs in this area. Live shows, concerts of music and culinary temptations are all included for a whole week at this event.