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As soon as you heed the word Kolhapur, the very first thing that springs to your mind is the ‘Kolhapur chi Ambabai’ or the Goddess Mahalakshmi of Kolhapur. Much venerated amongst the Hindus as ‘Dakshin Kashi', this seat of Mahalakshmi is regarded to be one of the 51 mythological Shaktipeethas scattered across the Indian Peninsula. Kolhapur, nestled on the banks of the river Panchganga in extreme south western Maharashtra, is a municipal corporation and the administrative headquarters of Kolhapur District. The city has acquired worldwide fame owing to its name being associated with some of the most popular and ‘in demand’ items such as Kolhapuri Chappals, Kolhapuri Saaj, Kolhapuri Gul, Kolhapuri Masala, Kolhapuri Misal and not to forget, Veg Kolhapuri.
The etymology of the word ‘Kolhapur’ lies in a prevalent myth that Goddess Ambabai killed a demon named Kolhasur here. This civic, earlier known as Karveer was rechristened as ‘Kolhapur’ commemorating the last wish of Kolhasur of being immortal in this way. Kolhapur, the blessed land of temples, forts, palaces, historical sites, lakes, reservoirs, beautiful gardens and shopping junctures is the religious and spiritual pivot of Maharashtra and the archaeological and cultural epitome of bygone era. Nestled in the soothing cradle of Sahyadri Mountain Ranges of Western Ghats, Kolhapur is the potpourri of history, culture, spirituality and nature. Every year, millions of devotees from different parts of the country as well as the globe alight at Kolhapur to receive the graceful blessings of the Mother Goddess and enjoy the mouth watering cuisine of Kolhapur.
Acknowledged as the ‘Capital of the Marathi Film Industry’, Kolhapur, the home to a number of legendary personalities of Marathi Silver Screen is also honored to be the venue where the first Indian feature film Raja Harishchandra was conceptualized. Kolhapur still hosts several film festivals and also provides the backdrop for shooting. The latest award winning Marathi big screen ‘Natrang’ and various other movies were shot in Kolhapur. The present day Kolhapur is emerging as one of the rapidly progressing cities and a new throbbing IT hub. Nicknamed as the ‘sugar bowl of India’ due to its famous Jaggery production, Kolhapur has today become the 2nd highest per capita income II tier city. Numerous large scale industries including Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd, Raymond Textiles, Manugraph India Ltd and Menon Group of Companies are placed here.