|Mahalakshmi Temple||Located right in the heart of the city|
|Bhavani Mandap||Located to the west of the Mahalakshmi Temple|
|Jyotiba Temple||Situated near Wadi Ratnagiri about 17 kilometers to the northwest|
|The Kopeshwar Temple||Located on the banks of the river Krishna in Khidrapur|
|Tembalai or Tryamboli Temple||Located close to the city Kolhapur|
|Bhairavnath Temple||Located on the banks of the river Warana in a village named Khochi about 13 miles to the northeast of Kolhapur|
|Bahubali Hill Temple||Nestled at the top of Bahubali Hill approximately 27 km to the south of Kolhapur|
|Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir||Situated in Mahadwar road|
|Gagangiri Maharaj Math||Located at Gaganbavda|
|Nrusinhawadi||Located about 45 kilometers from Kolhapur|
|Maharaja's Palace||Located 3 Km from Kolhapur Railway Station|
|Khasbag Maidan||Located right in the heart of the city Kolhapur|
|Rankala Lake||Located inside the Panhala Fort|
|Panchganga Ghat||Located on Panchaganga river on north west side of Kolhapur city|
|Irwin Agricultural Museum||Stationed right in the center of Kolhapur|
|Shahuji Chhatrapati Museum||Located about 36 miles to the south of Kolhapur|
|Chandrakant Mandare Museum||Located at Nisarga Bangalow, Rajarampuri, 7th Lane|
|Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum (Kaneri Math)||located at Shri Kshetra Siddhagiri Math of Kaneri approximately 12 kilometers from Kolhapur on the Kolhapur-Bangalore NH 4|
|Town Hall Museum||Located close to the Bhausing Ji Road|
|Radhanagari Dam||Located in the midst of the scenic forest|
|Shivaji University||Located in Vidyanagar|
|Vishalgad||Located in the midst of the scenic forest|
|Panhala Fort||Located at Panhala approximately 20 kilometers to the northwest of Kolhapur|
Referred to as Karveer Temple in Vedic Literature and acknowledged as one of the Shakti Peethas listed in Puranas, Shri Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur located right in the heart of the city is one of the foremost religious destinations of the state of Maharashtra. Considered to be one of the six abodes of the Goddess where either you obtain salvation from earthly desires or get them fulfilled by the grace of the deity, Kolhapur is the sacred domicile where Lord Vishnu along with his consort Lakshmi perpetually resides. It is said that even at the time of Maha Pralaya i.e. the unlimited destruction of the world, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi will not leave Kolhapur. The temple of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur estimated to be constructed in circa 700 AD during the dominion of Kannada Chalukya Empire (King Karandev of Chalukya dynasty) houses an arresting idol of four armed Goddess Lakshmi mounted on a stone platform.
Carved in black gemstone this figure of Goddess Lakshmi is 3 feet tall and weights about 40 kg. This idol is believed to be 5000 to 6000 years old. The idol of the Goddess facing west holds four symbolic things namely a mhalunga (sweet orange) fruit, a mace, a shield and a panpatra (a bowl holding betel leaf) in her four hands. The vehicle of the Goddess; a stone lion stands behind the idol. The throne on which the Ambabai is enshrined is made of complete silver. This ornately carved shrine bears an image of the Sheshnag. One of the walls of the sanctum bears a carved motif of Shri Yantra of Goddess Lakshmi. The western wall of the temple has a small window through which the rays of the sun come in and directly fall on the statue of the Goddess 6 days a year.
The courtyard of the temple houses a number of sub shrines dedicated to various deities like Vishnu, Shiva, Mahishasuramardini, Tulja Bhavani, Vitthal-Rakhumai, Surya, Navagrahas, etc. some of them are even dated back to 11th century AD. The temple tank is known as Manikarnika Kund where the devotees take a dip and purify their sins. Daily five different Poojas are offered to the Goddess Mahalakshmi. They being, Kakad Aarti, Shodashopachara Pooja, afternoon and evening services and Shejaarati. The major festivals celebrated at the Ambabai Temple of Kolhapur include Navaratri, Lalita Panchami, Ashtami, Rathotsav and Kirnotsav.
Bhavani Mandap, constructed between 1785 and 1800 AD during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj II, is the oldest and the biggest edifice of the city Kolhapur. Located to the west of the Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur, Bhavani Mandap houses a shrine of Goddess Tulja Bhavani, who according to Hindu Mythology is the guest to Kolhapur, the abode of her elder sister Ambabai. Some people believe that the idol of Tulja Bhavani placed in the Bhavani Mandap is the very idol worshipped by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj I. Originally Bhavani Mandap had 14 squares but at the time of the invasion of a Muslim King Sadatkhan in 1813 AD, 7 of them were demolished. It is said that Shambhu alias Abasaheb Maharaj was murdered in this very Mandap. Today Bhavani Mandap houses a life size statue of the most loved ruler of Kolhapur; Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. Stuffed animals hunted by Shahu Maharaj including Panthers, a giant bison, deer and several others are displayed here. A humble wooden throne believed to be used by Shivaji Maharaj on his visits to Kolhapur is also preserved in Bhavani Mandap. Moreover, a number of tombs of the Maratha Rulers of Kolhapur and a small temple of Lord Shiva are also found here.
Lord Jyotiba worshipped as an incarnation of the Hindu Trinity Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and the sage Jamadagni is seated in the Jyotiba Temple of Kolhapur. It is believed that Lord Jyotiba was incarnated in order to help Mahalakshmi to fight against a demon named Ratnasur. This Hindu shrine situated near Wadi Ratnagiri about 17 kilometers to the northwest of Kolhapur in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra is perched at the altitude of 3124 feet above the sea level in the Panhala Ranges. Constructed in the year 1730 by Ranoji Scindia at the site of the original Kedareshwar Temple built by Navajisaya, this temple of Jyotiba is famous far and wide for its annual fair held on the full moon nights of the Hindu months of Chaitra and Vaishakh. At the time of this Jyotiba Fair, devotees alighting here from various regions come with a colorful procession hoisting a Sasan Kathi, the symbol of Lord Jyotiba.
The Kopeshwar Temple
The Kopeshwar Temple dedicated to the ‘Lord of Rage’ (Kop) i.e. Lord Shiva is believed to be built by Shilahara Kings Gandaraditya, Vijayaditya and Bhoj-II between 1109 and 1178 AD. Popularly known as ‘Mahadev Temple’, the Kopeshwar Temple is located on the banks of the river Krishna in Khidrapur of Kolhapur District. This temple of Lord Shiva is divided into four sections namely Garbha Griha, Antaral Kaksha, Sabhamandapam and Swargamandapam. The Kopeshwar Temple is particularly exalted for its matchless treasure of entrancing sculptures of various Gods, Goddesses and gracefully dancing girls carved in the pillars, walls and the Mandap. The temple bears 108 pillars carved out of stone and the entire shrine rests on the Gajapeeth which is a semi-circular platform placed on the back of 92 carved elephant motifs.
Tembalai or Tryamboli Temple
Tembalai Hill located close to the city Kolhapur is the holy abode of Goddess Tembalai or Tryamboli, the sister of Goddess Mahalakshmi. As the legend goes, Goddess Tembalai helped Goddess Mahalakshmi in the war against demons but after the conquest, Mahalakshmi didn’t give the due credit and respect to Tembalai. This made the Goddess angry and she went to the Tembalai Hill and settled there. Tembalai Hill, a very well known and much venerated religious destination around Kolhapur is specially celebrated for the religious ceremony of pouring water on the temple steps performed here in the month of Ashadha every year. During the month of ‘Shravan’ a one day celebration known as ‘Tryamboli Yatra’ is organized at the Tembalai Hill. Devotees from Kolhapur and surrounding regions arrive at the Tembalai Hill on the day of this Yatra. During the nine days festival of Navaratri, the Goddess Mahalakshmi of Kolhapur is carried to the temple of Tembalai at Tembalai Hill in a grand procession. It is said that Ambabai goes to meet her sister Tembalai on that day. Apart from the Tembalai Temple, Tembalai Hill is also a home to a temple dedicated to Goddess Yamai, a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and a huge idol of Lord Ganesha. A small garden is also laid down for the visitors here.
Bhairavnath Temple is located on the banks of the river Warana in a village named Khochi about 13 miles to the northeast of Kolhapur. Bhairavnath, an incarnation of Lord Shiva who is seated in this temple flanked by his consort Jogeshvari is the Guarding Deity or the custodian (Kshetrapal) of the village Khochi. The temple of Lord Bhairavnath built out of stone is a square edifice having a seventy-five feet long and fifteen feet broad portico in the front. This temple is said to have been built in 1680 AD by the ‘Inamdar’ of Chavre named Sultanrav Sinde. The annual fair of the Bhairavnath Temple is held in the month of Chaitra when more than a million people throng the temple.
Bahubali Hill Temple
Bahubali Temple nestled at the top of Bahubali Hill approximately 27 km to the south of Kolhapur is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Bahubali of Jainism. Bahubali, also worshipped as Gomateshwara was the second of the hundred sons of Rishabha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism, and the king of Podanpur. A 28 feet tall marble statue of Lord Bahubali and several shrines of 24 Jain Tirthankaras are positioned at the top of Bahubali Hill, also known as Kumbhojgiri. To reach the temple of Lord Bahubali the devotees have to climb more than 400 steps. From the top of the hill the spectacular views of surrounding forests and tiny village farms can be beheld. On the 15th day of Shulka Paksha in the month of Kartik and Chaitra and also on the 10th day of Krishna Paksha of Margashirsha month, a fair is held at the Bahubali Hill in the honor of Lord Bahubali. This religious destination revered by both Hindus and Jains is crammed by the devotees at the times of these fairs. Accommodation facilities are provided to the devotees by The Swetambar Jain Trust at the Bahubali Hills.
Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir
Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir, also known as Joshirao Ganapati Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha was constructed in the year 1882. It is reported by the locals that the idol of Lord Ganesha enshrined in this temple was revealed while repairing a well. A noteworthy feature of the temple that also bestows the temple its name is that the sanctum of this shrine is built without using any pillar (khamb). The exteriors of the temple are adorned with a number of artistically carved figures including a beautiful stone carved tortoise. It is also said that as the original idol of the presiding deity was too small in size, a 90 cm idol was enshrined in the temple for performing ritualistic activities upon it. Due to its peerless archaeological and architectural appeal, this Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir is thronged by the students of those disciplines to study its structure. Apart from the students, the temple is also flocked by the devotees, particularly at the time of Ganesh Festival and other fairs.
Gagangiri Maharaj Math
Gagangiri Maharaj Math, located at Gaganbavda amidst a thick forest in Dijapur close to Kolhapur is a widely recognized spiritual destination much sought after both by Indian and foreign tourists. Gagangiri Maharaj a great Hindu Sanyasi and Yogi who followed the Nath Sampraday spent many years of his life in the Gagangiri Maharaj Math near Kolhapur. He also undertook a penance here from 1932 to 1940. Gagangiri Maharaj Math is famous for providing Hindu Teachings and Yoga and Meditation practices. The serene and peaceful ambience of this ashram is perfect for the observation of Yoga and Meditation and also for the understanding of Indian Culture and Hindu Religion. The temple located inside the Math premises also beckons myriads of devotees from far and wide.
Nrusinhawadi a very well known pilgrim destination of Kolhapur district dedicated to Lord Dattatreya is located about 45 kilometers from here. Popularly known as Narsobachi Wadi, Nrusinhawadi nested at the confluence of Panchaganga and Krishna rivers is the capital for the Datta worshippers. This place acquired significance as the third incarnation of Shri Dattaguru, Shri Nrusinha Saraswati stayed here for 12 years of his life and performed a numberless miracles. At the Dattatreya Temple of Nrusinhawadi the Swayambhu Paduka of Lord Datta and the Holy Scripture Gurucharitra are worshipped. Gurucharitra describes the importance of Nrusinhawadi by the name of Amarapur. The Nrusinhawadi area is full of Oudumber Trees, the sacred tree blessed by Lord Datta. The present temple of Nrusinhawadi has been constructed by the Muslim king of Vijapur; Adilshah on regaining the eyes of his daughters by the blessings of Guru. Tourists can reach Nrusinhawadi from Kolhapur via Jaysingpur.
Maharaja’s Palace, also known as the ‘New Palace’ is one of the most impressive edifices of Kolhapur, the land of Ambabai. Constructed in the year 1884 and designed by a renowned British architect Major Charles Mant, Maharaja’s Palace reflects the Hindu and Jain architectural influences derived from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Moreover, the Maharaja’s Palace also depicts the typical Rajwada style of architecture. Currently, the ‘New Palace’ of Kolhapur Maharaja serves as the dwelling abode of the present Maharaja of Kolhapur. The Maharaja resides on the first floor of the palace while the ground floor is occupied by the famous Shahuji Chhatrapati Museum of Kolhapur. Apart from that, the Maharaja’s Palace is also endowed with beautifully landscaped gardens, a pristine lake and a zoo.
‘Kolhapuri Kusti’ or ‘the game of wrestling’ is a very popular sport of Kolhapur. This ancient game patronized by the Maratha Chhatrapatis is still prevalent here. The Wrestlers of Kolhapur are famous all over the globe. Throughout the year various wrestling competitions are organized when wrestlers earn incredible amount of fame and money. Khasbhag Maidan is the major location of Kolhapur widely reckoned for hosting Home, District and Zonal Levels Kusti. Located right in the heart of the city Kolhapur Khasbhag Maidan is an expansive ground that has the capacity of accommodating over 25,000 spectators at a time. The instrumental music that is played at Khasbhag Maidan to boost the wrestlers during the wrestling event is known as ‘Halagi’. Apart from hosting the wrestling competitions, the Khasbhag Maidan also furnishes as the training center of the wrestlers. The season of Kusti extends from June to September every year. Witnessing a wrestling match at Khasbhag Maidan will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
Rankala Lake, a pristine water reservoir set up against the picturesque backdrop of the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges is one of the most favorite hangouts of the city Kolhapur. The natives of Kolhapur believe that this lake is directly connected with a well located inside the celebrated Panhala Fort. Presently the Rankala Lake of Kolhapur serves as a much loved weekend destination both for the locals as well as for the tourists. Kolhapur Municipal Corporation has lately set up a ‘Padpath Udyan’ which comprises a beautiful promenade along the lakeside. A number of eating outlets including the vendors selling the mouth watering Indian Chat have been freshly installed here. The Chowpati, the beautifully laid down gardens skirting the lake and the grand walkway add to the tourism appeal of the vicinity. Rankala Lake put up by the Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur is today popular for boating, horse riding and similar other fun activities.
Rankala Lake also hosts the annual Kolhapur Rankala Mahotsav organized by Kolhapur Municipal Corporation. This festival comprises various stage performances and musical concerts performed by renowned artists of the country. If we peep into the genesis of the Rankala Lake, this place was just a huge stone pit prior to 8th century AD. As an after effect of a 9th century Earth Quake, the natural composition of the land here changed and water started oozing out of the stone quarry. This water discharged from some unknown underground source got accumulated in this crater which later came to be known as today’s renowned Rankala Lake.
A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva adorns the banks of the lake where a colossal Nandi statue is positioned. The locals believe that this Nandi moves about a distance of a single wheat grain towards the lake and moves back about a distance of a single rice grain everyday. And when this Nandi reaches the lake, there will be the ‘Maha Pralaya’ or the absolute destruction of the universe. Apart from the temple of Lord Shiva, a Sandhya Math, the Shalani Palace and Padmaraje Garden are also parked adjacent the Rankala Lake.
Panchganga Ghat, one of the oldest locales of the city Kolhapur is the very vicinity where the early roots of the Kolhapur Civilization were laid down. The banks of the river Panchganga positioned to the extreme west of the city are known by the title ‘Panchganga Ghat’. An ancient temple and a small jetty for washing clothes are set up here. From the Shivaji Bridge of Kolhapur one can perceive the most panoramic vista of the Panchganga River and the Panchganga Ghat. Beside the Shivaji Bridge a small picnic spot has been developed from where the comprehensive diorama of Panchganga Ghat and the temple can be beheld. An annual fair is organized at the Panchganga Ghat which beckons thousands of visitors from every corners of Maharashtra as well as the rest of the country. Kolhapur authorities are planning to develop the Panchganga Ghat for the immersion of Ganesha idols at the time of Ganesh Chaturthi Festival.
Irwin Agricultural Museum
Irwin Agriculture Museum stationed right in the center of Kolhapur is one of the most interesting and educating attractions of the city. Specifically designed for exhibiting the articles and equipments related to farming and agriculture, this museum presents an assortment of agronomy accessories. Not only that, the museum is also affluent with an exquisite collection of ancient Andhra coins, pottery items and exceptional bronze artifacts. The most remarkable article demonstrated in the museum is the statue of Poseidon elegantly placed in the central area. Presently the Irwin Agriculture Museum suffices for the collector office of Kolhapur Collector. The collector office of Kolhapur is known as Swaraj Bhavan.
Shahuji Chhatrapati Museum
‘Shahuji Chhatrapati Museum’, named after Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj of Kolhapur is the most prominent and one of the most visited tourist destinations of the city. Established in the year 1881, this museum is housed on the ground floor of the ‘New Palace Building’ of the Maharaja Palace. Shahuji Chhatrapati Museum is especially exalted for its wide collection of antique articles that earlier belonged to the royalty of Kolhapur. The museum houses numerous possessions of Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj including costumes, jewellery, embroidery, weapons, games, silver elephant saddles, guns, trophies, artifacts, paintings, sculptures and other still art materials that represent the court life, and so on. The exteriors of the museum are surrounded by stunning gardens, a marvelous lake and a zoo that further add to the charisma of the place.
Chandrakant Mandare Museum
Chandrakant Mandare, an award winning Film actor, a prolific painter, the Deputy Director of the Sir J. J. School of Art, an award winning Art Director in Raj Kapoor's RK Film Studio and a travel writer devoted his entire life to the worship and persuasion of art. He was a master of paintings and powder shading. Chandrakant Mandare donated his art gallery located at Nisarga Bangalow, Rajarampuri, 7th Lane, Kolhapur to the Government of Maharashtra. This art gallery is now converted to a museum where dazzling paintings made by Chandrakant Mandare in Water color, Acrylic, Oil and Power shading are displayed.
Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum (Kaneri Math)
Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum located at Shri Kshetra Siddhagiri Math of Kaneri approximately 12 kilometers from Kolhapur on the Kolhapur-Bangalore NH 4 is an exclusive wax museum, perhaps the only one of its kind in India. The Siddhagiri Math boasting of its more than 1000 years old history is a divine place where Lord Mahadev is worshipped. The surroundings of the museum embellished with a wide range of flora and fauna are very peaceful and serene. The central theme of this wax museum is to present and preserve the self sufficient village life style of India through various scenes and wax statues. The museum is spread over 7 acres of land which consists of about 80 main scenes and nearly 300 statues depicting several village lifestyles of the country. This Dream Project of Mahatma Gandhi was actualized by Siddhagiri Gurukul Foundation Trust. Each wax statue and sculpture is molded in a multi dimensional shape and they are arranged in such an artistic and realistic way that each and every scene expresses a clear visual story. The entire group of these scenecs together demonstrates a self sufficient mechanism of a village. Interpersonal happy relationship amongst the villagers, clean water, clean air, maximum use of natural resources, fertile land, quality food, cattle field, livestock, oneness with nature, barter economy, etc are reflected through Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum. The main message that is conveyed through this presentation of Gramjivan is ‘go back to nature’.
Town Hall Museum
Town Hall Museum located close to the Bhausing Ji Road of Kolhapur is a unique museum where the objects unearthed during the Brahmagiri Excavations are displayed. They include bronze artifacts, pottery, old coins, filigree work in ivory and sandalwood, antiques, and other master works of the artists of the region. The construction of the Town Hall Museum commenced in the year 1872 and it completed almost four years later.
Radhanagari Dam is a gravity dam constructed by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur in the year 1909 across Bhogawati River near Radhanagari. Located in the midst of the scenic forest cover housing spectacular bird species, this dam primarily accomplishes the irrigation purposes and generates hydroelectricity. The height of the dam is 140 feet while the length is 3,750 feet. The dam covers the total surface area of 18,218 square kilometers and it has the capacity of about 53,000 cubic meters.
Shivaji University of Kolhapur an outcome of the endeavors of Yashwantrao Chavan and Balasaheb Desai was established in the year 1962. Inaugurated on 18th November 1962 by the then President of India Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, this University is named after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Kolhapur, Solapur, Satara and Sangli regions come under its jurisdiction and the university has about 225 colleges affiliated to it. One of the major objectives at the back of the foundation of this University was to cater to the educational needs of South Maharashtra.
Vishalgad, originally called Khelna or Khilna Killa is one of the most important forts possessed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra. Taken over from Adilshah of Bijapur and annexed to the ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ in 1659 AD, the Khelna Fort was rechristened by Shivaji Maharaj as Vishalgad. The term Vishalgad means the ‘Grand Fort’. Located approximately 76 kilometers to the North-West of Kolhapur, Vishalgad is placed on the boundary of the hilly terrain of Sahyadri Mountain Ranges and the Konkan province on the hills that segregate the region into two parts i.e. Amba Ghat and Anaskura Ghat. Vishalgad, due to its strategic location served as a watch tower for both the regions. Vishalgad is the eye witness of the historical Battle of Pävankhind fought in 1660 AD when 300 Marathas held the 15,000 soldiers of Adilshahi Force till Shivaji Maharaj reached the fort Vishalgad.
Panhala Fort, also known as Panhalgad, Panalla and Pahalla is located at Panhala approximately 20 kilometers to the northwest of Kolhapur. The term Panhala literally means the ‘home of serpents’. Established by the Shilahara ruler Bhoja II between 1178 and 1209 CE, this fort passing into many hands was acquired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the year 1659. Advantageously located overlooking the trade route between Bijapur and the coastal areas, Panhala Fort was the centre of a number of battles in the Deccan Territory involving the Marathas, the Mughals and the British East India Company, the Battle of Pavan Khind being the most notable one. Maharani Tarabai of Kolhapur spent some years of her life at Panhala Fort. Panhala Fort, one of the largest forts in Deccan is perched at the altitude of 845 meters and has 110 lookout posts. The fortification is more than 7 kilometers long and the fort has many underground tunnels. Built in Bijapuri style of architecture, the chief features of the fort include Andhar Bavadi, Kalavanticha Mahal, Ambarkhana, Dharma Kothi, Sajja Kothi, Teen Darwaza, Wagh Darwaza, Rajdindi Bastion, etc. Presently, a school, a boy’s hostel and a number of government offices are housed in this fort.