Kolhapur stands on the banks of Panchganga river and is the home to the famous Shri Mahalakshmi Temple. Situated some 220 km from Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Kolhapur is famous for its unique jewelry design and for Kolhapuri chappals that are popular for their extremely stiff soles.
According to Hindu mythological belief, Goddess Mahalaxmi started residing in Kolhapur after a tiff with her husband Lord Vishnu. Tirupati Balaji and Kolhapur Mahalaxmi are believed to be tied in matrimony. Kolhapur is mentioned in the Bhagvadgita. According to legend, Amoghavarsha, the then king of the region had offered his fingers as sacrifice to Goddess Mahalakshmi for bringing relief to his people from a catastrophe.
The Maharajas of Kolhapur share common ancestry with the erstwhile royal house of Satara. Satara and Kolhapur came into being in 1707, following a succession dispute. When Shahu, the son of Sambhaji who was taken prisoner by the Mughals, was released, Tara Bai (widow of Rajaram, younger son of Shivaji Maharaj) refused to accept him and proclaimed her son Shivaji I, as king. Two separate principalities become an established fact by 1710. While Shahu established himself at Satara, Tarabai set up her capital at Kolhapur.
At an elevation of 1900 ft, Kolhapur enjoys pleasant climate through most of the year except during the summers. The thriving farming sector, textile and mining industries and the film industry of Kolhapur are the main reasons for the growth of the city. It has one of the highest per capita incomes among several Indian cities.
Some of the places like the Shri Mahalakshmi Temple, Katyani Temple, Panhala Fort, the Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Museum, the Rankala lake and the palaces of the erstwhile royals are a must visit.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KOLHAPUR
Kolhapur has accommodation for all budgets. Most of the hotels are concentrated near Tararani Chowk which is 10 minutes away from Kolhapur’s city center. The government guest house offers rooms at subsidized rates but needs to be booked in advance.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN KOLHAPUR
Kolhapur is known for its special cuisine characterized by its use of chili. The delicacies made of red meat in Kolhapuri style are also popular. Tambda rassa and Pandhara rassa are two delicious gravies served here. Misal pav and batata vada are popular snacks served here.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Kolhapur is as given below. The best time to visit Kolhapur is also specified.