KOLHAPUR – Perfect Replica of The Kashi Vishvanath

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We all know about Kolhapur as the city of wrestlers, the city of food, the city of Kolhapuri Chappal, For instance. This is the typical image of Kolhapur for people outside Kolhapur. But there are more and more interesting things to know about Kolhapur and its people. Also to travel in Kolhapur this blog will help you to understand so much.

Before anything else, we have to get some knowledge about the history of Kolhapur and its people. Kolhapur is also known as Prati Kashi which means the replica of Kashi. Which is the holiest place in India for Hindus. The reason for this name is because Kolhapur has so many temples and historic places like Kashi has.

Kashi Vishwanath temple

Kolhapur is one of the ancient cities in Maharashtra and also in India. So it has a lot of historic value.

How to go to kolhapur……..

Kolhapur was placed south of Maharashtra. Kolhapur shares its boundary with Ratnagiri at west Sangli at east and Karnataka state at the south. So it’s not a coastal city, from Pune it’s about 250 KM. You can just take a route from national highway 4 and you will arrive at around 4-5 hrs. From Mumbai, it is the same route of 650 km.

Where to go……..

There are so many places to visit in Kolhapur like,

Mahalakshmi Temple-

 Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur was built by Karndeva in 634 C.E. Chalukya reign. Mounted on a stone platform. It is made up of gemstones and weighs about 40 kg. The image of Mahalakshmi carved in black stone is 3 feet tall. The Shri yantra was carved on one of the walls in the temple. The temple belongs architecturally to the Chalukya empire and was first built in the 7th century.

The temple is referred to in multiple Puranas. the Konkan king Kamadeo. Chalukya, Shilahara, Yadavas of Devgiri dynasties visited this city. Adi Shankaracharya also visited this city. chatrapati shivaji and Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj reigned.

mahalakshmi temple
Ambabai temple Kolhapur

dynasties

In 109 A.D. Karnadeo cut off the jungle and brought the jungle to the light. The existence goes back to the 8th century. The temple sank down due to the earthquake. In the 9th century Gandavadix which king extended the temple by building Mahakali mandir. During 1178-1209. in the reign of raja Jaysing and Sindhava south gate and Atibaleshwar temple were built.

In 1218

Mahadwar was built by Yadav and gifted jewels to Devi. Further Shilaharas built the Maha Saraswati mandir. He a Jain Gor 64 idols carved. We can assume that a new idol named Padmavati was placed there. In that time. Further in Chalukya times Ganpati before the temples installed within the 13th century. Shankaracharya built Nagar khana and office Deepmalas.

A famous Historian Paul Dundas wrote in his book The Jains said that this temple was a Jain temple. The octagonal structure of  Sheshashayee Vishnu to the eastern gate shows a panel of 60 Jain Tirthankaras carvings.

The daily schedule of this temple is as follows

Temple opens at 4.30 a.m.,Kakad arati which means morning aarti starts at 4.30 to 6.00 a.m. Then morning Mahapuja starts at 8 a.m., Naivaidya giving starts at 9.30 a.m. Madhyan aarti starts at 11.30 a.m., Alankar puja starts at 1.30 p.m., Dhoop aarti which means evening aarti at 8 p.m. In last night aarti called shej aarti started at 10.00 p.m

A festival image of the deity taken in process round. The temple space each Friday and on full moon days.

kiranotsav-

Kirnotsav which also called as sun rays festival celebrated in the Mahalakshmi temple.  When the rays of the sun fall directly on the deity at the time of sunrise. It said that the sun god pays his homage to Mahalakshmi Ambabai for 3 days during a year. In a year January, the sun is the sign of Capricorn.

  • 31 january to 9 november – rays fall  on the feet of the deity.
  • 1 feb and 10 november sun rays fall directly on the chest of the deity.
  • 2 february and Martinmas sun rays fall directly on the whole body of the deity.

Lalit Panchami-

Every year during Navaratri, on the fifth day of Lalit Panchami. A Palkhi procession was taken from the Mahalakshmi temple to the temple mandir at temple hill.

Khidrapur Temple-kolhapur

Kopeshwar temple at Chandrapur in Kolhapur has situated 55 km from Kolhapur city. It is at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka east to the Kolhapur. Temple is also accessible from Sangli.

It was built in the 12th century by Shilahara king Gndaraditya between 1109 and 1178 CE. In the Jain temple which was converted to lord shiva, we can see Tirthankaras on the walls.

kopeshwar temple khidrapur
the whole view of the temple

The entire temple divided into four parts swargamandapa ,sabhamandapa, antaral kaksha, garbha gruha. The Swargamandapa has a vestibule with sanctum conical, the exterior is stunning carvings of deities and secular figures.

carvings

The elephant statues sustain all the weight of the temple on them. Within the interior, we first see Vishnu -Dhopeshwar, and shiva ling facing north. But there’s no Nandi who has a separate mandir separate Carpendale. Also called Swargamandap. Hall old pillars, carvings of gods, and male and female artists in various poses are attractive.

The ceiling is semicircular with ranches engravings, on the outside Shivaleelamrit is carved. The Kopeshwar is an ancient and artistic temple situated on the bank of the Krishna river. a fine example of ancient sculpture. It is built-in 11-12 century by Shilahara.

mandap of temple
swarga mandapa

Panhala fort-

Panhala fort is situated at the Panhala taluka and is 3177 feet above sea level. Its distance from Kolhapur is nearly 18 km. The meaning of the name Panhalgad is the home of serpents. It is strategically located looking over a pass in the Sahyadri mountain range. It was a major trade route from Bijapur in the interior of Maharashtra to the coastal areas.

Due to its strategic locations, it was the center of several skirmishes. In the Deccan involving a Marathas the most notable being a battle of Pavankhind . The queen regent of Kolhapur Tarabai, spent her formative years the several parts of the fort are still intact. It is also known as snake fort 

 architecture of fort

Panhala fort started to building in  1178 to 1209 CE. It was built by Shilahara ruler Bhoja second. It said that Kahan raja Bhoj Kahan Gangu Teli associated with this fort.  Bhoja Raja was defeated by Singhana in 1209-1247 the most powerful king of Devgiri Yadav’s. Then fort went to the Yadav’s. It was an outpost of the Bahamanis of bidar in the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur in 1489. Panhala came under Bijapur and fortified extensively. Build the strong ramparts and gateways of the fort it took hundred years to build.  

  In 1659, after the death of the Bijapur general Afzal Khan Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took the Panhala fort from Bijapur. To win back the fort, Adil shah 2nd sent his army under the command of Siddi johar to siege the Panhala. The siege continued for 5 months, all the storage of food had begun to exhaust.  

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Under these circumstances, Shivaji Maharaj decided that escape was the only option. He gathered a small army. Along with his trusted commander, Baji Prabhu Deshpande and a barber shiva Kashid Kept the enemy engaged. The battle is known as the battle of Pavankhind. Around 3000 forces died including baji prabhu deshpande himself.

 Pavan khind
Pavan khind

    The fort went to Adil shah then in 1673 Shivaji Maharaj occupied it permanently. At the height of Shivaji power in 1678 Panhala housed 15000 horses and 20000 soldiers. In 1693 aurangzeb of mughal sultanate attacked on panhala again. This caused another long siege in which Rajaram Maharaj escaped in the costume of a beggar to Gingee fort. Leaving his 14 yr old wife Tarabai in Panhala. It was about 5 years before meeting her husband again. In 1782 the seat of the Kolhapur government moved from panhala to Kolhapur in 1827 under Shivaji. Panhala and its neighboring fort Pavangad were given to the British raj.

narveer shiva kashid statue
Shiva kashid Statue
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Vishalgad Fort-

    Vishal gad was also called Vishal garth or Khelna during the Maratha empire. Then later part of the Deccan states agency of the British raj. It is governed by the jagir of Kolhapur state called Dashestha brahmins. 

     Chatrapati Shahu  Maharaj of  Kolhapur attempted to undermine the brahmins princelings of Vishal gad jagir. Also those of Bavda and Ichalkaranji, from around 1895.

    It was one of the forts of Kolhapur state that initiated chaos against brahmin known as Daji Krishna pandit. He was installed by the British raj to govern the state in 1843 when the natural heir to the throne was underage. They took direction from a political strategy.

vishalgad
view from Vishal gad

Gagangad- kolhapur

Gagangad is situated at Gaganbawada tehsil of Kolhapur district in Maharashtra India. It is built-in 1109. This fort is situated 55km west of Kolhapur city. There is a Mahadeva temple below the fort and Gagan Giri Maharaj math. This fort is situated in a very thick rain forest of Maharashtra’s Western Ghats. You can reach the fort by your vehicle. Then you can walk for about 1 hour to reach the top of the fort.

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Gagan gad

Rangana fort

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Rangana fort

Rangana fort is also one of the most adventurous forts for trekking. the valleys and wildlife during this route of the fort are mesmerizing. it is situated in the south of kolhapur city near patgaon village.

Bhavani Mandap-

Bhavani mandap was an important meeting place to Shahu Maharaj in past. Similarly, It housed the offices of courtyard officials and was the center of many celebrations. It also saw a famous murder in the central courtyard. The place has nostalgic charm. Typical architecture of British raj bringing back memories of rich princely state Kolhapur used to.

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Mahadwar Road-

Mahadwar road is the main market street in Kolhapur, particularly for clothing.

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Rankala-

In the 8th century, this historical place was just a stone quarry. After that, In the earthquake which took place sometime in the 9th century, some neutral structural change took place in the quarry.

Water started accumulating in this quarry due to the opening of an underground source.  In this lake it has a  historic temple with big Nandi as per Hindu beliefs, Lord Shiva uses Nandi for traveling, it is believed that this idol of Nandi moves about a distance of wheat grain towards the lake and back about a distance of rice grain daily it is also said that this idol of Nandi reaches the lake the whole world will be destroyed. Rankala is the biggest lake in KolhapurThe north of the lake there is Shalini palace and  Padmaraje garden makes the scene of this lake so beautiful.

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Rankala lake

Top Sambhapur- 

The image you are seeing is the 84 feet height idol of Lord Ganesh. It is the biggest tourist attraction there, also there is a water park and hotels to visit.

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Ganesha statue

Shivaji University- kolhapur 

Shivaji University is a historic university built and established around 1962. It Contains an area of 853 acres.

jyotiba temple –

jyotiba temple
Jyotiba Temple

Townhall-

town hall kolhapur
Townhall

If you want to read more about travel blogs and some other places link is given below.

MALAVAN -Diaries of kokan and beaches


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