Panhala Fort Is So Famous, But Why?
Panhala Fort is one of the historical places in Kolhapur. It is situated at Panhala taluka in the Kolhapur district. This fort is around 22km northwest of Kolhapur. This fort was built by the first Shilahar Bhoj King Nursinha in the year 1778 AD – 1209 AD. With an area of 350 acres. this fort was known as Pannaggalaya( पन्नग्गालाय ) The fort was formerly owned by the people of the Naag tribe hence its name Pannaggalay.
On 28 November 1659, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured the fort and renamed it Panhala. Earlier, the fort had a total of 35 towers and 8 km of ramparts. In time, as the battle raged on, some towers were demolished. Even after so many years, seeing the beauty of the fort, one has to think about how beautiful the fort must have been at that time.
History of Panhala Fort
The panhala fort was besieged by Sidhhi Jauhar on 2 March 1660. From Panhala, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj sailed to Vishalgad with 600 Mavalas on the route discovered by the spy. Shiva Kashid disguised himself as Chhatrapati and faced Siddhi.
At this time Shivaji Maharaj was able to escape from Panhala fort by another route. Meanwhile, as soon as Siddhi got to know the situation, he put the Yavani army behind all these. And what happened after that is history. How Baji Prabhu stopped the enemy army in Ghodkhindi. And how he died after the sound of gunfire from Vishalgada. Both of them lost their lives in this. After the death of Bajiprabhu Deshpande, Ghodkhind was renamed Pavankhind by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Later in 1673, Kundhaji Farjand conquered the fort with 60 Mavalas (soldiers). Later in 1710, the Panhala fort was made the capital of Kolhapur. Later in 1844, the fort was captured by the British.
On 2 January 1954, the fort was declared a National Protected Monument ( राष्ट्रीय संरक्षित स्मारक) by the Government of India.
What to see on Panhala fort
Rajdindi, This path descends to the fort. Using this remote route, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj escaped from the siege of Sidhhi Jauhar. This is the way the king used to escape from panhala to Vishalgad during the very famous battle of Pawankhind.
Andharbhav is the only well on the fort that is still intact. Andharbav, Andhar means darkness and Bav means well. The well in the dark is called Andharbav. This well was built during the time of Adil shah. It was built in such a way that there was a well on the ground floor, a burglar on the first floor, and a space on the second floor to rest and guard the troops. The feature of this Andharbav is that you can see the valley near this well but the water of this well is 7 feet deep.
During the Chhatrapati period as it was used for storing grain therefore it was also called Dhanya kothar. This Ambar khana is also called Balekilla of Panhala fort. Ambarkhana used to be the largest grains reservoir of Swarajya at times. The grains and other things were supplied all over Maharashtra from our fort Panhala’s Ambarkhana. one who belongs to Kolhapur, should be proud of that.
Sajja koti :-
Sajja Koti, This building is considered to be an important building Because, in the time of Maharaj, secret planning was done in this building. It is 36 feet long, 36 feet wide, and 72 feet high.
Vagh Daravaza is the northern entrance to the fort. The entrance is called Vagh Daravaja, just as prey found in a tiger’s jaw cannot escape. These days this place is well beautified by creating a garden for children named Tabak Udyana.
Teen  Daravaza
3 Darvaja is the only entrance to the west. It is also called Konkan Darwaja. This entrance has 5 arches and 3 doors, and hence this entrance is also called 3 Daravaja ( दरवाजा means doors ). Here is a well called Vishnutirth. The water of this well is 5 feet deep. It is said that the water of this well remains at the same level, i.e. the water of this well does not increase in the rainy season and does not decrease in the summer.
It is said that Chatrapati used this door to come meet his son Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. And that is the reason, people celebrate Dipotsava (the festival of lights) by lighting candles on the bus route in Diwali to light up the king’s way.
How to get there from kolhapur :-
If you have a bike or car, Panhala fort is 30 min – 40 min from Kolhapur. Busses for panhala from Kolhapur city are also available.
Nearest railway station
Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj terminus Kolhapur
Chatrapati Rajaram Maharaj airport kolhapur
Accomodation on Fort
There are many hotels and resorts available near panhala. Hotels are available from Rs 750 to Rs 7000. Rates change according to your condition. And one can stay in Kolhapur also because It will also take you to Kolhapur and panhala as it is close to the City.
Best time to visit Panhala
Usually, trekkers and travelers prefer the monsoon season to visit Panhala fort because of its magnificent views of nature. The entire place gets covered in clouds. Sunset from up here is the best view in the rains to watch for one’s eyes. The Fogg and the cold atmosphere attracts tourists from all over India.
Panhala fort becomes the most visited tourist place of Kolhapur on weekends. There are plenty of food stalls, a lot of fun games, rides, and whatnot. So, we’ll suggest you visit Panhala in the monsoon and winter season. That is between august and January.