Kolhapur is one of the must-visit tourist destinations in Maharashtra. Being once witness to a royal era, the city boasts of a number of historical monuments. They serve as a proof of the rich architectural legacy of Kohlapur and are also counted amongst the city’s major tourist places, attracting visitors from the various parts of the state. The magnificent temples of the city were constructed under the rule of first, the Satavahana kings and then, the Shilaharas. All these temples, palaces, forts, etc are the main places visited by people on sightseeing tours of Kolhapur. In this article, we have provided information on each and every place to be included on a tour of the city.
Situated in the Kolhapur city of Maharashtra, Rankala Lake is a scenic lake that boasts of serene and tranquil environs. A man-made lake, it was constructed by Maharaja Shri Shahu Chhatrapati during his reign over the city. The lake is believed to be linked directly with a well in the Panhala Fort.
Shri Mahalaxmi Temple of Kolhapur is dedicated to Goddess Mahalaxmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the Lord resides in this area, along with the Goddess. The temple holds the distinction of being one of the Shakti Peethas in India and is held in great regard by the people of Maharashtra.
New Palace (Chhatrapati Sahu Museum)
New Palace, also known as Maharaja’s New Palace, was constructed in the year 1884. It was designed by Major Mant and has been built as per an architectural style that represents a magnificent fusion of Jain and Hindu influences from Gujarat and Rajasthan, along with the local Rajwada style. A part of the palace (first story) is still used as the residence by the current Maharaja of Kolhapur. However, its ground floor has been converted into a museum, known as the Chhatrapati Sahu Museum.
It exhibits an impressive collection of costumes, weapons, games, jewelry, embroidered items and the belongings of the royalty, such as silver elephant saddles. Amongst the memorabilia seen inside the museum is a letter from the British Viceroy and Governor General of India. One can also find the items used by Maharaja Shahaji Chhatrapati, like guns, trophies and clothes, in the museum. Lush green parks, a zoo and a picturesque lake, situated in the New Palace further add to its attraction.
Town Hall Museum
The construction of the Town Hall Museum was started in the Kohlapur city in the year 1872 and it came to an end almost four years later. Majority of the items displayed inside the museum were unearthed during the Brahmagiri excavations. The main collection of Town Hall Museum comprises of pottery, bronze artifacts, old coins of the region, filigree work in sandalwood and ivory, works of master artists of the region, antiques, etc.
The Old Palace in Kolhapur is situated behind the famous Mahalaxmi Temple. The huge and splendid structure of the palace has been adorned with remarkable marquee, with filigree work in stone. Also situated inside the premises of the palace is a temple, dedicated to Goddess Bhawani. The temple is held in high regard by the local people of the city.
Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir
Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir of Kolhapur is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is one amongst the major attractions of the city. One of the unique features of the temple is that it has been constructed without the use of even a single pillar. This is the main reason why the temple attracts not only the devotees, but also architecture students, who come to see it for study purposes.