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About Kolhapur

Mahalaxmi Mandir


The Shri Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, India, is one of the Shakti Peethas, listed in various puranas of Hinduism. According to these writings, a shakti peetha is a place associated with Shakti, the goddess of power. The Kolhapur peetha is of special religious significance, being one of the six places where it is believed one can either obtain salvation from desires or have them fulfilled. The temple takes its name from Mahalakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, and it is believed that the divine couple reside in the area.

The temple belongs, architecturally, to the Kannada Chalukya empire, and may have been first built circa 700 AD. Mounted on a stone platform, the image of the four armed and crowned goddess is made of gemstone and weighs about 40 kilograms. The image of Mahalakshmi carved in black stone is 3 feet in height. The Shri yantra is carved on one of the walls in the temple. A stone lion, the vahana of the goddess, stands behind the statue. The crown contains an image of the Sheshnag — the serpent of Vishnu. In Her four hands, the deity of Mahalakshmi holds objects of symbolic value. The lower right hand holds a mhalunga (a citrus fruit), in the upper right, a large mace (kaumodaki) with its head touching the ground, in the upper left a shield (khetaka), and in the lower left, a bowl (panpatra). Unlike most Hindu sacred images, which face north or east, the image of this deity looks west (Pashchim). There is a small open window on the western wall, through which the light of the setting sun falls on the face of the image for three days around the 21st of each March and September. There are a number of other shrines in the courtyard to the Navagrahas, Surya, Mahishasuramardini, Vitthal-Rakhmai, Shiva, Vishnu, Tulja Bhavani and others. Some of these images date back to the 11th century, while some are of recent origin. Also located in the courtyard is the temple tank Manikarnika Kund, on whose bank is a shrine to Visweshwar Mahadev. Worship Structure: Five worship services are offered each day. The first one is at 5 am, and it involves the waking of the deity with a Kakada - torch, to the accompaniment of hymns. The second worship service at 8 am involves the offeirng of the Shodashopachara pooja consisting of 16 elements. The afternoon and evening services and the Shejaarati pooja constitute the three other services. Special Events: A festival image of the deity is taken out in procession around the temple courtyard each Friday, and on full moon days.



Bhavani mandap


Being the biggest and the oldest building, it is the glory of the city and has historical importance. This palace was built in the reign of Shivaji Maharaj II (1785-1800 AD) when Kolhapur became a self-governed state.

It boasts of fine and sound construction which has 14 squares. In 1813 the Muslim King Sadatkhan invaded the palace and a part of it was burnt. After repairs only 7 squares have survived.



Rankala Chaupati


The lake is named after the God 'Rankbhairav', who is said to have been a great favourite with Mahalaxmi and to have a golden temple now hidden under the water of the lake. The beginning of the Rankala Lake is said to have been a quarry from which, according to the Jains, including the Temple of Ambabai, tones were supplied to 360 Bastics or Jain temples built by Raja Gandharaditya. Afterwards in the eighth or nineth century an earthquake is said to have enlarged the quarry and filled it with water.

Rankala Lake is a major attraction of local people & tourists. The lake rises with the morning walk of hundreds of citizens. It is a get-together venue for most of Kolhapuris. Youngsters, elders & kids, everybody loves to visit Rankala. The 800 years old lake has not only entertained people but also inspired many artists to have paintings & photographs of it. Late Abalal Raheman, Baburao Painter, Chandrakant Mandre, Ravindra Mestry are few among the famous artists. You can see some of the paintings in various museums in Kolhapur.


Town Hall


The best feature of interest in the city is the Town Hall Kolhapur Museum (Monday closed) on Bhausingji Road, 1km north of the Temple. This sober Neo-gothic structure was built as the Town Hall in 1872-76 by Charles Mant. This is his first creation in Kolhapur, the only building in pure Neo-gothic style. The frontal porch of the Museum is flanked by towers with steeply pyramidal metal roofs. Two European cannons are on display here; the example dated 1609 is engraved with a relief of the god Mars.

The Museum houses Satavahana-period items discovered in excavation at nearby Bramhapuri Hill. They include figurines of the Greek god Poseidon, riders on an elephant, and a medallion with Hellenistic figures (replica only).Pottery fragments, coins and beads from Bramhapuri are also shown. Graceful female musicians are among sculptures rescued from the Mahalaxmi Temple.The finest sculpture is female attendant bearing a fly-whisk from Panhala. A bronze bell displayed here was brought from Vasai in 1739 to be installed in the Mahalaxmi Temple. The raised gallery at one end of the Museum is given over to arms. The Chhatrapati Pramila Raje Hospital, opposite the Museum, was built by Mant in 1881-84. Its entrance porch has exuberant Corinthian columns with monkeys and demonic heads incorporated into the arches above.

New Palace

New Palace is located in Kolhapur. Built in 1884, it is also known as the Maharaja's New Place. Major Mant designed the palace. The architecture of the palace is a combination of Jain and Hindu influences from Gujarat and Rajasthan, and local Rajwada style.

The first floor is for the present Maharaja, while the ground floor is dedicated to a fine collection of costumes, weapons, games, jewellery, embroidery and paraphernalia such as silver elephant saddles. A letter from the British Viceroy and Governor General of India is the other memorabilia.

There is a museum called Shahaji Chhatrapati Museum at New Palace. Curious and interesting collections from the possessions of Maharaja Shahaji Chhatrapati like guns, trophies and clothes are preserved here.

The museum also has large, excellent weapons collection, including a gold-plated, double-barreled shotgun, some swords, and other guns. There is also one of Aurangzeb's swords at the Shahaji Chhatrapati Museum.

Shri jotiba Temple

Jyotiba temple is an important Hindu religious destination located at an altitude of 3124 feet above sea level in the Panhala range of Maharashstra. It is believed that the main deity the Jyotiba is formed from the souls of three Primary Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Legendery stories tell that Jyotiba is formed to kill the demon Ratnasur.

Visiting and offering prayers to the Incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva as Jyotiba is a sacred ritual according to Hindu belief. Devotees and tourists throng to this temple premises for the large fair held yearly in the full moon days in the months of Vaishakh and Chaitra.

Panhala Fort

Panhala or Panhalgarh, about 19kms north-west of Kolhapur, is possibly the largest and most important fort of the Deccan.  Roughly triangular in shape, the hill fort stands at a height of about 850 metres and has a circumference of approximately 7.25kms.  Half of its length is protected by a natural scarp reinforced by a parapet wall and the remaining half is surrounded by a strong stone wall strengthened with bastions.  The fort had three magnificent double walled gates, out of which two have survived.  The Teen Darwaza  to the west is an imposing and powerful structure.  There are a number of ruined monuments in the fort.  The most impressive among them are the three huge granaries.  The largest among them, the Ganga Kothi, cover nearly 950 sq m space and 10.7 metres high.  In the north-east corner there is a double story building, called Sajja Kothi, where Shivaji had imprisoned his errant son, Sambhaji.

Narsobachi Wadi

This holy place is situated on the confluence of the rivers Krishna and Panchaganga. It is well known for the holy padukas (slippers) of Dattaguru ( an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh). Narasimha Saraswati, considered an incarnation of Dattaguru who lived here for 12 years. Recently, all the devotees have erected a temple called "Jahaz Mandir", which is unique in its own way, because it has been built in the shape of a ship with beautiful landscape. Narsobachiwadi is famour for Basundi, Kundhi Pedas, Kawatchi Barfi's.

Gaganbawada

Gagangiri Maharaj was  a Great Yogi. One of the few living sages having Unique Capacities, Vision and Synthesis. Gagangiri Maharaj Math is renowned as a spiritual destination for domestic and foreign travelers. The Math is located in the midst of dense forests and thick green vegetation at Dajipur nearby  Kolhapur. Shri Gagangiri Maharaj was a Hindu Sanyasi (Sage) following the Nath Sampradaya.

The life and history of the sage tells that Gagangiri Maharaj spent many years in this Math undergoing penance from 1932 to 1940. The Sage spent all these years in meditation in the deep jungle in this Math. This Ashram offers the Hindu teachings, yoga and meditation practices and also serves as a religious temple for the devotees. It is an attractive place for meditation, yoga and to clearly  understand the Indian culture and its religious importance.

 

Places of Interest

Shri. Mahalxmi Temple

5.5 kms

Railway Station

0.5 kms

Central Bus Station

2.5 kms

Chandrakant Mandare Art Gallery

3.5 kms

New Palace

2.5 kms

Shivaji University

4.5 kms

Bhavani Mandap

5.5 kms

Rankala Choupati

5.5 kms

Airport

4 kms

MIDC Gokulshirgaon

7.5 kms

MIDC Shiroli

5 kms

Shri Jotiba Hill-Temple

18.5 kms

Kaneri Math

17 kms

Ramling Hill-Temple

20 kms

Bahubali Temple

22 kms

Panhala Fort

22.5 kms

New Palace Museum

4.0 Kms

Shrikshetra Narsinhwadi

50 kms

Places from Kolhapur to

Amboli

130 kms

Amba Ghat

70 kms

Gaganbawada ( Gagangiri )

50 kms

Ganpatipule

160 kms

Goa

246 kms

Marleshwar

125 kms

Mahabaleshwar

190 kms

Mumbai

394 kms

Pune

238 kms

Radhanagari / Dajipur Forest

85 kms

Sangli

45 kms

Vishalgad

90 kms

Hotel Sony Palace
C.S.No.453, B/2, 'E' Ward
Opp.Market Yard,
Kolhapur,Maharashtra
India-416005
Tel. no. +91-0231-2666685/0231-2656685/
0231-6066685
For further Details - Anil-+91-7841824141
                                Sunil-+91-9970223500

 

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