History and Heritage
Kolhapur, a south western Indian city in the state of Maharashtra has been mentioned as Karvir in the Hindu mythology. In about the 3rd century BC, Kolhapur was an important Buddhist Centre. There are entries in the old religious texts showing that once upon a time this city was a centre of religion, religious power and trade. It has been also referred to as Dakshin Kashi.The history of Kolhapur can be divided into three time periods, the Hindu period upto 1347 AD, the Muslim period from 1347 to 1700 AD and the Maratha period from 1700 onwards.During the regime of Saatwahan dynasty this city was very rich. But there is evidence to prove that this city was devastated in the 8th and the 9th century due to earthquakes. In the later years the 'Rashtrakuta' Kings re-established this city. In the 12th century this was the capital of the King Shildatta.During the British regime, Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj became the King of Kolhapur in the year 1894. It was the capital of the former princely state of Kolhapur, which became part of India in 1947. The former state, which extended from the Western Ghats - mountains east to the Deccan plain, was a stronghold of the Hindu people known as the Marathas. Kolhapur had been a princely state during the British rule on India. At the time of independence Kolhapur was merged in India along with most of the other princely states. Kolhapur's palaces are renowned examples of Indo-British architecture and the gardens of the city attract many tourists.City InformationThe city of Kolhapur is situated amidst the Sahyadri mountain range on the banks of river Panchaganga. This city is surrounded from all directions by rivers. To the east flows Krishna Ganiki, to the west Shiva and Mayuri, to the south Veda and Yaksha and to the north Krishna and Warana.It has many small and big temples. It is a historic town and has some beautiful palaces and forts. In 1945, archaeological excavations near a hill in Kolhapur revealed the ruins of an ancient town dating back to the Roman civilisation. Kolhapur is a prosperous town now with many industries.Ichalkaranji is another industrially growing city in the district. It is famous for the cotton industry and is also known as "Manchester" of Maharashtra.Its winters are mild and misty. When the bells ring out from the riverside temples each morning, Kolhapur comes to life and becomes a busy transport hiatus city because it is the link city between Maharashtra and the neighbouring state of Karnataka.The highway bringing farm produce to the cities of the state also touches Kolhapur making it a busy market centre as well as, a city replete with monuments left behind by warriors and saints. Kolhapur is also well known in the world for some products like jaggary, leather goods, jewellery, pheta, agro machinery, engines, etc.This city is rising in fame as an industrial city of the 21st century. Kolhapur is endowed with extremely fertile soil, plenty of water and a hard working labour class. The town has quickly progressed from a predominantly farming town to a major industrial city. The town at present has a per capita income, which is probably one of the highest in the country.
7,620 sq.kms.Altitude: 977 metersPopulation: 6,45,657 (1991 Census)Tehsils: 12ClimateThe western part of Kolhapur district is hilly and at a height. It is a green city surrounded by farms, climate in this area is therefore cool. The climate becomes hot and dry as one goes towards the east. There are extensive light engineering industries like automobiles in nearby Shiroli, Gokul Shirgaon and Udyamnagar but the environment still seems to be unpolluted. In the modern layouts there is not much of a water problem as yet.Normal Rainfall: 1,932 mmTemperature: 21 degree c - 27 degree cMonsoon: June - SeptemberLocal TransportThe roads in Kolhapur are well maintained. The traffic is steadily increasing because most people use two wheelers to commute. Accidents are fortunately not common. The Municipal corporation runs a bus transport system which is well developed and the buses are well maintained.Taxicabs are not common and auto rickshaws are found everywhere.EntertainmentKolhapur offers many options for entertainment. For the young generation Rankala is like a paradise. There are 15 movie theatres in the city where you can enjoy Marathi, Hindi and English movies. If you wish to watch a stage show you can go to the "Keshavrao Bhosale Theatre" near Shivaji stadium and if you are lucky you may get chance to see "Tamasha" which is a live show.ShoppingKolhapur is also a good place to purchase textiles, cottons and is famous for its leather sandals which are rather cheap out here. Mahadwar road and Shivaji road are the best places to shop at. But now you can also find all types shops in Rajarampuri area which is very near to bus station. The Shetakari bazar is the cheapest place to shop and is very famous among people who come to Kolhapur from nearby villages and towns.
Kolhapur is a good place to sample a typical Maharashtrian thali - alu sabzi (spicy potatoes), sol curry (a sour, salty concoction made from kokum fruit), roti (breads), kheer (rice pudding) and green chutney. Try Diners at the Opal hotel on Pune-Bangalore road. Stalls around town offer piping hot local snacks - vada pav (spicy potato cutlets sandwiched in a bread bun with red chutney spread on it), pani puri (crunchy crackers served with piquant chutneys and spicy potatoes), dahi misal (pulses served with yogurt, onion, and coriander). Typical Kolhapuri meat specialities are tambda rassa (a red mutton curry) or pandhra rassa ( a white mutton curry).AccomodationKolhapur IT Park is situated near Jayprabha Studio, which is surrounded by residential locality.IT InfrastructureOptical Fiber Cable of Telephone Department is running 300 meters away from IT plot on both the sides of the plot, which can be easily dropped on site. Also main duct of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. is 3 km. away from the plot. Current capacity of Telephone Exchange is of 2,000 lines. The capacity of the main exchange is of 35,000 to 40,000 lines. ISDN connection is available from Kolhapur Telephone Exchange. ISDN lines will be also made available with studio type video conferencing facility of 128 KBPS.Existing IT CompaniesSoftware Developing CompaniesIn Kolhapur, there are ample of Software Developing Companies. Famous and renowned companies are:1) Yash Software (at Station road)2) Shah High-tech Protection3) Multisoft Computers4) MJN Computer Centre5) Kores Infoses6) Padson ComputerHardware CompaniesSome of the reputed hardware companies are:1) NICE2) Siddhi Computer System3) Kanare Computer4) PhotosApart from Software and Hardware companies in Kolhapur, Multisoft Computers at Rajarampuri, C-Dac, Aptech Computer Education Centre and NIIT etc. are some of the computer training institutes in Kolhapur.
Kolhapur has a rich and fully developed educational infrastructure of colleges and schools.Colleges located in KolhapurShivaji University· D.K.T.E. Society's textile and Engineering Institute, Ichalkaranji, Dist:-Kolhapur · D.Y. Patil College of Engineering and Technology, Kolhapur · Kolhapur Institute of Technology, Kolhapur · Tatyasaheb Kore Institute of Engineering and Technology, Warnanagar, Dist:-Kolhapur S. No. Name Courses offered Intake Capacity 1. Kolhapur Institute of Technology Production 90 Civil 30 Environmental 30 Electronic 60 Computer 60 Total 270
2. D. Y. Patil College of Engineering Civil 60 Mechanical 60 Electronic 60 Computer 60 Production 60 Chemical 60 Information Technology 60 Total 420
Tourist attractions in Kolhapur
Mahalaxmi Temple:This is one of the most worshiped temple in Maharashtra. The Goddess Mahalakshmi is popularly known as Goddess Ambabai. The grand temple of Mahalakshmi is constructed facing west. The idol of the Devi is made of precious stone, weighing about 40 kgs. It contains matter mixed with Hirak bits. The temple has many pillars with artwork on them. The premises of this temple include 35 temples of other Gods and Goddesses. The adjoining Pendal is known as Garud-pendal."Kornotsav" i.e. the festival of rays, is celebrated because on certain days the rays of the Sun fall directly on the idol of the Goddess Mahalakshmi. These are the days from the 9th of November to the 11th of November and 31st January to 2nd of February.
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.
An ancient building on the Bhavani Mandap-Kasba Bavada Road, it was constructed during 1877-1884. It is an excellent specimen of architecture built in black polished stone. It is the Royal Residence today. It has extensive premises with a beautiful garden, a fountain and a wrestling ground. The whole building is eight-angled and has a tall tower with a clock in it, fixed in the year 1877. The 'Darbar' hall is a huge hall which has beautiful paintings representing certain events from the life of the Maharaja.
Shalini palace, built in 1932-34 at a cost of Rs. 8 lakhs, was named after Princess Shrimant Shalini Raje of Kolhapur. The palace stands on the west bank of the picturesque Rankala lake and is surrounded by towering palm trees, lush greenery and lovely gardens. The palace is built of intricately carved black stone and Italian marble. Rich decorative wooden doorways fitted with etched Belgium glass bearing the crest of the Maharaja of Kolhapur add to the regal grandeur. The majestic black stone arches forming the verandah and the porch are breathtakingly beautiful. In 1987 the palace was converted into a hotel. This is the only palace hotel in Maharashtra.
The building was erected during 1872-1876. There is a museum of historical artefacts, including ancient idols, grand wall pictures by celebrated painters, ancient coins, statues, sandal idols, swords, spears, guns, helmet etc. These premises have Government offices, Courts, Government Hospital and Semi-Government offices.
She (Trayamali Devi) graces the temple on a lofty hill to the east of Karveer. The original Mandir is small and the idol is self-created, it has four hands and is of black stone. The idol stands with its back turned to the Mahalaxmi Mandir. It is a spot of devotion for many Karveerians. In every Ashadha the religious ceremony of pouring water on the steps of the Mandir is celebrated on a grand scale.
Formerly, this was an extensive mine of black stone. During 800-900 AD, there were earthquakes, which transformed the mine into big holes through which water from underground collects. Located at a distance of half a kilometer from the Mahalakshmi Temple is a huge lake called "RANKALA LAKE". This is the oldest of all lakes. It was given importance in the past because of a big temple of 'Nandi' situated next to it. A fine resort called 'Sandhya Math' had been built here. The 'Sandhya Math' in the lake is mostly under water during the rainy reason