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About Kolhapur
Idling along the banks of the Panchganga river, Kolhapur is a little Indian city in the state of Maharashtra. With its birth dating back to the medieval era, Kolhapur is one of the oldest cities in the country, and its age is evident in the numerous ancient forts and monuments it houses. The city was once a princely state ruled by the Maharaja Emperor Chhatrapati Shahu, and was later declared independent after 1947.

Flanked by the towering Sahyadris on one side and the sidling river on the other, the beauty of the little city is one to behold. From shining lakes to well-manicured gardens, the city has it all. The charm of the historic place is enhanced by the towering forts and palaces around it, which stand testament to the glorious past of Kolhapur.

One of the best ways to spend your time while in Kolhapur is to take a tour of the various ancient attractions around the place. From the majestic Panhala Fort, to the Chhatrapati Shahu Museum at the New Palace, these attractions help one get a better feel of the city and its history. Those with a love for nature can also spend a day touring the Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary, or having a picnic by the banks of the Rankala Lake, which offer peaceful escapades from the bustle of the regular city life. If you’re of a religious bent of mind, you can also spend a fruitful time visiting the various temples in the city.

Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or one with a religious disposition, you can never run out of things to do while in Kolhapur. Those with an adventurous spirit can spend a good day trekking to the Panhala Fort or taking a jeep safari at the Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary. Alternatively, one can take a quiet evening walk around the Rankala Lake, or even have a pleasant picnic at the Amba Ghat.

Kolhapur experiences summer between April to September. During this time, the weather here generally remains warm and clammy, with a high level of humidity. Winter in the city occurs between the months of November and
February, during which the temperature generally remains on the cooler side. The months between June and October generally experience a high degree of rainfall, making it the designated monsoon season here.

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Kolhapur FAQ's

Which are the places to visit in Kolhapur?

1. Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary: A former hunting ground for the Maharajah of Kolhapur, Dajipur was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1985. Owing to its massive bison population, the sanctuary is often dubbed as the Bison Sanctuary. Sloth bears and leopards can be spotted here as well. The unique habitat for butterflies is also a major attraction here. Dajipur Sanctuary is ideal for day and night safaris, as well as overnight camping.

- Location: Dajipur, Olavan, Maharashtra 416212
- Timings: The sanctuary remains close on Tuesdays. It remains open between 07.00AM and 02.30PM on all other days of the week.

2. Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Museum: Once the residence of the reigning king Shri Chhatrapati Shahu, this 19th century Palace now houses a prominent museum. Made fully out of black marble stone, the architectural beauty of the Palace is to watch out for. The Museum, which is located in the ground floor of the Palace, contains exhibitions of the royal family’s private possessions, such as costumes, jeweler, embroidery, elephant saddles and much more. One section of the Museum also has stuffed animal heads which were hunted by the kings themselves.

- Location: New Palace, Kolhapur, Maharashtra 416003
- Timings: The Museum remains closed on Mondays. It operates between 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 to 6.00 p.m. on all other days of the week
- Entry Fee:
For Adults: Rs. 18 per person
For Children: Rs. 12 per person

3. Mahalaxmi Temple: One of the most prominent Hindu pilgrimages in Kolhapur, Mahalaxmi Temple is one of the six shakti peethas in the country. The temple is located on the banks of the River Panchganga, offering some splendid views. The deity worshipped here is the eponymous goddess Mahalaxmi, also known as Maa Ambabai. The temple conducts puja and arti ceremonies everyday throughout the week.

- Location: Mahadwar Road, B Ward, C Ward, Kolhapur, Maharashtra 416012
- Timings: 06.00AM-08.00PM on all days of the week.

4. Rankala Lake: located on the western front of the Ambabai temple is the Rankala Lake, a popular evening recreation spot in Kolhapur. The artificial lake was constructed by the late Maharaja Shri Chhatrapati Shahu. The picturesque lake is ideal for evening walks, and is quite popular among love birds looking for a quiet time out. The lake also houses a swimming tank, which can offer a much-needed relief during the hot summer months. Verdant green gardens surround the lake on all sides, add to the serene charm of the place.

5. Jyotiba Temple: Located on the Jyotiba Hill, the Jyotiba Temple is a prominent Hindu temple in Kolhapur. The deity housed within the temple is of the same name. The temple was constructed in the year 1808, making it one of the oldest temples in the city. The Jyotiba Temple also hosts large scale annual festivals on the full moon nights of the Hindu months Chaitra and Vaisakhi, making it a popular pilgrim spot among Hindu devotees across the country. Being located atop a hill, the temple is also known to conduct beautiful, panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

- Location: Jyotiba Dongar, Kolhapur, Maharashtra 41600
- Timings: 06.00AM-09.00PM on all days of the week.

6. Chinmaya Ganadhish: Located only a little outside Kolhapur, Chinmaya Ganadhish is the largest statue of Lord Ganesha anywhere in the world. Erected in the year 2001, the statue rises to a height of about 61 feet. An architectural marvel, the statue acts as a popular tourist spot for both Hindu devotees and non-devotees alike. It also acts as an important stopover point between Mumbai and Kolhapur.

- Location: Pune- Mumbai Highway, 14 kilometers from Kolhapur city centre

7. Panhala Fort: Its name literally translates to the ‘home of the serpents’, the Panhala Fort is an ancient hill fortress nestled in the Sahyadri ranges. The fort was constructed in the 12th century by the Shilahara ruler Bhoja II. Most of the Fort’s bastions, gates and fortifications remain intact till date. Some of the major attractions at the Panhala Fort include the Ambarkhana or the Bijapuri styled granaries, the Kalavantinicha Mahal or the courtesan’s room, the Andhar Bavadi or the hidden well, and the several Kothis here. The structures housed within the fort are remarkable for their use of traditional Bijapuri designs, of which the peacock motif is the most prominent.

- Timings: 07.00AM-02.30PM on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: Starting from Rs. 120 per person

8. Botanical Gardens: Also known as the Tabak Udyan, the Botanical Gardens of Kolhapur is housed within the Panhala Fort complex. The variety of flora and fauna housed within the gardens makes it an ideal spot for those looking for a quiet getaway in nature while in the city. Well-paved pathways snake their way across the gardens, making it popular among joggers and even walkers as well.  Several rare and local birds visit the garden, adding to the charm of the place.

- Location: Panhala Fort, Panhala, Maharashtra 416201
- Timings: 08.30AM-06.30PM on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: Rs. 5 per person

What are the best things to do in Kolhapur?

1. Jeep Safari at Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary: One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of the Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary is to take a safari around the place. The jungle safari takes you through the sanctuary in a jeep, crossing leopards, sloth bears, bison and several other animals as it travels. While at the sanctuary, one can also try their hand at other adventure activities such as paddle boating in the nearby rivers.

- Entry Fee: Starting from Rs. 2,375 per adult

2. Trekking to the Panhala Fort: A historic marvel, the Panhala Fort is an ideal tourist spot for history buffs and trekkers alike. Cutting across the Sahyadris, the scenic trekking route offers some of the best vantage views to the adjacent Nasik trading route. The trekking route is not a very hectic one, and can be attempted by beginners as well as seasoned trekkers alike. The summit is also known to command excellent views of the sunset.

- Location: Panhala Fort, Panhala, Maharashtra 416201

3. Go on a shopping spree: Among several other things, Kolhapur is well known for its street markets. Some of the most popular markets in the city include the Shivaji Market, the Kapila Tirtha Market and the Laxmipuri market. From handicrafts, to clothing, to spices, there is nothing that cannot be found here. The hottest seller at the Kolhapuri markets, however, is the Kolhapuri leather chappals, a trademark product of the district.

- Location: Shivaji Market, Kapila Tirtha Market, Laxmipuri Market.

4. Go on a picnic with friends or families: There is no shortage of scenic picnic spots in and around Kolhapuri. Whether one is looking for closed, well kept gardens, or open mountainside spots, Kolhapur has it all. Some of the most sought-after picnic spots near the city include the Botanical Gardens, the Kolhapur Zoo, Rankala Lake, and Amba Ghat.

5. Go jungle camping at Samangad Fort: There are several great campsites near Kolhapur, with Samangad Fort being one of the most popular ones. The jungle camping activity at the Fort is much sought after by enthusiastic campers travelling to Kolhapur. The camp offers swiss-tents for stay, and promises an authentic camp-stay experience. Jungle trekking and outdoor games are added bonuses here.

- Location: Samangad Fort
- Entry Fee: Rs. 1,500 per person

6. Take a walk around the Rankala Lake with a loved one: Offering charming views of the beautiful lake, the rugged pathways around the Rankala offers an ideal spot to spend a romantic evening with a loved one. Street side benches and dim street lights add to the charm of the place. There are several street food vendors around the lake as well, making sure that your experience here is not wanting in any regards.

7. Experience the Chaitra Poornima Festival at Jyotiba Temple: The Chaitra Poornima festival is an annual festival held at the Jyotiba Temple each year on the full moon night of the Hindu month of Chaitra. Following hymns and chants of the deity’s name, the festival procession proceeds to play with Gulal. By the end of the day, the entire temple gets covered in hues of red and pink, making it a sight to behold.

- Location: Jyotiba Dongar, Kolhapur, Maharashtra 416001
- Timings: Chaitra Poornima of each year

What is Kolhapur famous for?

Among other things, the city of Kolhapur is best known for its traditional Kolhapuri leather chappals. These sandals are cured and tanned using only natural ingredients, bereft of any chemicals. Kolhapuri chappals are widely available in the city, in places such as Kolhapuri Centre, Shivaji market, and the other street markets of the city.

How to reach Kolhapur?

- By Air: The nearest airport to Kolhapur is the  Airport, which is 10km away from the city. There are several flights connecting Ujailawadi to Mumbai. From the Airport, one can easily take a bus or a cab to reach the city.

- By Rail: The main railway station in Kolhapur city is the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus. Several direct trains connect Kolhapur to the nearby cities, such as Mumbai and Pune.

- By Road: Kolhapur is well connected to all major neighboring cities by road. There are several regular buses that ply between Kolhapur and the major cities of Pune and Mumbai.

What is the best time to visit Kolhapur?

The best time to visit Kolhapur is during the winter season, between the months of November and February. During this time, the weather here remains cool and pleasant, offering a plethora of sightseeing opportunities. The rainfall here remains minimal during this time as well, allowing tourists to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities such as trekking, camping, safaris and so on.

How far is Kolhapur from Pune?

Pune is about 233 kilometers away from Kolhapur. It takes a little more than 4 hours to drive between the two cities, if one travels along the AH47 route.

How far is Kolhapur from Mumbai?

Mumbai is about 367 kilometers away from Kolhapur. It takes a little less than 7 hours to drive between the two places, if one travels along the Mumbai-Pune Highway.

Why are Kolhapuri Chappals famous?

Kolhapuri chappals are made entirely out of natural ingredients, without using any chemicals at all. As a result, they are known to offer the highest degree of comfort for the feet. These chappals are also entirely handmade, thus becoming a shining example of the level of craftsmanship produced by the local artisans of the city.

How far is Mahalaxmi temple from Kolhapur railway station?

Mahalaxmi Temple is only about 2 kilometers away from the Kolhapur Railway Station. It takes about 5 minutes to drive from the temple to the station. One can also travel between the two places on foot, or take a bus or rickshaw instead.

Which are the best places for shopping in Kolhapur?

1. Hupari: Hupari is a little sleepy town near the city of Kolhapur. The town is best known for its artisans who are skilled in jewelry making and silverware. Apart from other jeweled trinkets, Hupari prides in its range of Kolhapuri Saaj, a special form of heavy necklace.

2. Shivaji Road: Shivaji Road in Kolhapur is a shopper’s paradise. Bustling with shops lined along the streets, the wares at Shivaji Road include traditional and designer clothing, utensils, handicraft items and much more. The road is also lined with several food stalls, which make sure that your experience here is not wanting in any regards.

3. Mahadwar Road: Mahadwar road is one of the oldest and most crowded shopping destinations in Kolhapur. With its narrow lanes packed with stalls, Mahadwar road market sells nearly everything pertaining to clothing to accessories.

4. DYP City Mall: Kolhapur’s biggest shopping plaza, DYP City Mall offers a high-end shopping experience, should one desire it. The mall contains both high-end, designer stores and budget friendly markets. A food court can be found here as well.

Which are the best historical and religious sites in Kolhapur?

1. Shri Mahalaxmi Ambabai Temple: Nestled on the banks of River Panchganga, the Mahalaxmi Ambabai Temple is the biggest religious attraction in Kolhapur. Dedicated to the goddess Ambabai, the ancient temple is one of the six shaktipeeths in the country, making it a popular pilgrim spot among devout Hindus.

2. ISKCON Kolhapur: Dedicated to the Lord Krishna, ISKCON Kolhapur is one of the several branches of ISKCON temples scattered across the country. The well kept and massive temples boast of marvelous architectural designs, making the temple an attraction in itself.

3. Panhala Fort: An ancient hill fort, the Panhala Fort was constructed in the 12th century by the then ruler of the city. The fort boasts of stunning bastions and doorways, making it an architectural marvel.

4. Jyotiba Temple: Located atop a hill, Jyotiba Temple houses a deity of the same name. The temple is especially flocked by Hindu devotees during the month of Chaitra, when the temple conducts its special Chaitra Purnima festival.

Kolhapur Reviews

Anuja Butt
Reviewed: 12 Mar 2021
I loved the services by the staff. Staff were extremely friendly and generous. The rooms provided to us were very spacious and properly sanitised. Overall an amazing experience.
Shresthi Iyengar
Reviewed: 15 Jan 2021
With the beautiful singing of birds, flowing breezes, and magnificent natural vistas, the Kyriad Resort Ambha Ghat has a great ambience.
Chitrali Kaur
Reviewed: 17 Feb 2020
Nice adventurous life with my cousins. The trip was fulfilling. So satisfying stay and activities with good support from the entire team. Paddle boating was quite amazing, stunning scenic and great sightseeing. Learn alot from this sanctuary. Good pictures and over the top excitement. Good price wit... Read More
Ahilya Bhat
Reviewed: 15 Feb 2020
I just wanted to express my experience and a special thanks to the team. A very well-arranged tour with perfect service. We got to explore and had a great adventure in the forest. Overall was extremely amazing. Good job team.
Rukhmani Adiga
Reviewed: 26 Dec 2019
Superb trip I ever had!!! the operator was very approachable and careful about our safety, Our guide was informative shows all the attractions of the place and explained in details the dam, the waterfall, and the viewpoints were mesmerizing and breathtaking, The jungle safari was one of the kind mom... Read More
Madhuri Prajapat
Reviewed: 26 Feb 2020
My family had a great time there in the Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary where they were provided with good accommodation and great service for the staff. The jungle safari and sightseeing were unforgettable as we can see many cute and wild creatures from a very good and safe transport. Amazing place wit... Read More

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