The exceptional locale of Kolhapur in Maharashtra is one of the most underrated travel destinations in India. The region offers a myriad of incredible things to its visitors and not enough can be said to highlight how awesome the region really is. Placed about 200 odd km from Pune and on the banks of the sublime Panchganga River, Kolhapur is home to the famous Shri Mahalakshmi Temple. It’s also incredibly famous for unique jewelry designs and the epic Kolhapuri Chappals (sandals) which are known for their extremely tough soles. The next time you fly to the country on cheap flights, you might want to consider including the remarkable city of Kolhapur in your itinerary.
Kolhapur’s connect with Hindu mythology
As per Hindu mythology, Goddess Mahalakshmi had a tiff with her husband Lord Vishnu after which she began to reside in Kolhapur. The historic city is also mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita. It is a popular belief that Tirupati Balaji and Kolhapur Mahalakshmi were tied in holy matrimony. Legend also claims that the then reigning king of the region Amoghavarsha offered his fingers as a sacrifice to Goddess Mahalakshmi for delivering his people from a massive calamity. This is a great place to visit if you’re a devout Hindu or if deeply interested in Hindu mythology as there are a lot more mythological connections which you can know about on your visit to Kolhapur.
Royal connect of Kolhapur
The Maharajas of Kolhapur share their ancestry with the royal house of Satara. So when there was a succession dispute among them, it led to the formation of Satara and Kolhapur in 1707. The story is that when Sambhaji’s son Shahu was released by the Mughals after being held prisoner by them for a while, Tara Bai who was the widow of Shivaji Maharaj’s younger son Rajaram refused to accept Shahu as King. Instead, she went ahead and proclaimed her son Shivaji I as King. The divide became an established fact and the kingdom was split into two. Shahu established himself at Satara while Tara Bai set her kingdom up in Kolhapur.
What is Kolhapur most famous for?
To begin with, the weather. Placed at an elevated height of approximately 1900 feet, Kolhapur enjoys an incredibly pleasant weather for most of the year except during the summer. The heat can get a little overbearing and hamper your sightseeing plans so it’s best to avoid a visit this time around. Other things that Kolhapur is most famous for include its thriving farming sector, mining, and textile industries as well. Also, the Kolhapur film industry is among the most acclaimed film industries in the country and adds to the region’s popularity. From churning out sensitive art films to comedy and romantic movies, the Kolhapur film industry has got all form of diversity covered. Kolhapur is also known to have the highest per capita income among several other Indian cities.
What to eat in Kolhapur?
The typical Kolhapuri cuisine is characterized and known for its use of chili. The red meat dish prepared using chili Kolhapuri style is famous throughout the country and many have tried to ape the dish without any success. Tambda rassa and Pandhra rassa are two mind-bogglingly delicious gravies served with mouthwatering meat dishes. Even the seafood preparations are done using a substantial amount of chili. Popular snacks include Misal Pav, Batata Vada, and several others.
Where to stay in Kolhapur?
Kolhapur offers accommodations that suit all types of budgets. You will find most of the hotels around Tararani Chowk which is just about 10 minutes away from Kolhapur city center. So no matter where you book rooms, you will still be in close proximity to important sites in Kolhapur. Check what type of accommodation suits you best and its compatibility with your budget when you book rooms. You can get rooms at the Government guest house as well which offers them at more reasonable (or subsidized) rates, but you’ll need to book them in advance. With these many options on offer, you need not worry about there being a dearth in accommodation.
Author Bio: Traveling became one of Rupali’s passions when she went on her first trip as a child with her family. She has not looked back since and has clubbed her love for traveling with her love for writing. She now works for Indian Eagle – one of the best travel agencies around. Go through her blogs to see the exciting world she lives in.