Kolhapur is a city in the west Indian state of Maharashtra . It is situated on the banks of the Panchaganga River. Kolhapur is known for its temples, specifically Hindu pilgrimage sites.
Kolhapur has many attractions besides temples, including heritage sites, museums, a water park and lakes.
- Rankala Lake – A beautiful lake having a nice space for picnicking or hanging out, with food vendors selling tasty snacks, gardens, and activities like horse riding and boating.
- Shri Mahalakshmi Temple – Also known as Dakshin Kashi, this temple is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Kannada Chalukya in around 700 A.D. It is dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi, the guardian deity of Kolhapur.
- Temblabai Temple – A Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Renuka Devi (who ’s a sister of goddess Mahalakshmi) and is located on Temblabai Hill.
- Bhavani Mandap – Another religious spot, a temple dedicated to goddess Tulja Bhavani, another (younger) sister of Goddess Mahalaxmi; also historically significant, as the Maratha ruler Shivaji Maharaj is said to have visited and worshipped the goddess here regularly.
- Kopeshwar Temple – A 12th century Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Jyotiba Temple – A temple built in 1730 on a hill at a height of 3124 feet above sea level; It is believed that the three major Hindu gods (Trinity) – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, together reincarnated as Jyotiba to kill demons that were terrorizing the local people many years ago, and the temple is dedicated to this incarnation.
Kolhapur’s population consists of a majority of Maharashtrians and Hindus. So, most Hindu festivals and few others are celebrated grandly in this city. These include:
- Maha Shivratri – People worship Lord Shiva and fast for long hours
- Makar Sankranti – An auspicious harvest festival celebrated in the month of January
- Gudi padwa – Marathi New Year Day (celebrated all over Maharashtra state)
- Navrathri & Dussehra – A 10-day festival, where Goddess Durga is revered
- Ganesh Chaturthi – A major festival in the state of Maharashtra, this is celebrated in all cites and town in this state, to worship Lord Ganesha (who is also the son of Lord Shiva)
- Rankala Mahotsav – This is a 5-day fair and festival that is exclusive to Kolhapur; also known as Kolhapur Rankala Mahotsav; during this festival there is an extravagant display of Kolhapuri culture and traditions
- New Palace Museum – A beautiful museum that gives a glimpse into the lives of the rulers who rules Kolhapur. It is also known to have been the residence of Shrimant Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, a Kolhapuri king.
- Irwin Agricultural Museum – An agricultural museum in Kolhapur.
- Siddhagiri Museum – This is a museum that is surrounded by lush greenery and has spectacular views of about 300 wax statues that depict the regional villagers’ lives.
Kolhapur is a shopper’s paradise – especially for women! The markets and malls here offer many interesting things to buy such as designer silver jewelry, Kolhapuri footwear (very famous, ethnic and loved by people across India), Kolhapuri (organic – powdered, block, as well as liquid) Jaggery and local spices, among others.
Some popular shopping spots in this city are:
- Mahadwar Road
- Shivaji Road
- Bahaunsinghji Road
- Kolhapur Market Place
- Kapil Tirth Market
- Majestic Mall by Benali
- DYP City Mall
- Reliance Mall
- Adarsha B Mall
- MJ Scoth Mall
Kolhapur is known for many delicious Maharashtrian dishes (mostly non-vegetarian) but one of the most famous ones is:
Misal, a breakfast dish that consists of multiple components, like:
- Usal – A curry made with sprouted beans (mung or any other bean sprouts)
- Tarri/kat – A spicy gravy which is the base of this dish and is usually made in many variants like "Kala rassa" (black stew – made with dry roasted bay-leaf and black pepper), "Laal rassa"(red stew – uses red-chilli powder and dry red chillies), "Hirwa rassa"(green stew – uses green chilies, coriander) etc., and the most popular one is tambda-pandhra rassa (also a red stew, but non-vegetarian - made with lamb meat and spices)
- Batata Bhaji – A curry of diced boiled potatoes, spiced with turmeric, green chillies, ginger & mustard)
- Chivda – A snack of roasted/fried spiced rice flakes mixed with peanuts
- A garnish of onions, tomatoes, coriander, lemon etc. on top
Kolhapur also has great street food – spicy, tangy, sweet – dishes whose flavours burst in the mouth, creating a food feast! Some of these include – Pani Puri, Samosa Chaat, Ragda patties, Batata Vada (Potato fried cutlet/patty), Pav Bhaji etc.
Some popular and good restaurants to try in Kolhapur are:
- Patlacha Wada
- Hotel Alisha
- Hotel Padma (Padma Guest House)
- Hotel Gokul
- All-India Special Bhel
- Phadatare Misal Kendra
Some of the best hotels to stay in Kolhapur:
- Sayaji Hotel
- Hotel Parag Deluxe Lodging
- Veeksar The Fern
- Greystone Lakefront Penthouse
- Ramee Panchshil
- Gulmohar Luxury Penthouse (Homestay)
- Hotel Maratha Regency
- Hotel Atharv7
- Hotel Silver Oak
- Citrus Hotel Kolhapur
- Hotel Shree Sai
- Hotel Elite Inn
Kolhapur also has some good night clubs and bars for people who are looking for lively entertainment or hangouts in the late hours:
- EDGE Lounge
- Vintage Bar
- Liquidz Lounge Bar
- Poison Restored Lounge
- Kolhapur STD Code – 0231 (to be used before dialling numbers from a device that is not locally registered)
- Police Control room – 100
- Fire emergency – 101
- Accident helpline (Medical emergencies) – 108
- Crime Stopper – 1090
- Women Helpline - 1091
Marathi is the main language of Kolhapur.
- Welcome - Tumcha svagat aso
- How are you? - Tu kas ahes
- What's your name? - Tujha nav kay ahe
- Where are you from? - Apaṇ kothale ahat?
- Good morning - Su-prabhat
- Have a nice day - Sukhi raha