Kolhapur is at around 240 km north from Pune city and is on national highway between Pune and Bangalore. Kolhapur is said to be the religious pride of Maharashtra, India and is one of the Shakti peethas having another name as “Dakshin Kashi”.
Kolhapur is the most popular place because of the powerful temple of Goddess Mahalaxmi. The Kolhapur peetha has a special religious significance since it is considered as one of those six places where devotees believe that their desires get fulfilled.
The Mahalaxmi temple architecturally belongs to the Kannada Chalukya Empire. Temple has a powerful and crowned idol of Goddess Mahalaxmi with four arms, mounted on a stone platform and structured in black stone. It is made up of gemstone and weighs about 40 kilograms and is of 3 feet in height. The daily program and schedule of Puja, Aarti and other activities is fixed and starts at 4 am and goes on till 10.30 pm.
Other than Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur, following are the places to see around the place.
Bhavani Mandap, Old Palace, Kolhapur:
Even though it is smaller in size, Bhavani Mandap has a equal importance of that of Mahalaxmi temple and is the temple of Goddess Tulja Bhavani. The Bhavani Mandap is just behind the temple of Mahalaxmi. It is said that Goddess Tulja Bhavani is the guest in her elder sister Goddess Mahalaxmi’s city- Kolhapur.
Rankala Choupati, Kolhapur:
You can find the “Rankala Lake” as one of the greatest places in Kolhapur connected to a beautiful Garden. You can feel an amazing happiness here.
Shalini Palace, Kolhapur:
Shalini Palace in Kolhapur is the big attraction to the visitors since it is very beautifully constructed and nearest to the Rankala Lake. Having tall Palm trees around, the palace also has a way on the back side which takes you towards the Ranka Lake. The Shalini Palace was built and constructed in Italian Marble and Black Stone.
Khasbag Maidan is the biggest stadium in Kolhapur, on the west side of famous Keshavrao Bhosale Drama Theatre and has the name as “Khasbag Wrestling Stadium, Kolhapur”. Many different types of competitions are run here. Kolhapur is famous for the game of Wrestling in India.
New Palace Museum:
New Palace Museum is an ancient building and always has been a place of attraction to the visitors. It is located at Bahvani Mandap-Kasaba Bavda Road, Kolhapur. The palace has the great collection of possessions of Kolhapur Chatrapatis like games, weapons, costumes, jewelry etc.
Town Hall Museum:
Town Hall Museum is renowned for its beautiful paintings and events. It is located at the Bhausingji Road, 1 km north from the Mahalaxmi temple. The Museum remains closed on Monday.
Moreover, there are many other places to see in and around the Kolhapur city, like; Jyotiba Temple, Panhala Fort, Kaneri Math, Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary, Radhanagari Dam, Rautwadi Waterfall etc.