A Travel Guide to Kolhapur

Kolhapur Airport Directory (KLH)
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Situated on the banks of the Panchganga River, Kolhapur is a famous religious and historical destination. Every year, numerous visitors flock to the city to visit the famous Mahalaxmi Temple and several archaeological sites, monuments and forts. It is known as the capital of the Marathi film industry as India’s first feature film - Raja Harishchandra got conceptualised here. And yes, you guessed it right, most Kolhapuri chappals have got its name from this city. These chappals are made using traditional techniques and are famous for their durability and comfort. In addition to this, Kolhapur boasts several natural attractions. The city is surrounded by picturesque hills, dense forests, and serene lakes, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. 

Best time to visit Kolhapur

The ideal time to visit Kolhapur is from November to February. During this time, the weather is pleasant and perfect for city exploration. 

Most spoken languages in Kolhapur

  • English
  • Marathi

How to reach Kolhapur

  • By air: You can book your flights to Kolhapur and arrive at the Kolhapur Airport located in Ujlaiwadi, 9 km from the city. IndiGo now operates daily non-stop flights between Kolhapur and Hyderabad and Tirupati.
  • By train: The Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus is well-connected to India's major cities through regular trains.
  • By bus: Kolhapur has a good network of buses – deluxe, A/C and non-A/C, connecting the city to other parts of the country.

Getting around in Kolhapur

Buses operated by Kolhapur Municipal Transport (KMT), auto-rickshaws and rental cars are the favoured means of transportation in the city.

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7Kg
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Places to visit in Kolhapur

  • Mahalaxmi Temple: This temple holds a special religious significance for being one of the six abodes of ‘Shakti’ (Goddess of Power). With intricately carved walls adorned with beautiful sculptures, this temple is an architectural marvel of the ancient era. The construction started in the 7th century by Chalukya rulers and later enhanced by Yadavas in the 9th century AD. The best time to visit the temple is during Kirnotsav to experience a unique phenomenon of sunlight falling directly on the Mahalakshmi idol at the time of sunset.
  • Jyotiba Temple: According to local beliefs, you should visit Jyotiba Temple after visiting Mahalaxmi Temple. Established in 1730, this beautiful temple is located at the height of 3124 feet above the ground level to worship Lord Jyotiba – the reincarnation of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. To reach the temple complex having 12 jyotirlingas, you need to climb more than 100 steps. One exciting aspect of this place is that the pilgrims offer gulal to the deity as a token of their sincerity. The best time to visit this temple is in the months of Chaitra and Vaishakh on a full moon night. Kolhapur is also home to many more temples that include Tembabai Temple, Bhavani Mandap, Kopeshwar Temple, Katyayani Temple, Bahubali, Gagangiri Maharaj Math and Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir.
  • Panhala Fort: This majestic Fort is a testimony to Shivaji Maharaj's glorious reign and considered the largest of all the Deccan Forts. It boasts a 7 km structure known as Panhalla, Panalla or Panhalgad, which means 'the house of serpents'. Although most of the fort is in ruins, there are specific spots within the fort that you must visit, such as the hidden well. These include - Andhar Bavadi, the central granary – Ambarkhana, additional granary - Dharma Kothi, Sajja Kothi, Kalavanticha Mahal – ladies residence, Wagh Darwaza, Teen Darwaza and hidden exit from the Fort – the Rajdindi bastion.
  • New Palace: The first thing to notice about this structure is its architecture that reflects a mix of Hindu and Jain culture influenced by Gujarati and Rajasthani styles. The present Maharaja resides at the first floor of this lavish palace. Popularly known as ‘Maharaja’s New Palace’, this palace houses a museum displaying a collection of guns, garments, jewellery and trophies of the Kolhapur rulers. You must visit the Durbar’s side wall which is made of strained glasses and exhibits various scenes from Shivaji’s life.

Places to eat in Kolhapur

Misal joints in Kolhapur
Misal joints in Kolhapur

Being one of the most famous dishes in Kolhapur, several misal joints have been practising this legacy of misal for centuries now. You must make it a point to taste misal in any of these joints. Some of the known misal joints in the city are Bawada Misal – the oldest one, Aahar Misal – makes the spiciest one, Chorage misal – they offer a less spicy one on demand, Khasbaug Misal – they make their own spices and Phadtare Misal – here the misal is made with groundnut oil.

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Dehati
Dehati

One of the best restaurants serving authentic Maharashtrian dishes is Dehati. Their speciality, Maharashtrian thali is a must try along with other dishes such as aakha masoor, mutton Kolhapuri and pandhara rassa.

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The Oven Milano's
The Oven Milano's

If you are craving for some pastries, cakes, rolls and burgers, then drop in at ‘The Oven’. You will get authentic Mexican, Italian, Thai and Chinese cuisines but all vegetarian.

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Pahunchar
Pahunchar

It is a beautiful place to spend your evening savouring some palatable food. Try their wholesome Maharashtrian Thali and don’t forget about their buttermilk and bhakari that will completely satiate your taste buds.

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Marathi Khasiyat
Marathi Khasiyat

Indulge yourself in some delicious local snacks such as akha masoor, aloo chat, solkadi at this small eatery. Don’t go with the size of the place, their service is quite prompt, and the owner is very friendly with the customers. So, enjoy a delightful conversation along with sumptuous food.

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Shopping in Kolhapur

  • DYP City Mall
  • Reliance Mall

Markets in Kolhapur

Kolhapuri chappals are among the topmost items to buy from the city. These handcrafted leather t-strap sandals are a must-buy. Next, you must check out Kolhapuri ‘saaj’ – a traditional design for a necklace wherein the artisans combine beautiful designs with religious figures. Another popular item that you must include in your shopping list is the Kolhapuri saree, known for ethnic designs and vibrant colours. Kolhapuri jaggery is another popular item due to its authentic flavour. So, before heading back home, pack some authentic Kolhapuri stuff with you as a memoir from this beautiful city.

  • Mahadwar Road: The market surrounds an arched gateway famous for its notable architecture. You will get to experience the culture of the city by walking down the narrow lanes of Mahadwar Road. It is usually very crowded and among the oldest shopping areas in Kolhapur.
  • Bahusinghji Road: Pick your favourite pair of Kolhapuri chappals in varied designs from this market. You can also grab some other leather goods such as shoes and belts. Have a gala time walking around the market, and don’t forget to bargain to get the best deal.

Where to stay in Kolhapur

Panchshil

Hotel Panchshil The hotel is located close to the airport, bus stand and railway station, making it ideal for both business travellers and tourists. Being fully equipped with all necessary facilities, the rooms are sound-proof providing a silent and relaxed environment to its guests.

Atharv

Hotel Atharv It is a one-stop destination in the city that defines luxury. Starting from lavish interiors to the latest amenities, Hotel Atharv has it all. The hotel is capable of hosting corporate events or any gathering of any size and boasts well-organised parking for a large number of guest.

Pavillion

The Pavillion Hotel Surrounded by lush green lawns, this hotel is right at the heart of the city. Bus stand, railway station, tourist spots as well as shopping areas are easily accessible from this beautiful hotel, built in the Portuguese style of architecture.

SaiPrasad

Hotel Sai Prasad This hotel is ideal for a one day trip or if you have any meetings to attend as it is at a proximity to the airport. The hotel boasts an outdoor pool and a beautiful garden to relax.

Sayaji

Sayaji Kolhapur This fivestar property is considered to be the finest one in the city. It gives you a royal feel with its high-quality services, food as well as ambience. The best aspect of this hotel is its location which makes all the famous tourist spots easily accessible.

Nightlife in Kolhapur

  • Kolhapur Hikers
  • Vishay Chichkhalcha
  • Shamrao Patil Well
  • Shohrat Club
  • Dhanlaxmi Bobin & Warping
  • Cafe Maxico Bar
  • Rajarampuri Talim

More reasons to visit Kolhapur

  • Rankala Lake: If you are looking out for a place away from the city's hustle bustle, visit Rankala Lake. Known as Kolhapur’s Marine Drive (due to its similar kind of feel), the lake got its name from Rankabhairav Temple, believed to be under the lake. The lake is spread across a massive area of 107 hectares and is one of the top tourist destinations in Kolhapur. It boasts a pathway on the southeast bank of the lake wherein you can sit, enjoy horse riding or boating and taste some delectable local snacks. You can also visit Shalini Palace, which is situated on the west of the lake along with Padma Raje Gardens, on its east.
  • Panhala to Pawankhind trek: Shivaji Maharaj, along with his army, walked over a distance of 47 km for about 20 long hours while fighting with their enemies. You can also walk the same route and relive the glorious history by going on a trek from Panhala to Pawankhind. It’s a three-day trek which includes Panhala Fort, the village of Pandharpani and Pawankhind. Experience the country life during your trek and do stay overnight at a local house in Pandharpani.

Festivals in Kolhapur

  • Gudi Padwa: Gudi Padwa is widely celebrated across the state of Maharashtra, but Kolhapur adds a unique charm to the event. This festival attracts a number of tourists from across the country. The entire town is decorated with colourful garlands, Gudis (auspicious decorations) and embellished saffron flags at every nook and corner.
  • Kolhapur Rankala Mahotsav: One of the biggest and the most popular annual festivals in Kolhapur, the Rankala Mahotsav, brings forth the vibrant and liveliness of the city of Kolhapuri. This five-day festival attracts several tourists from across the country amidst the extravagant showcase of Kolhapuri traditions and culture.

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