Kohlapur the Dakshin Kashi

Kohlapur, one of the districts in Maharashtra state of India, is located in the southernmost part of the state. This city is located on the banks of Panchganga river. Being regarded as the seat of Goddess Mahalakshmi, Kohlapur is also known as “Dakshin Kashi”.

History:
Kohlapur manifests outstanding evidence of its royal past. The city was ruled by erstwhile dynasties of India like Chalukyas, Silaharas, Yadavas, and Rashtrakutas etc. It was Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaja who founded and established the Kohlapur city. Now it is a prominent tourist centre in India.

With enormous water resources, minerals, vegetation etc, it is the most advanced city of Maharashtra. Existing MIDC and SEZ make the region a leading industrial city. The city is well known for Kohlapuri Chappals (Slippers). The city offers a lot to adventure seekers, nature lovers and spiritual travelers.

Mahalakshmi Temple:
This temple is a major attraction in Kohlapur tourism. Being dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi, the temple was built in the Hemanpanthi style with five pagodas. Travelers can see a Garud- Pandol attached to the mandir. The shrine is constructed in such a way that every year during particular days, the sun’s rays fall directly on the idol of Lakshmi and enhances its divinity.

The 40 kg idol of the goddess is a blend of Matar along with Hirak bits. Research shows the shrine is five to six thousand years old.

Jotiba Shrine:
Being one of the Joytirlings, Jotiba is located on the north side of Kohlapur amidst green mountains and dark steep faces of cliffs. The other names of the shrine are “Kedarnath and Wadi Ratnagiri”. It was Navajisaya, who built the original shrine around 1730.

The shrine is situated at 330 ft altitude. It is worth visiting the temple and the visit would be stunning and adventurous. As per Hindu mythology, Jotiba helped Goddess Mahalakshmi in destroying a demon king.

Panhala Fort:
This majestic citadel perched at an altitude of 3127 ft, is a must see place in Kohlapur. Travelers will experience a magic blend of nature, tranquility and bliss in this fort. Tourists can see a 52 kg statue of Bajiprabhu, the faithful general of the great Maratha emperor Shivaji, standing with two swords in his hands. The fort had been under the possession of various mighty rulers. It is 18 km away from the city.

Vishalgad Fort:
This fort is located 60 km north-west of Panhala fort. And 18 km off the Kohlapur – Ratnagiri route. Being perched atop a mountain, the tourists must travel through thickly wooded forest to reach the fort. Tourists can see the remnants of the fort. Sati Mandir, where the queen of King Rajaram was burned after the King’s death, is within this fort.

Rankala Lake:
The lake is just half-a-km away from the Mahalakshmi temple. Being surrounded by lush green gardens and with the Shalini palace on its bank Rankala lake is the biggest of its kind in Kohlapur. This place is ideal for picnicking and evening strolls. Visitors can reach the water at two points namely Raj Ghat and Maratha Ghat. One can see a Nandi Shrine and Sandhya Math, a beautiful resort.

Ujalawadi airport is the nearest airport and is located 10 km away from Kohlapur. The city also has a railhead and motorways.