yellow persicope kolhapur sightings food culture heritage

Kolhapur Sightings – Heritage, Culture and Food

Visiting Kolhapur had long been on Mahesh’s list because of the foodie that he is and the reputation Kolhapuri food has. Sapna was eager to check out Kolhapur’s traditional jewelry- the Kolhapuri ‘Saaz’ and ‘thushi’ and shop at the bustling bazaars around the famous Mahalaxmi temple. Dhruv, once he read Panhala’s history was excited with the prospect of another heritage walk. And all three of us are always game for a scenic road trip. Thus, began Yellow Periscope team’s new year 2018 weekend at Kolhapur.

 

 


Sighting #1: Panhala Fort Heritage Walk

Panhala Fort is beautiful drive of about 20 kms from Kolhapur. Unlike other archaeological monuments that have controlled access, it is still a town where people are staying inside the fort, the way they must have hundreds of years back.

 

yellow periscope panhala fort heritage walk panaromic view

yellow periscope Panhala fort heritage wallk top view
Panhala fort has beautiful panoramic views. It is one of the largest forts in the Deccan and its strategic location was the prime reason why so many rulers including the Mughals, Marathas and the British battled to control it.

 

yellow periscope panhala fort heritage walk architecture detail
Panhala fort is mainly of the Bijapuri architectural style, but if you look carefully you will see traces of other styles, sculptural motifs and inscriptions on the fort walls owing to its rich history with various kingdoms.

Yellow periscope Panhala fort heritage walk
Panhala fort was built between 1178 and 1209 CE by Raja Bhoj, then captured by the Yadavs, followed by the Adil Shahi dynasty who expanded it significantly before the Marathas took over and finally the British.

 

As a town, Panhala is a perfect setting for a heritage district with so many stories to be told.

We sincerely hope MTDC and ASI wake up to what is being lost by rampant commercialization and sheer disregard of this precious heritage.

 


Sighting #2: Kolhapur’s Mahalaxmi Temple – Ambabai’s divine presence

Kolhapur’s Mahalaxmi temple has an important place in Hindu mythology and religious hierarchy and has been mentioned as far back as the ancient vedic texts.

 

yellow periscope mahalaxmi temple kolhapur darshan
The Mahalaxmi temple has been a site of worship for more than thousand years. Considered a ‘Shakti Peeth’ meaning an energy center, it literally attracts thousands every day! If you visit on days considered important in the Hindu calendar, it is flooded by devotees who come for ‘darshan’ meaning visiting the temple to get a view of the goddess and feel her divine presence.

 

yellow periscope mahalaxmi temple kolhapur
If you cannot handle the crowds there is way to glimpse the idol from the outer section or on a digital screen. And you could visit the temple complex and the adjacent bazaars in its many lanes.

 

yellow periscope mahalaxmi temple kolhapur architecture hemadpanthi style
Every dynasty that ruled this area contributed various structures to the Mahalaxmi temple. Its architecture is in the ancient Hemadpanthi style of Indian temple architecture.

 


Sighting #3: Kolhapuri Food- the famous rassa

Kolhapur is a gastronomical delight! The food is equally famous, if not more, than its religious and historical importance. As seen and tasted on menu’s across Maharashtra, there is a perception that Kolhapuri is equal to extremely hot spices, especially the red chili powder and not for a weak stomach. But we soon discovered that wasn’t true.

yellow periscope kolhapur food mutton thali
The topmost Kolhapuri specialty is the Mutton Thaali along with its trademark preparations of ‘tambada rassa’ and ‘pandhara rassa’.

 

yellow periscope kolhapuri street food misal pav
The Kolhapuri version of misal pav, Maharashtra’s famous street food, is spicy and has a different flavor than the one we had in Mumbai and was served with thick bread slices instead of pav.

 


Sighting #4: Kolhapur’s Jewellery – own a piece of tradition

Like most Indian traditional jewelry, Kolhapur’s traditional jewellery is also intricately crafted with deep symbolism for each form and motif that the design uses.

yellow periscope kolhapur trip jewellery shopping mahalaxmi temple culture
Though conventionally made in gold, keeping up with modern times, imitation jewellery pieces are now freely available making them pocket friendly. The bazaars near the temple complex are a street shoppers paradise.
yellow periscope kolhapur shopping necklace jewellery culture
In Maharashtra, the traditional ‘Kolhapuri Saaz’ necklace is as famous as the ‘mangalsutra’. Another famous design is the ‘Kolhapuri Thushi’ a choker style necklace made with gold beads. Both are now available in rampant and distorted variations.

 


Sighting #5: Rankala Lake in Kolhapur.

Called Rankala chowpatty by locals, this ancient lake is a scenic walk. Various boating options are available too.

After a great Mumbai-Kolhapur drive that started early morning, we reached Kolhapur in perfect time for an evening walk at Rankala lake and to feast on its famous street food.

kolhapur, food, culture, heritage kolhapur, food, culture, heritage

kolhapur, food, culture, heritage

 


Sighting #6: New Palace Museum

Another heritage stop can be the New palace museum that is housed on the ground floor of the current residence of Shrimant Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur. It was disappointing that basic design standards for a museum were not followed. It loses out on telling the remarkable story that the royal family of Kolhapur has.

yellow periscope kolhapur new palace musuem culture
The New Palace Museum exhibits memorabilia belonging to Kolhapur’s rulers. There is a small lake in the palace precincts with an open zoo that has several migratory birds. It was odd that we had to remove our footwear to enter.

Lastly, Mumbai-Kolhapur is a great ride. After being greeted by the Western Ghats, a beautiful countryside with flowering fields, huge banyan trees lining the highway and lorries chugging along with truckloads of sugarcane, await you. We will surely be back to visit the sites we didn’t have time for – a trek to Vishalgad, a drive through Amba ghat and to explore the Khidrapur temple.

 

The other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim

-Martin Luther King, Jr.


want to see more sightings from our travels? Check our 5 reasons to visit Bhutan – The Kingdom of Happiness and browse our diaries from A trip to Sikkim – Part 3. Gurudongmar Lake

8 Comments

  1. Sapna,beautiful pictures, captured beautifully. Description apt, superb

    1. Thank you for your comment Prajakta! Happy to know you enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Mindblowing photography and lovely presentation!

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Dr.Seemi!

  3. Superb writeup Sapna. Professional approach to a family outing.Awesome pics.

    1. Thank you so much for all the comments and encouragement, Rajashree!

  4. Hey Sapana, just gone through it and it’s really very well dipicted. It sure made me wanna visit the place soon! Awesome photography!!

    1. Hey Archana, thank you so much for your comments. I am happy you liked the post. Visit soon and let us know how you like Kolhapur!

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