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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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