Kolhapur is known as the land of religious and ancient temples with lots of significance. Kolhapur is one of the typical Maharashtrian city which makes Maharashtra proud for its various reasons. Kolhapur is aslo termed as ‘Dakshin Kashi’, which means a prosperous city with joy all around. Kolhapur is located in the south west of Maharashtra along with the ranges of Sahayadri hills and on the banks of Panchganga river. Kolhapur is also a harmonious mixture of spiritualism, culture, education and modernism.
Kolhapur is famous for its Goddess lands, the very famous Mahalakshmi temple is located in Kolhapur. The temple is known as one of the Shakti peethas and is also listed in lots of puranas. Shri Mahalakshmi is known as the consort of Shri Vishnu and they both resided in the area of Karveer. Goddess Mahalakshmi is also known as Goddess Ambabai and the temple is famous as one of the important spiritual centres in India. The temple of significance is known to be built in the 7th century by the rulers of Chalukya. The temple is one of the six abodes of Shakti and thus it is said that people can fulfill all their wishes and desire after worshipping the Goddess. Pilgrims in number of millions comes every year to worship the Goddess. It is said that after the worship of Lord Balaji at Tirupati or any other such place, one should worship the Goddess of Mahalakshmi in Kolhapur, this is essential to complete the pilgrimage. Thus there is a Balaji Mandir situated on the way to Kolhapur, people worship there first and then proceed to Kolhapur’s temple of Goddess to complete the pilgrimage.
Kolhapur is famous all over the nation and globe for its famous spicy kolhapuri lavanga mirchi, kolhapuri chappals, kolhapuri gur and kolhapuri cuisine. Chilly of Kolhapur are famous as one of most spicy chillies in the world. The chilly which can burst out ears are famous here. They are very spicy and hot and adds the flavors of kolhapuri cuisine. People who love spicy foods, kolhapuri cuisine is a best option to try for its traditional spicy recipes. Dishes like kolhapuri sabzi, kolhapuri missal, tambra/ pandra rassa etc are very famous for its hot and spicy features. Kolhapuri thali is a best option to try for. There are many restaurants in Kolhapur which serves the best kolhapuri dishes. Kolhapur sabzi is famous nationwide and is easily available in all of Maharashtra. Kolhapur is also famous for its gur also known as jaggery. Since there are lots of cultivation of sugarcanes around the area, place has lots of exporting business for its gur. Organic gur are also available in Kolhapur.
Kolhapuri chappals are famous for its leather handcrafted and durability. It is perfect for daily wear and tear use. They are also known as Pie-taan. With various sizes and varities available, Kolhapur chappals suits for all occasions. Fancy chappals enhanced with gold, laces and fancy materials like pom pom and velvet lace can be used for festive occasions like marriages and other traditional functions as it goes well with the traditional outfit one wears during occasions. Kolhapur chappals are famous amongst all Indians and tourists. For Indians it remains as the evergreen option and a pair one should always possess. Kolhapuri chappal are not made by nails but is made up of cords which are also made of leather which adds to the durability and comfort of the chappal. New designs evolved recently appeals lots of youngsters as it has a modern appeal and goes well with any formal outfits.
Apart from the famous temple of Goddess Mahalakshmi, kolhapuri mirchis, kolhapuri cuisine and kolhapuri chappals, Kolhapur offers a lot more for its visitors to lookout for. Ranakla lake is one of the tourist attraction in Kolhapur for its historical importance, beautiful well maintained gardens around the lake and shalini palace along the garden. New palace also known as Shahu museum is a tourist spot in Kolhapur. The culturally rich heritage showcases the combination of Hindu and British style of architecture. A part of palace known as Shahu museum, showcases rare paintings, weapons and arterials. Jyotibha temple is also a famous temple in Kolhapur. Around Kolhapur there are places like Panhala fort, Jyotibha temple, Narsobawadi, Bahubali, Siddhgiri, Gramjivan museum, Gaganbawda, Amboli etc are the places of tourist attractions. Local people of Kolhapur are very friendly and co-operative.
There are many good hotels for accommodations in Kolhapur. The Maratha regency, hotel pearl, hotel jotiba, hotel raysons regency, hotel victor palace, etc are the few of the good hotels for staying. There are many restaurants providing kolhapuri and multi cuisine in Kolhapur. Milano, texas lounge, uncle’s kitchen, little Italy etc are few of such restaurants.
Kolhapur is one of easiest accessed destination. Kolhapur is easily accessed by roads with all modes of road transport. Through air, the nearest airport to Kolhapur is at ujlaiwadi which connects to Mumbai. Kolhapur is also accessed by trains as it is connected with many cities in India
Kolhapur thus is rich in its heritage, religious and cultural significance. One must visit the place one to explore the divine and historical aspects of the place and to know the reason why the city is a proud to Maharashtra.