|4.6||215 Ratings | 181 Reviews|
Things To Do In Kolhapur
The ancient city of Kolhapur known for its temples and monuments of history, has a repository of things that will keep a tourist hungry for activity, busy through his stay. Visit the shrines and museums that function in some of the oldest palaces of Kolhapur, go trekking up the mountains of the Sahyadri or a sail across the pristine lakes that dot the city.
Adding thrill to your visit are the famous wrestling grounds of Kolhapur, where you could watch a practice session or a drive to the hills and sea coast of Ratnagiri. Get off on safaris in the wildlife sanctuaries, or choose a pleasant winter day to go on a bird watching stint. There are a plethora of things that you could do to remember Kolhapur by and we will tell you of some of them.
The Sahyadri Mountains offer some of the most amazing trekking trails near Kolhapur. If you would prefer a long drive to trek up some of the most amazing slopes, visit Rajmachi about 100 km away for a trek up the Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts. You could also trek up Vishalgad Fort that’s about 75 km northwest of Kolhapur.
Gaganbawada with its lush slopes and pleasant seasons is yet another region waiting to be explored. Gaganbawada offers the most spectacular views of the Western Ghats and has ample scope for trekking and photography. Gaganbawada is about 55 km from Kolhapur.
Surrounded by lush rainforests, the mountain pass of Amba Ghat in the Sahyadri mountain ranges is a charming weekend destination you would want to visit while in Kolhapur. At a height of 2000 ft. above msl, Amba ghat offers an amazing climate all year round, with a picturesque mountain atmosphere and a great holiday amidst lush greenery and mist capped peaks. Amba ghat is about 70 km from Kolhapur.
Bhuibawada ghat and Karul ghat roads that originate in Gaganbawada and link the Deccan Plateau with the Konkan region are yet more ghat sections to be explored. The serpentine roads that wind down the green carpeted slopes are most pleasing to the eye.
Explore the Caves
If you are intent on exploring ancient cave structures, there are a handful of places in and around Kolhapur you could visit. The Palsambe caves for instance are exceptional monolithic structures that are believed to have been built by the Pandavas during their exile. The caves have the sculpture of Ganesh in front and 12 Shiv lingas in the caves. The Shiv Lingas have been positioned so that a thin trickle of water falls on the Linga.
Jakhin Caves near Fort Budhargad about 50 km from Kolhapur are more ancient natural formations you could explore. Fort Bhudargad that was occupied by the Marathas under Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Mughals and the British is partly in ruins, but is an ideal place to trek up to and you might visit the Dudhsagar Lake and the Shiva and Bhairavnath temples as well.
The water sources, lakes and dams near Kolhapur are some of the best regions for bird sightings. Check out the Veseref check dam or Radhanagari dam for winter birds. Closer home the Rankala Lake, New Palace and Kalamba lakes as well as the Rajaram tank are ideal places for spotting birds in winter especially from October until March.
Bird sighting tours are arranged for amateurs and professional bird watchers and photographers at places where a multitude of birds fly in from the Western Ghats or on their migratory routes. Some of the birds you would spot in Kolhapur are Painted Storks, Common Kingfishers, Green Bee Eaters, Herons and Wooly Necked Storks.
Waterfalls are some of the most amazing marvels of nature and Kolhapur and its neighborhood have some of the most charming cascades you might want to visit. The monsoon dependent Rautwadi Waterfalls near Radhanagar, the Savdav falls in Kankavli taluk which is an alluring cascade with a bathing pool at the bottom are absolutely delightful places to visit during the monsoons.
If you would love a trip to a lush forest with an over the year waterfalls, the Napane falls in Sindhudurg on the Konkan region should be on your bucket list. It is an ideal place to watch the birds as well.
Morjai and Masai Pathar
If a hike up and about a plateau is exciting just as much as a trek uphill would be, do visit the Morjai Plateau, that’s about 8 km from Gaganbawada and Masai Pathar about 30 km west of Kolhapur. For a quiet sunrise or sunset, a trek up the plateau would be most ideal. At one end of the Morjai Plateau is a small temple for the Goddess Morjai who is said to be a goddess of peace, while the Masai Pathar has a temple for Masai Devi.
As the monsoon showers trickle off, the plateaus bursts into a carpet of wild flowers that makes both the Morjai Plateau and the Masai Pathar veritable wilderness of beauty! You might also spot a number of herbivores as well, probably a deer or a bison.
Take a long drive to the ancient city of Kambhoj where you would find an impressive monolith statue of Bahubali. The gigantic 28 ft. statue of Bahubali stands on a hillock and can be spotted from far away. The statue was erected in honor of Bahubali Maharaj, a Jain ascetic who was said to have been endowed with miraculous powers.
Apart from the statue of Bahubali, Kambhojgiri has temples to the 24 Thirthankars as well. The hills are a beautiful spot of nature and the short climb up the hill, about 350 steps in all, gives a spectacular view of the surrounding regions. Bahubali temple is about 31 km from Kolhapur.
No trip is ever complete without a visit to the dense woodlands to watch the denizens of the forests, if you would get the chance. Dajipur Bison Sanctuary that lies between Sindudurg and Kolhapur is home to a plethora of mammals like the Leopards, Sloth bears, Wild boar, Indian Gaur, bison, deer and a variety of birds and reptiles. A watch tower affords a bird’s eye view of the surrounding woods.
Once known as Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary, the Dajipur Bison Sanctuary has within its precincts the Radhanagari Dam and Lake and a temple for Bhagvathi Devi. The tropical evergreen forests and the number of rivers that meander their way through the dense woodlands are pleasing to the eyes.
Ancient Art of Wrestling
Kolhapur’s unique connections with the ancient sport form of Kushti or wrestling is still an enduring one. Visit the taleems of Kolhapur, like the Motibag Taleem, where the seasoned pehalwans and the young wrestlers live and practice with an ardent fervor to bring medals and accolades to their country.
Take a trip to the gurhals, you could find them quite easily on the highway from Pune to Kolhapur, where you could watch the traditional process of jaggery making and get yourself a cup of the fresh squeezed sugarcane juice or buy home some farm fresh jaggery.
Rankala Lake Walk
The Rankala Lake is one of the choicest getaways for a relaxed evening in Kolhapur. Wind out after a hectic sightseeing trip by visiting the Rankala Lake. The picturesque lake is said to have been a stone quarry ages ago which an earthquake flooded and ultimately turned the region into a lake. The Rankabhairav temple that is said to have existed by the quarry is supposed to have been submerged as the waters rose up.
The lake is encircled by the Shalini Palace, the Padma Raje Gardens and pathways where you could take a stroll. Breezy sunset times are a lovely part of the day to spend by the Rankala Lake that has food stalls as well for a hot cup of chai or the vada pav, ragda patis, hot corn on cob and samosa. Check out the horse rides for the kids and boating along the lake.