Situated on the banks of Panchganga River, Kolhapur is a famous religious and historical destination. Every year, numerous visitors flock in the city to visit the famous Mahalaxmi Temple along with several archaeological sites, monuments and forts. It is known as the capital of the Marathi film industry as India’s first feature film- Raja Harishchandra got conceptualised here. And yes, you guessed it right, the most Kolhapuri chappals have got its name from this city.
Best time to visit: November to February is the ideal time to visit Kolhapur
How to reach:
By Air: The nearest airport to Kolhapur is at Ujlaiwadi, 9km South-East from the Kolhapur city.
IndiGo now operates daily non-stop flights between Kolhapur and Hyderabad & Tirupati.
By Train: The Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus is well-connected to all the major cities in India through regular trains.
By Bus: Kolhapur has a good network of buses – deluxe, A/C and non-A/C, connecting the city to other parts of the country.
Getting around: Buses operated by Kolhapur Municipal Transport (KMT), auto-rickshaws and rental cars are the favoured means of transportation in the city.
Being one of the most famous dishes in Kolhapur, several misal joints have been practising this legacy of misal for centuries now. You must make it a point to taste misal in any of these joints. Some of the known misal joints in the city are Bawada Misal – the oldest one, Aahar Misal – makes the spiciest one, Chorage misal – they offer a less spicy one on demand, Khasbaug Misal – they make their own spices and Phadtare Misal – here the misal is made with groundnut oil.
One of the best restaurants serving authentic Maharashtrian dishes is Dehati. Their speciality, Maharashtrian thali is a must try along with other dishes such as aakha masoor, mutton Kolhapuri and pandhara rassa.
If you are craving for some pastries, cakes, rolls and burgers, then drop in at ‘The Oven’. You will get authentic Mexican, Italian, Thai and Chinese cuisines but all vegetarian.
It is a beautiful place to spend your evening savouring some palatable food. Try their wholesome Maharashtrian Thali and don’t forget about their buttermilk and bhakari that will completely satiate your taste buds.
Indulge yourself in some delicious local snacks such as akha masoor, aloo chat, solkadi at this small eatery. Don’t go with the size of the place, their service is quite prompt, and the owner is very friendly with the customers. So, enjoy a delightful conversation along with sumptuous food.
Kolhapuri chappals are among the topmost items to buy from the city. These handcrafted leather t-strap sandals are a must-buy. Next, you must check out Kolhapuri ‘saaj’ – a traditional design for a necklace wherein the artisans combine beautiful designs with religious figures. Another popular item that you must include in your shopping list is Kolhapuri saree, known for ethnic designs and vibrant colours. Kolhapuri jaggery is another very popular item due to its authentic flavour. So, before heading back home, pack some authentic Kolhapuri stuff with you as a memoir from this beautiful city.
Mahadwar Road: The market surrounds an arched gateway famous for its notable architecture. You will get to experience the culture of the city by walking down the narrow lanes of Mahadwar Road. It is usually very crowded and among the oldest shopping areas in Kolhapur.
Bahusinghji Road: Pick your favourite pair of Kolhapuri chappals in varied designs from this market. You can also grab some other leather goods such as shoes and belts. Have a gala time walking around the market and don’t forget to bargain to get the best deal.
Hotel Panchshil The hotel is located close to the airport, bus stand and railway station, making it ideal for both business travellers and tourists. Being fully equipped with all necessary facilities, the rooms are sound-proof providing a silent and relaxed environment to its guests.
Hotel Atharv It is a one-stop destination in the city that defines luxury. Starting from lavish interiors to the latest amenities, Hotel Atharv has it all. The hotel is capable of hosting corporate events or any gathering of any size and boasts well-organised parking for a large number of guest.
The Pavillion Hotel Surrounded by lush green lawns, this hotel is right at the heart of the city. Bus stand, railway station, tourist spots as well as shopping areas are easily accessible from this beautiful hotel, built in the Portuguese style of architecture.
Hotel Sai Prasad This hotel is ideal for a one day trip or if you have any meetings to attend as it is at a proximity to the airport. The hotel boasts an outdoor pool and a beautiful garden to relax.
Sayaji Kolhapur This fivestar property is considered to be the finest one in the city. It gives you a royal feel with its high-quality services, food as well as ambience. The best aspect of this hotel is its location which makes all the famous tourist spots easily accessible.
Rankala Lake: If you are looking out for a place that is away from city’s hustle bustle then visit Rankala Lake. Known as Kolhapur’s Marine Drive (due to its similar kind of feel), the lake got its name from Rankabhairav Temple, believed to be under the lake. The lake is spread across a massive area of 107 hectares and is one of the top tourist destinations in Kolhapur. It boasts a pathway on the south-east bank of the lake wherein you can sit, enjoy horse riding or boating and taste some delectable local snacks. You can also visit Shalini Palace which is situated on the west of the lake along with Padma Raje Gardens, on its east.
Shivaji Maharaj along with his army walked over a distance of 47km for about 20 long hours while fighting with their enemies. You can also walk the same route and relive the glorious history by going on a trek from Panhala to Pawankhind. It’s a three day tour that takes you through some fascinating stories from the Maratha legacy. The trek includes Panhala Fort, the village of Pandharpani and Pawankhind. Experience the country lifeduring your trek and do stay overnight at a local house in Pandharpani.