Built between 1178 and 1209 CE, this age-old fort (400yrs old), Panhala, is built on the Sahyadri Range, around 20 Km from Kolhapur, Maharashtra. With a height of approximately 3177 feet above sea level, it has a picturesque and panoramic view of the valley.
Panhala, a popular hill station in Maharashtra, also houses one of the largest forts in the Deccan. Panhala fort is a protected monument and the area offers tourists various places of interest, with each one having a story to tell
The architecture seeks citation of Bijapuri art with peacock motifs of the Bahmani Sultanate embedded on the structures.
The fort sees reference of the Maratha Empire with Shivaji Maharaj who apparently spent 500 days in the fort, apart from his capitals at Rajgad (later Raigad), and Shivneri. It is also stated that Sambhaji Maharaj, the successor to Shivaji Maharaj also lived in the fort.
The fort is now part of a hill station, with various lodging options to choose from. Dotted with beautiful old buildings in a scenic location, it can be visited throughout the year. The 7 km long fortifications and bastions stand strong and magnificent at the fort.
Apart from it, the huge fort houses the Ambarkhana or granaries, Dharma Kothi, multiple living areas, the fort wall, entrance gates- Teen Darwaza, Char Darwaja and Wagh Darwaja; Andhar Bavadi or hidden well, Kalavanticha Mahal aka Nayakini Sajja meaning ‘courtesans’ terrace room’, Sajja Kothi, Ambabai Temple, Rajdindi bastion, Tank of Panhala, Sambhaji Temple, Pavankhind, museums, adjoining gardens and more.
It is advisable to hire a local tour guide to take you through the historical times to correlate the references from history.
A visit to the fort and the city will give you a peek into the magnificent era and give an insight into the lifestyle of the time.
Located around 200 km from Pune, the Panhala village, can be accessed by:
Rail: Closest railway is Kolhapur railway station, 26 km from Panhala.
Air: Panhala is closest to Kolhapur airport at a distance of 35 km (approx.)
Road: State Transport buses can get you into Panhala via Kolhapur.
You can also take your vehicle right into the fort and explore the old world charm and the rustic feel.
Most of the fort is well looked after by the locals who live in and around the fort.
Food is made available at every nook and corner of the town. The hot and fresh Zunka Bhakari, Kolhapuri thali, chicken bhaakri and brinjal dishes.
The cuisine uses rich Maharashtrian flavours and is truly mouth-watering.
Tourists can also enjoy watching the sunset from the highest point here, or even indulge in ATV rides and other activities to make most of the weekend.
#All images, distances and details are intended only for information. Readers are advised to check finer details at the locations described.
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