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The New Palace, Kolhapur
The New Palace, Kolhapur
Kolhapur is located in Maharashtra
Location in Maharashtra, India
Coordinates: 16°41′30″N 74°14′00″E / 16.69167°N 74.23333°E / 16.69167; 74.23333Coordinates: 16°41′30″N 74°14′00″E / 16.69167°N 74.23333°E / 16.69167; 74.23333
Country  India
State Maharashtra
District Kolhapur
 • Type Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Sunita Raut
 • Total 66.82 km2 (25.80 sq mi)
Elevation 545.6 m (1,790.0 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 549,283
 • Density 8,200/km2 (21,000/sq mi)
Demonym Kolhapurkar
 • Official Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 4160XX
Telephone code 0231
Vehicle registration MH-09
Website Official Site

Kolhapur (About this sound Kolhapur.ogg ) is an historical city in the Panchganga river basin in southwest Maharashtra state, India. It is the municipal centre of Kolhapur district. Prior to Independance, Kolhapur was a nineteen gun salute, princely state ruled by the Bhosale Chhatrapati (Bhosale royal clan) of the Maratha Empire.


Mahalakshmi, Hindu goddess

Mythological origin[edit]

Hindu mythology holds that Kolhapura was founded by Kolhasura, a Rakshasha (a demon spirit). Kolhasura was killed by Lakshmi ( or Mahalakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity). Kolhasura's dying wish was to have the city named after him and this wish was granted.

Scriptural records[edit]

Kolhapur is mentioned in the Devi Gita, the final and key chapter of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana, a special text of Shaktism. Kolhapur is noted as a place of Kollamma worship. In the text, Devi says,

"O King of Mountains! Still I am now telling something out of My affection to My Bhaktas. Hear. There is a great place of pilgrimage named Kollapura in the southern country. Here the Devi Laksmi always dwells." [1]

Mediaeval era[edit]

From 940 to 1212 CE, Kolhapur was the centre of power of the Shilahara dynasty.[2] An inscription at Teradal states that the king Gonka (1020 - 1050 CE) was bitten by a snake then healed by a Jain monk. Gonka then built a temple to Lord Neminath, the twenty-third Jain tirthankara (enlightened being). Jain temples in and around Kolhapur, from this era, are called Gonka-Jinalya, after the king.

Around 1055 CE, during the reign of Bhoja I, (Shilahara dynasty), a dynamic Acharya (spiritual guide) named Maghanandi (Kolapuriya), founded a religious institute at the Rupanarayana Jain temple (basadi). Maghanandi is also known as Siddhanta-chakravarti, that is, the great master of the scriptures. Kings and nobles of the Shilahara dynasty such as Gandaraditya I who succeeded Bhoja I, were disciples of Maghanandi.

Kolhapur was the site of intense confrontation between rulers of the western Chalukya dynasty and the Chola kings, Rajadhiraja Chola and his younger brother Rajendra Chola II. In 1052 CE, following the Battle of Koppam, the victor, Rajendra Chola II, marched on to Kolhapur and there he erected a jayastambha (victory pillar).[3]

Between 1109 and 1178 CE, the Kopeshwar temple to Lord Shiva was built by the Shilahara kings, Gandaraditya Chola, Vijayaditya and Bhoja II in Kolhapur.[citation needed]


The Panchganga river at Kolhapur

Kolhapur is an inland city located in south-west Maharashtra state, 228 km south of Pune, 615 km north-west of Bangalore and 530 km west of Hyderabad. Within Maharashtra, Kolhapur's nearest cities and towns are Ichalkaranji (20 km), Kagal (17 km), Sangli (45 km), Satara (115 km), and Miraj (50 km). Kolhapur has an elevation of 569 metres (1867 ft). It lies in the Sahayadri mountains in the Western Ghats. [4]


Kolhapur's climate is a blend of coastal and inland elements common to Maharashtra. The temperature has a relatively narrow range between 10 °C to 35 °C. Summer in Kolhapur is comparatively cooler, but much more humid, than neighbouring inland cities. Maximum temperatures rarely exceed 38 °C and typically range between 33 and 35 °C. Lows during this season are around 24 °C to 26 °C.

The city receives abundant rainfall from June to September due to its proximity to the Western Ghats. The heavy rains often lead to severe flooding during these months. 2005 and 2006 were years when floods occured. Temperatures are low in the rainy season and range between 19 °C and 30 °C.

Kolhapur experiences winter from November to February. The winter temperatures are warmer than other cities in Maharashtra such as Pune and Nasik. Lows range from 9 °C to 16 °C while highs are in the range of 26 °C to 32 °C due to its high elevation and being adjacent to the Western Ghats. Humidity is low in this season making the weather much more pleasant.

Climate data for Kolhapur
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31
Average low °C (°F) 15
Precipitation mm (inches) 4.3
Source: Government of Maharashtra


The soil in Kolhapur is red and black and the rock is basalt.


The Panchaganga river originates in the Western Ghats. It has five tributaries which supply the city and surrounds: the Bhogavati, Tulsi, Kumbhi, Kasari and the Dhamani rivers. The Panchaganga is polluted with untreated domestic sewerage; industrial effluent; biomedical sewerage; agricultural chemical runoff; crematorium ash; and, religious offerings. Kolhapur has a number of lakes. The Rankala lake was once a stone quarry. The Kalamba lake was built in 1873. These two lakes provide the city with domestic potable water.

Rankala lake panorama


In 2001, the census of Kolhapur city recorded a population of 549,293 (274,465 were female and 287,376 were male). Kolhapur's average literacy rate was 92.17% (higher than the national average of 59.5%). 87.84% of women and 96.35% of males were literate. The population density of Kolhapur was 8,400 per km2.


Distribution of religions in Kolhapur
Religion Percent
Others †
Includes Sikhs (0.2%), Others (<0.1%).


Kolhapur Municipal Corporation

Kolhapur is governed by the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC). The city is divided into five wards, named with the letters A to E. The corporation provides services such as sewrage treatment and free cremation for residents and has made a number of improvements, for example, the Kolhapur Road Project [5] ; the Anti-Encroachment Drive to stop unwanted building activity encroaching on the city's open space. [6] ; and, the Suvarna Jayanti Nagarotthan Project for improvement of roads and storm water management.[7]


Kolhapuri chappal

Kolhapur is a market centre for primary industry in the region, for example, there is the trading of jaggery from sugarcane.

The city has a textile manufacturing sector, particularly known for the Kolhapuri chappal, a hand-crafted buffalo leather slipper that is locally tanned using vegetable dyes. Kolhapuri slippers are sold in Mahadwar road.[8][9][10] Other handicrafts include: hand block printing of textiles; silver, bead and paste jewellery crafting; pottery; wood carving and lacquerware; brass sheet work and oxidised silver artwork;and lace and embroidery making.[11]

Kolhapur is also an industrial city with approximately 300 foundries producing exports with a value of 15 billion rupees per year.[12]

Tourism is another source of revenue with about three million visitors to the city per year. [13] Kolhapur's attractions include: an 85 feet (26 m) idol of the Lord Ganesh at the Chinmaya mission (top-Sambhapur); the Tara Rani equestrian statue which stands on two of the horse's legs; and a bronze statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar at Bindu chowk, inaugurated on 7 December 1950. At the annual Dusshera procession, the Kolhapur Maybach car of the chhatrapatis of Kolhapur is displayed to the public.

In 1929, the Maharashtra Film Company was established in Kolhapur by Baburao Painter. The city has become the primary centre for the Marathi film industry. Kolhapur plays host to many film festivals, including the Kolhapur International Film Festival. In 2012, the chief minister of Maharashtra announced a new film city at Kolhapur.[14]


Most residents of Kolhapur are Hindu and this is reflected in the festivals celebrated. The main festivals include: the Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Vijaya Dashami, Navaratri and Holi (Festival of Colours) celebrations.

Some residents enjoy the fun of making and breaking world records. For example, in 2012, in Tapovan suburb, 575 children broke the world record for the number of people dressing as Mahatma Gandhi and Ramdas Namdeo Aswale, a barber from Prayag Chikali, entered the Limca Book of Records for performing 460 haircuts in 27 hours, with two breaks of 10 minutes each.

Media and telecommunication[edit]

Kolhapur's main newspaper is the Pudhari. Other Marathi language newspapers include: Sakaal, Maharashtra Times (Kolhapur edition), Loksatta, Lokmat, Kesari, Saamna , Tarun Bharat, and Punyanagari. The English language dailies include: The Times of India (Kolhapur edition), The Indian Express, Business Standard and The Economic Times. The Hindi language daily is the Lokmat Times.

Kolhapur's FM radio services include: Tomato FM 94.3 MHz, Radio Mirchi (98.3 MHz) and All India Radio FM (102.7 MHz).


A number of sports are played in Kolhapur. The Kolhapur Sports Association (KSA) and the Kolhapur United Football Association (KUFA) organise local, national and international football matches.[15] On 17 January 2013, the Indian women's football team hosted a training camp and played a demonstration game against representatives from the Netherlands in Kolhapur.[16] There is also a tradition of wrestling in Kolhapur.[17][18][19] Shahu Stadium has hosted numerous of I legue fixtures for Mumbai based football clubs. KSA organise the local football league in 5 divisions. Many of top flight clubs of city has huge fan following. These clubs are Patakadil, Khandoba, Dilbahar, Shivaji, BalGopal, etc. Dilbahar-Patakadil is the considered as Kolhapur classic football Derby. In 2010, Dilbahar-PTM match was block buster as about 33000 people was in stadia for Mahasangram Final between Arch-rivals. Khasbaug Stadium is the largest wrestling stadium in India with 20,000 capacity.[citation needed]


Kolhapur cuisine is noted for special mutton dishes.[20] The city lends its name to food products such as Kolhapuri Lavangi (chili peppers or Mirchi), Kolhapuri jaggery (cane juice concentrate), and Kolhapuri masala (spice mixture).

  • Tambada rassa: red curry using powdered red chillies
  • Pandhara rassa: white curry, a soup like dish made from mutton stock, spices such as cinnamon, coriander, ginger and garlic, and coconut milk. It is used as a starter and also has medicinal uses for cough and throat ailments.
  • Sukaa mutton: dried meat
  • Kolhapuri misal: a snack
  • Matnache Lonche: mutton pickle
  • Kolhapuri taat (thali): Roast mutton (ghaati) with bhakri or chapati (round unleavened flat breads), Masale Bhaat (Masala Rice), Tambada & Pandhara Rassa, Lemon and Sliced onion mixed with Dahi (Curd).
  • Mutton rakti: goat blood with flat bread.



Kolhapur railway station

The Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus links Kolhapur to India's major cities with express services. A daily shuttle service connects Kolhapur with the main rail hub of Miraj on the Central Railway main line for connection with long distance fast train services.


Shivaji University Road

Kolhapur is located on National Highway 4. It is a gateway to Chennai, Konkan and Goa. National Highway 204 links Kolhapur to Ratnagiri, India's west coast, Sangli and Solapur to the east and Nagpur beyond.


Kolhapur has three state transport bus stands: Central Bus Stand (CBS), Rankala Bus Stand and Sambhajinagar Bus Stand. Kolhapur Municipal Transport (KMT) provides a local bus service. Auto Rikshaw is also available for local transport.


Kolhapur's domestic airport is located 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) south east of the city at Ujalaiwadi. In August 2013, the Airport Authority of India took control of the airport.


Kolhapur has educational institutions for engineering, medicine, and agriculture. There are international schools and a pre-IAS training centre.


  • Chatrapati Shahu College
  • Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (Rahuri) College.[21]

Engineering and Technology[edit]

  • D. Y. Patil college of Engineering and Technology, Kolhapur
  • KIT College of Engineering
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth College
  • Vivekanand College - Dr. Bapuji Salunkhe's Institue
  • Sanjay Ghodawat College
  • Genesis Institute
  • Sanjeevan Institute
  • D. K. T. E. Society Institute of Textiles and Engineering
  • Ashokrao Mane Institute
  • T. K. I. E. T. College (Warana group)
  • Bhima Institute (Dhananjay Mahadik group)
  • Dr. J. J. Magdum College, Jaysingpur
  • Sharad Institute
  • Shahaji Raje College


  • Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Government Medical College
  • D. Y. Patil Medical College
  • Tatyasaheb Kore Dental College and Research Centre
  • Mary Wanless Hospital and Homeopathy Medical College
  • Venutai Yashwantrao Chavan Homoeopathic Medical College

Pharmacy colleges[edit]

  • Rajarshi Shahu Chhatrapati Institute
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Pharmacy
  • Dr. J. J. Magdum Pharmacy College
  • Tatyasaheb Kore College of Pharmacy
  • K. D. C. C. Institute of Pharmacy


  • Shahaji Law College
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth New Law College

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

"The Imperial Gazetteer of India." Oxford at Clarendon Press, 1909 Volume 15. p380 - 387. Accessed at Digital South Asia Library at University of Chicago, Illinois, 7 April 2014.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Chatterji H. P. "Devi Gita, the vow and the sacred places of the Devi." The Devi Gita (Song of the Goddess), excerpt from Srimad Devi Bhagawatam, translated by Vijnanananda (Hari Prasanna Chatterji), 1921, chapter 38 verse 3 - 10. "O King of Mountains! Still I am now telling something out of My affection to My Bhaktas. Hear. There is a great place of pilgrimage named Kolhapura in the southern country. Here the Devi Laksmi always dwells. The second place is Mahur, Maharashtra|Matripura in the Sahyadri mountain; here the Devi Renuka dwells."
  2. ^ Bhavan B. V. "Temples and legends of Maharashtra." 1962 volume 97.
  3. ^ Sastri K. A. N. "The CōĻas." 1935 p256 - 257 (University of Madras, 2000).
  4. ^ "Kolhapur" Google Maps.
  5. ^ "Kolhapur Road Project." Government of India website. Accessed 9 June 2012.
  6. ^ Deshmuk N. "Jaggery traders protest against APMC's anti-encroachment drive." The Times of India website 30 December 2013. Accessed 7 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Kolhapur Nagarothan Abhiya." Kolhapur Municipal Corporation website. Accessed 9 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Kolhapuri chappal to set foot in new markets." Indian Express website 13 June 2000. Accessed 21 October 2013
  9. ^ "Kolhapuri chappals come easy on the pocket now." IBN Live website 17 July 2007. Accessed 21 October 2013.
  10. ^ Government unveils new trade policy. Indian Express, 5 June 2012.
  11. ^ "Maharashtra development report." Government of India Planning Commission report. Academic Foundation, 2007 ISBN 8171885403, 9788171885404 Accessed 8 April 2014.
  12. ^ "MIDC to acquire 1,000 acres for Kagal park." Business Standard, 20 December 2006.
  13. ^ "Kolhapur Municipal Corporation draft." Urban India government website, PDF document p10.
  14. ^ "New film city coming up in Kolhapur, says Chief Minister of Maharshtra." Yahoo (Indoasian news service) website. 14 March 2012.
  15. ^ "KUFA" KUFA website. Accessed 8 April 2014.
  16. ^ "Indian women to play exhibition games against Netherlands." Press Trust of India. 16 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Wrestling with tradition." Howzit MSN website. Accessed 8 April 2014.
  18. ^ "Ancient sport of mud wrestling survives in India." Ami Vitale Photography at Photo Shelter website. Accessed 8 April 2014.
  19. ^ "Hanuman's Army: Kushti Wrestlers." Reportage at Getty Images website 2013 Accessed 8 April 2014.
  20. ^ Karafin A. and Mahapatra A. "South India." Lonely Planet 2009 ISBN 1741791553, 9781741791556 p183. Accessed at Google Books 7 April 2014.
  21. ^ "Agricollege Kolhapur" M. P. K. V. College website. Accessed 21 October 2013.