Panhala fort Maharashtra is a great place to visit near Kolhapur city. Along with the Panhala hill station, many tourists give a visit to this historical monument of Maharashtra. It is popular for the Battle of Pavan Khind!
Best Time To Visit: Panhala offers peaceful & ambient atmosphere all year round so you can visit Panhala fort Maharashtra throughout the year. The temperature of this region varies between 25°C to 32°C. The surrounding region of fort exhibits spectacular lush green views in the monsoon season and temperature remains pleasant even in the summer months.
Location: Panhala, 25 km from Kolhapur, Maharashtra (India) – 416 201.
Timings: There is no particular time slot to visit this fort. You can visit here anytime in a daylight!
Height: 754 meters (2474 feet)
Panhala fort Maharashtra Information
The fortress of Panhala is probably the best-developed fort in Maharashtra. The construction of this fort was very impressive. So many parts of this fort are still in nice conditions. It is also called as Panhalgad, Panalla or Pahalla Fort. The fort is 25 km away from the Kolhapur city and lies 300-400 feet above its base village. This fort was built at a diplomatic position spreading over a very large area.
The location of the fort allowed keeping an eye on trade routes in Sahyadri Mountain Range. Panhala fort Maharashtra was important to look over the main trade route of Bijapur connecting to coastal Maharashtra region. The meaning of Panhala is – “Home of Reptiles (Serpents)”. Along with the fort, Panhala has also developed as one of the popular hill stations in Maharashtra.
This fort is an eye-witnessed of many battles in the Deccan region of Maharashtra which included Maratha army, Mughals and East India Company (British). It is one of the best hill forts in Maharashtra. This fort was built by a king of Shilahara – Raja Bhoj II between 1178 and 1209. Since then this fort had withstood many battles and was ruled by many dynasties. In spite of having many battles, this fort has undergone less destruction because of nice care taken by kings.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj conquered Panhala fort Maharashtra in 1659 after beating the general of Bijapur – Afzal Khan. The battle of Pavankhind was the most famous battle of this fort which included Shivaji Maharaj. Tanaji Malusare fought very bravely in the battle of Pavankhind to protect Shivaji Maharaj. Panhala is also a birthplace of legendary Maharashtrian poet – Moropant. M G Gulawani, the well-known historian has written a book on Panhala along with the map which is easily available at ST stand on the fort. It is a good book for tourists which gives the idea about the geography & history of Panhala fort Maharashtra.
Places To See
There are many places to see on Panhala fort Maharashtra. Few of them are listed below:
- Fort Wall (Fortifications): There is a 7 km long triangular fortification wall around the fort. Half of the fort is protected by this strong fortification wall and another half is protected by natural scarp
- Fort Gates: Wagh Darwaza, Char Darwaja, and Teen Darwaza were the gates to exit & enter the fort.
- Tanaji Malusare Statue: There is a statue of great Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare at the entrance of Panhala fort Maharashtra.
- Tombs: Two major tombs of Jijabai and Sambhaji II are there on the fort top.
- Andhar Bavadi: Bavdi means water well. This well served as a main source of water for the fort. This well has a 3 level construction with various winding staircases that covers the entire perimeter of the well.
- Dharma Kothi: A stone masonary building of (916.76×14.63×10.67) meters in dimension.
- Temples: There are temples of Mahalaxmi, Ambabai, Mahakali, Someshwar and Sambhaji II on this fort.
- Ambarkhana: It is the storehouse for threshed grain which is located at the centre of the Panhala fort Maharashtra. Total 3-grain storehouses are there in the Bijapuri architectural style.
- Rajdindi Bastion: This bastion was for an emergency exit. Shivaji Maharaj escaped from this bastion during the battle of Pavan Khind to marched towards Vishalgad Fort.
There is small park known as Nehru Park in the centre of the fort. Palace of Tararani, it was formerly a palace but today it is occupied by municipality offices, School and Hostel. Other places like Sajjakothi, Tabak Baug, Pusati buruj, Andharbav, Kali buruj and Parashar cave are also worth a visit. Some other places of interest on the fort are Someshwar lake, Sadoba Dargah, Rede Mahal & Kalavantinicha Sajja.
Panhala is among the massive forts in a Deccan region of Maharashtra. It exhibits a good example of ancient Bijapuri style of architecture. The fort lies at a huge height of 845 m above MSL. You can see peacock design of Bahmani dynasty on various fort structures. There are also few underground tunnels in this fort and some of them are still in good condition. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is protecting some of the historical monuments of this fort.
Trekking at Panhala Fort Maharashtra
Trekking is a famous adventure activity at this fort. As the fort lies on a high mountain, you can get great panoramic views of the surrounding region while trekking on this fort. It is one of the great trekking destinations in Maharashtra. Overlooking the majestic Sahyadri Mountain Range gives you a memorable experience. Panhala region wears a lush green blanket in the monsoon season which adds more visual beauty.
ESSENTIAL TOURIST INFORMATION
Time Required: 2 days are enough to see this fort & hill station properly. However, one day is sufficient to do the trekking.
How To Reach
There is daily regular ST bus service from Kolhapur to the Panhala fort Maharashtra bus terminal at the top. Kolhapur has good connectivity to important cities in Maharashtra via road, railway and airport.
- By Road: Kolhapur city is on the National Highway-4. ST and private travel buses regularly ply to Kolhapur from Pune, Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad, Belgaum, Bangalore and Hubli.
- By Railway: Kolhapur Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj railway station is the closest railhead to reach the fort. This railway station has good connectivity to various cities like Mumbai, Pune & Satara. Then you can catch private vehicle till the fort. Miraj station (55 km) is another option to reach Kolhapur.
- By Airport: Kolhapur has its own airport (35 km away) but very less number of flights fly to & from this airport. So alternatively, you can reach here from Pune airport (240 km).
Ticket Charges: Entry inside the fort is free to everyone.
Eating Stuff: Few hotels and eateries are there at the Panhala fort to have food. Local vendors sell food items like roasted corn, Kanda bhaji, peanuts, & lemon juice. Hotels serve spicy local cuisines like Tambda Rassa, Pandhara Rassa, Kadhi, Sukka Mutton etc.
There are few good hotels for accommodation purpose at the top of Panhala fort Maharashtra. Other hotels like the Hilltop Hotel, Hotel Valley View, Mahalaxmi & The Meghdoot are good options to stay on the top. MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) also has its own hotel at the fort. To check the availability & do bookings of MTDC room visit this link. Otherwise, you can stay in Kolhapur.
Map To Reach:
Panhala fort Maharashtra is a good family gateway near Kolhapur city. It gives a great feeling to be at the place where one of the great battles of Maratha empire were fought!