Vasantgad Fort

Name:Vasantgad

Type:Hill Fort

District:Satara

Base Village: 1. Talbid 2. Vasantgad

Near By Forts:Gunvantgad, Dategad

About:

The base village of Vasantgad is “Talbeed”, (Karad) this is place remembered for Hambirrao Mohite, Shivaji Maharaj’s second Commander-in-chief. This is also the place of Queen Tarabai. We can also see the memorial of Hambirrao Mohite in Talbeed. The route to the fort starts from outskirts of the village. The fort entrance has been destroyed. We can see a Ganesh idol carved in the ramparts. If we turn right after ascending the steps, we reach a big temple. This is the temple of Chandrasen, the son of Shoorpanakha, Ravana’s sister. There are remnants of two more temples.The mountain top is extensive, and is well fortified by strong bastions. We find a doorway in the bastion on the south side of the fort. This entrance is of “Gomukhi” type, and the carvings here are still intact. The ramparts are also intact. There is a big grinding wheel on the fort. It takes around one and half hour to see the fort. From the top we get a good glimpse of Koyna River.The fort is easy to climb. I did not climb from Talbeed village. I took following route, Pune – Satara – Karad – Take left towards Karad Airport – Vasantgad. It takes less than 45mins to climb the fort and one hour to see the entire fort.Vasantgad was built by Shilahar King Bhoj. Shivaji Maharaj conquered it on 1659. Later, Rajaram Maharaj stayed for some time on this fort when he returned from Jinji. Aurangzeb captured this fort in 1700 and named it “Kili-da-Fateh”. The Marathas got the fort back in 1706.

Place to Visit:

Sadashivgad snapshot

Devi Krishnamai Temple

Devi Koynamai Temple

Sadashivgad snapshot

Sadashivgad is another famous hill in Karad and is known for the Sadashivgad Fort situated on it. This fort was constructed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and is visited by a large number of tourists. Visitors can also explore a Shiva temple, which is very crowded on the last Monday of Shravan. A fair is also organised in the month of Shravan every year which draws in a lot of devotees.

Devi Krishnamai Temple

The Devi Krishnamai Temple is one of the popular attractions of Karad and is situated on the banks of River Krishna. This temple is one of the largest temples of this destination and has a mandap, hall, gabhara and the beautiful statue of goddess Krishnamai.

Devi Koynamai Temple

The Devi Koynamai Temple is a well known temple located besides the Koyna River and is popular among the devotees and tourists alike.

Tourist Places Near By Vasantgad, Satara

Mandwa    

Satara    

Panhala    

Kolhapur    

Panchgani    

HOW TO REACH Vasantgad

By Rail

Shirravde Rail Way Station, Masur Rail Way Station are the very nearby railway stations to Vasantgad. Shirravde Rail Way Station (near to Karad), Rahimatpur Rail Way Station (near to Rahimatpur), Masur Rail Way Station (near to Karad) are the Rail way stations reachable from nearby towns. However            Sangli Rail Way Station is major railway station 82 KM near to Vasantgad

By Road

Karad, Rahimatpur are the nearby by towns to Vasantgad having road connectivity to Vasantgad

 Best time to Visit

October, November and December are the best months to visit vasantgad fort

Photos:

Mandwa Beach

Satara City

Panhala Fort

Kolhapur    

Panchgani   

Vishalgad Fort 

Type:

Region: Kolhapur

Grade:

Height:  728 meter 

Base Village: Gajapur

About:

Vishalgad (also called Khelna or Khilna) was one of the important forts of Shivaji and Maratha Empire. The name ‘Vishalgad’ meaning grand fort in Marathi, was given by Shivaji after annexing it for the Maratha Empire in 1659.The fort is about 1130 metres that is 3630 feet. Khelna was in the control of Adilshah of Bijapur. Shivaji wanted to conquer the fort but the terrain of the fort was difficult; conquering the fort was easier said than done. Shivaji attacked the fort but the Adilshahi garrison at the fort was defending the fort valiantly. Then, Shivaji came up with a plan. Accordingly, a group of Marathas went up to the fort and convinced the Adilshahi commander (killedar) of the fort that they were not content with the rule of Shivaji and thus, had come to serve the Adilshah. The Marathas were successful and the next day, they revolted and caused total chaos inside the fort. Simultaneously, Shivaji attacked the fort from outside and in no time captured the fort. Shivaji renamed the fort as Vishalgad.

Location

The fort is situated in Maharashtra, India. It is 76 km North-West of Kolhapur, 60 km north-west of Panhala fort and 18 kilometers south of Kolhapur Ratnagiri road. It is situated on the hills that divide the region into two parts viz Amba Ghat and Anaskura ghat. Since it is placed on the border of the hilly portion of Sahyadri ranges and the konkan region, it got great political significance in the historical times. It was regarded as a 'Watch tower' for both regions.

Sightseeing

The fort has following sites nearly in ruins today except the Dargah.

Amruteshwar Temple

Shri Nrusinha Temple

Takmak Tok

Sati’s Vrindavan

The Dargah or tomb of Hazrat Malik Raihan. Thousands of Devotees visit the Dargah every year.

Samadhis built in the memory of Baji Prabhu Deshpande and Phulaji Prabhu Deshpande, who laid down their lives to protect Chhatrapati Shivaji from the clutches of Siddhi Johar while escaping from fort Panhala to Vishalgad.

Amruteshwar Temple

Amruteshwar Temple is located at the start of the Ratanwadi village in the Igatpuri region. It is considered to be over 1,200 year old temple which features Lord Shiva as the main deity. This temple comes under Ahmednagar District and is surrounded by varied mountain ranges. Ratangad Fort is also located at a close distance from this old Lord Shiva Temple. The Amruteshwar Temple has been constructed in Hemadpanthi architectural style with beautiful rock carvings on the main shrine. Travelling by road to this temple is very difficult due to rough roads on the hills. Tourists can avail boats from Arthur Lake to visit this temple, which is situated approximately 8 km away from this lake.

Shri Nrusinha Temple

The Shri Narasimha Saraswati Swami Dattadeva temple is situated at Narsimhawadi, Kolhapur in Maharashtra. Shri Narsimha Saraswati worked for the upliftment of the poor going about from place to place. Wherever he left his padukas holy sandals behind, those areas became places of worship for the devotees. Narsinhawadi is one of these blessed lands. It is said that Shri Dattadeva himself reigns over this land to help alleviate all kinds of suffering, especially including possesion by spirits, and worldly troubles of his devotees. Thus it is considered to be a jagrut land, a land that is blessed with his presence even today.

Takmak Tok 

Culprits or criminals were sentenced to death and thrown away from this point. Also this point had strategic importance during Shivaji Maharaj's rule. On a clear day, Shivaji's twelve forts are visible to the naked eye from this point.

Sati’s Vrindavan 

Shri Chintamani is a family of God of Shreemant Madhavrao Peshwa. His palace was near the temple and now it is converted into garden. Madhavrao Peshwe had stayed in this palace in his last sickness. He renovated the temple and performed various religious programmes in the temple. By chanting Gajanan, Gajanan he bestowed his life on the foot of the Chintamani. Ramabai, wife of Madhavrao Peshwe became Sati (she burnt herself with the corpse of her husband). On that place, that is, on the bank of Mula-Mutha river Sati's Vrindavan is built. That day was 18-11-1772, Kartik Vadya Ashtami. On this day Rama-Madhav death anniversary is celebrated every year.

How to reach:

State transport buses regularly ply from Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Belgaum. Private cabs can be hired from Kolhapur.The nearest railway station is Kolhapur. Vishalgad fort is about 80 km from Kolhapur. 

Where to eat:

There are food stalls and small eateries at the fort, but it is recommended to carry your own food and water.

Where to stay:

There is a Sanatorium on top of the fort, but ideally stay at a hotel in Kolhapur city which has numerous lodges and hotels.

Nearby attractions:

Pavankhind.

Jyotiba temple.

Narsobachi Wadi.

Gokak falls.

Barkhi waterfalls.

Vishalgad forest sightseeing.

Best time to visit: All around the year.

Andaman Island Awesome Adventure 744103 South

Location: Bay of Bengal
Coordinates: 12°30′N 92°45′E Coordinates: 12°30′N 92°45′E
Total islands: 572
Major islands: North Andaman Island, Little Andaman, Middle Andaman Island, South Andaman Island
Area:  6,408 sq. km
Highest point: 732 m (2,402 ft)
Highest point: Saddle Peak
National animal: Dugong

*** sourced from the internet – not verified.

The itinerary was fixed, but the adventure was awaited. Andaman here we come. The day began early our GoAir flight was on schedule 04:45 am from Mumbai (BOM) via Chennai to Port Blair. Except five passengers (including us) remain seated in the plane. Rest all the passengers alighted at Chennai. And guess what the plane was full again with a new group of passengers. Hmmm lots of people I must say. Seemed to be like the 07:40 local train in Mumbai all seats occupied. Fourth seat ka option not available? The cabin crew remain the same - grumpy face non-smiling. However, the GoAir crew put the biggest smile on exit - Welcome to Andamans.

Panhala Fort

Type: Hill Fort

Height: 2772ft

Grade: Easy

Region: Kolhapur

About

Panhala fort also known as Panhalgad, Pahalla and Panalla literally "the home of serpents" is located in Panhala, 20 kilometres northwest of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, India. It is strategically located looking over a pass in the Sahyadri mountain range which was a major trade route from Bijapur in the interior of Maharashtra to the coastal areas. Due to its strategic location, it was the centre of several skirmishes in the Deccan involving the Marathas, the Mughals and the British East India Company, the most notable being the Battle of Pavan Khind. Here, the queen regent of Kolhapur State, Tarabai, spent her formative years. Several parts of the fort and the structures within are still intact. Panhala fort was built between 1178 and 1209 CE, one of 15 forts (others including Bavda, Bhudargad, Satara, and Vishalgad) built by the Shilahara ruler Bhoja II. A copper plate found in Satara shows that Raja Bhoja held court at Panhala from 1191–1192 CE. About 1209–10, Bhoja Raja was defeated by Singhana (1209–1247), the most powerful of the Devgiri Yadavas, and the fort subsequently passed into the hands of the Yadavas. Apparently it was not well looked after and it passed through several local chiefs. In 1376 inscriptions record the settlement of Nabhapur to the south-east of the fort.

Map

Place to Visit

Under Shivaji Maharaj

Statue of Baji Prabhu Deshpande at Panhala

Statue of Shiva Kashid at Panhala fort

In 1659, after the death of the Bijapur general Afzul Khan, in the ensuing confusion Shivaji Maharaj took Panhala from Bijapur. In May 1660, to win back the fort from Shivaji, Adil Shah II (1656–1672) of Bijapur sent his army under the command of Siddi Johar to lay siege to Panhala. Shivaji Maharaj fought back and they could not take the fort. The siege continued for 5 months, at the end of which all provisions in the fort were exhausted and Shivaji Maharaj was on the verge of being captured.Sambhaji, Shivaji's son and successor to the throne; fell out of favor with his father. Shivaji imprisoned Sambhaji in Panhala fort. He escaped from here along with his wife on 13 December 1678 and attacked Bhupalgad. He returned to Panhala, however, on 4 December 1679 to reconcile with his father just before his father's death on 4 April 1680. At the height of Shivaji's power in 1678, Panhala housed 15,000 horses and 20,000 soldiers also the main darwaza was chaar darwaza

Under the Kolhapur kings

Konkan Darwaja - Another entrance to the fort

When Shivaji died, Sambhaji was able to convince the garrison at Panhala to join him in overthrowing his stepbrother Rajaram, thus becoming the Chhatrapati(king) of the Maratha Empire. In 1689, when Sambhaji was imprisoned by Aurangzeb's general Takrib Khan at Sangameshwar, the Mughals came to possess the fort. However, it was re-captured in 1692 by Kashi Ranganath Sarpotdar under the guidance of Parshuram Pant Pratinidhi a Maratha garrison commander of the fort of Vishalgad. In 1701 Panhala finally surrendered to Aurangzeb, who came for it in person. On 28 April 1692 the Mughal Emperor famously received the English ambassador Sir William Norris at Panhala fort. Norris spent "300 pounds in fruitless negotiation" with Aurangzeb but the detail of what was being discussed was not disclosed. Within a few months the fort was retaken by the Maratha forces under Ramchandra Pant Amatya.In 1782, the seat of the Kolhapur government was moved from Panhala to Kolhapur. In 1827, under Shahoji I (1821–1837), Panhala and its neighboring fort Pavangad were given over to the British Raj. In 1844, during the minority of Shivaji IV (1837–1860), Panhala and Pavangad were taken by rebels who seized Colonel Ovans, the Resident of Satara, when he was on tour and imprisoned him in Panhala. A British force under General Delamotte was sent against the rebels and on 1 December 1844 breached the fort wall, took it by storm, and dismantled the fortifications. Thereafter, a British garrison was always left to guard the fort. The administration of the fort remained with Kolhapur until 1947.

Andhar Bavadi

Whenever an army besieged a fort, their first action was to poison the main water source of the fort. To counter this, Adil Shah commissioned the building of the Andhar Bavadi (Hidden Well). This is a three-storey structure with winding staircases that conceal the well which was the main water source for Panhala fort. There are recesses in the wall so that soldiers can be permanently stationed. Several hidden escape routes in the Andhar Bavai lead outside the fort. With its own water source, living quarters and its own exit routes, likely this structure was designed like a fort within a fort with the intention of making it an emergency shelter in case the main fort fell.

Whenever an army besieged a fort, their first action was to poison the main water source of the fort. To counter this, Adil Shah commissioned the building of the Andhar Bavadi (Hidden Well). This is a three-storey structure with winding staircases that conceal the well which was the main water source for Panhala fort. There are recesses in the wall so that soldiers can be permanently stationed. Several hidden escape routes in the Andhar Bavai lead outside the fort. With its own water source, living quarters and its own exit routes, likely this structure was designed like a fort within a fort with the intention of making it an emergency shelter in case the main fort fell.

Kalavanticha Mahal

Kalvanticha Mahal (The courtesan's palace)

The name of this building, which is also called Nayakini Sajja, literally means "Courtesans' Terrace room". It stands on the east side of the fort close to the rampart. By 1886, it had become a complete wreck with only traces of ornamental work on the ceiling. This was used during the occupation of the fort by the Bahmani Sultanate as a Rang Mahal (residences for the ladies of the court

Ambarkhana

The Amberkhana, situated in the center of the fort, were three granaries built in the Bijapuri style of architecture. They enabled Shivaji to withstand a 5-month siege by Siddhi Johar. It consists of three buildings called the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati Kothis. The Ganga kothi, which was the largest, had a capacity of 25,000 khandis (with one khandi being 650 lbs). It covers an area of 950 sq m and is 10.5 m high. Rice, nachni and warai were the major provisions stored. Stairs on both sides lead the top of the buildings. It has sixteen bays each with its own flat vault with a hole on top through which grain used to be passed. The eastern entrance has a domed chamber with a balconey and plasterwork of the Bijapuri style.

Dharma Kothi

This was an additional granary next to the three granaries that constituted the Amberkhana. It was a stone building 55 feet by 48 feet by 35 feet high. This has an entrance and a staircase that leads to the terrace. Grain was distributed from here to the needy.

Sajja Kothi

Sajja Kothi is a one-storey structure built by Ibrahim Adil Shah in 1500 CE.It is also built in the Bijapuri style. Sajja Kothi was constructed as a viewing pavilion looking over the valley below. The domed upper chambers have faceted pendentives with the balconies hanging over the ramparts of the fort. This is where Shivaji imprisoned his son, Sambhaji, when he threatened to defect to Aurangzeb.

Teen Darwaza

The Teen Darwaza was one of the three double gateways of the fort - the others being the Char Darwaja and Wagh Darwaja. The Char Darwaza was destroyed when during the British siege. The Teen Darwaja gate which is the main entrance to the fort is located north of the Andhar Bavai on the West side of the fort. It is a double gate with a court in between that has arcades. The outer gate has an ornate chamber on top with decorated eaves. The inner gate from the court is highly decorated with the lintel having finely carved motifs, including one of Ganesh. The latter has been placed by the Marathas during their occupation of the fort. There are three Persian inscriptions—one on top and one each on either side. All three declare that the gate "was built in the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah I by Malik Daud Aki son of Minister Ahmed" in 954 AH (1534 CE).

Wagh Darwaza

This was another entrance to the fort. It was designed to elude invaders such that they would get trapped into a small courtyard and could then be easily neutralized. It has an elaborate Ganesh motif at the entrance.

Rajdindi bastion

The Rajdindi bastion was one of the hidden exits of the fort to be used in times of an emergency. It was used by Shivaji to escape to Vishalgad during the Battle of Pavan Khind. Rajdindi is still intact.

Sambhaji temple, Panhala fort

There are temples devoted to Sambhaji II, Someshwar and Ambabai in addition to the Mahakali temple. The Ambabai temple is very old and it was here that Shivaji would make offerings before embarking on major expeditions. The mausoleum of Jijabai lies opposite to that of her husband, Sambhaji II. Ramchandra Pant Amatya (who wrote Adnyapatra, a treatise on Maratha policy) was the youngest minister in Shivaji's fort. He died at Panhala fort and a mausoleum was erected here for him and his wife. The mausoleums were covered with rubble till 1941 and till 1999 had not undergone any restoration work. Also a mausoleum to Moropant an 18th-century Marathi poet who wrote poetry in the adjacent Parashar caves can be seen. A shrine to a Muslim saint Sadhoba is also present.  

Mahalaxmi Temple

The Mahalakshmi Temple is one of the six abodes of Shakti (strength). It is believed that one can attain fulfillment of all desires or attain salvation here. The temple is about 5 km from the city centre.

Opening hours of Mahalaxmi Temple:

Open all days 04:00 am to 11:00 pm

Rankala Lake

Rankala Lake is a nice picturesque lake in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. It is great place to picnic or unwind. It is about 8 km from the railway station and is a famous weekend getaway from Kolhapur.

Shree Chhatrapati Shahu Museum

Shree Chhatrapati Shahu Museum aka New Palace Museum is a historic building constructed during 1877-1884. The structure is made from black, polished stone and is certainly an architectural masterpiece. The ground floor of the New Palace accommodates the Shahaji Chhatrapati Musuem. The museum exhibits a fine collection of possessions of Chhatrapaties of Kolhapur like costumes, weapons, games, jewellery, embroidery and paraphernalia such as silver elephant saddles. One of Aurangzeb’s swords too is at the museum. One section also has stuffed animals like tigers, wild dogs, lion, Black Panther, wild boar, black buck and much more.

Opening hours of Shree Chhatrapati Shahu Museum:

January to December: Open all days except Monday 09:30 am to 06:00 pm

Thing to do

Trekking in Panhala Fort

Trekking in Panhala Fort: Panhala is a hill station located 18 km from Kolhapur. While the main attraction is the Panhala fort, treks aren’t that uncommon. You get to do a lot of sight-seeing while trekking around Panhala and the weather is absolutely perfect, most of the months.

Shopping in Kolhapur

There are many things that can be bought in Kolhapur like the famous Kolhapuri chappals (sandals), Kolhapuri Saaj (jewelry with unique designs), saris and jaggery. Kolhapuri Pheta, the traditional turbans, could be a good gift to take back home. Kolhapur is also known for the unique style of turban worn by its men, known as Kolhapuri Pheta (pheta or feta means turban). Presenting a person a pheta is considered an act of honouring him. Saaz or jewelry has a unique style in Kolhapur with Kolhapuri Saaz being famous all over India. Kolhapuri chappals (sandals) are another specialty of the area.

Boating in Rankala Lake

Boating in Rankala Lake: Rankala Lake is a large lake in Kolhapur. It is a popular spot for families to spend time on weekends. The lake gets its name from the Rankabhairav temple located at its centre. The area surrounding the lake hosts food stalls. One can go boating in the lake and enjoy a picturesque view.

Go Kart racing in Kolhapur:

Getting a drive in the pinnacle of motorsports is every racing enthusiast’s dream. Head here for some amazing lessons! The track lenth extends beyond 750 m in Kolhapur, and one can have a thrill-filled experience if they go go-karting here

Cost for Go Kart racing in Kolhapur

The cost for Go Kart racing in Kolhapur is mentioned below. We have listed cost per person, adult and child fees along with eligibility criteria

Wrestling at Rajarshi Shahu Khasbag Maidan

Traditional wrestling or kusti has been patronized by the people of Kolhapur since many years. The Rajarshi Shahu Khasbag Maidan or wrestling ground can seat thousands of spectators and is popular with both locals and outsiders.

Cost Per Person: Rs. 250 per person for 10 minutes

How to reach there

By Air

The Kolhapur airport aka Ujlaiwadi airport, about 10 km from Kolhapur, was connected to Mumbai through Kingfisher airlines, till the airlines suspended all services citing financial losses.

By Train

Kolhapur rail station (Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj) is connected by a good rail network to other cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Tirupati and Satara. You can take a bus, auto rickshaw or hire a cab to reach the city centre.

By Road

Kolhapur lies on NH4, which connects Mumbai to Bangalore. One can get direct buses to Kolhapur from Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Belgaon, Mangalore and Hubli.

WHERE TO STAY

There are a few budget hotels and a MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) lodge that offers accomodation at nominal rates.

You can get better accommodation at Kolhapur which has a wide range of hotels from budget, mid-range and even luxury hotels. Most of the hotels are concentrated near Tararani Chowk which is a 10 minute walk away from the centre of Kolhapur. Government guest house needs prior booking.

Best time to Visit

The best time to visit Panhala Fort is as following:

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Oct, Nov, Dec