Kille Panhala

Panhala
Panhala, situated at an altitude of 3100 ft, a small hill station and taluka headquarter is known for its historical importance. Its Geographical situation is typical as, unlike other places in Kolhapur district, the town is situated on Jambha laterite type of stone; naturally the red earth and stone buildings against the background of green hill attract the visitor's attention.

Perhaps, Panhalgad is the only historical place where most of the monuments are in good condition. The places are looked after by the ASI. The nearest railway station is Kolhapur,18 kms. There are regular buses from Kolhapur,as well as private vehicles specially meant for site seeing trips.
Panhala is one of the biggest forts in Maharashtra. At the entrance there is a statue of Bajiprabhu. During the siege of Shahistekhan's army, Chhatrapati ShivajiRaje was in trouble. Bajiprabhu Deshpande one of the daring and trustworthy generals of Shivaji Raje, escorted him to Vishal Gad through a pass and thus enabled the king to reach safely and out of the reach of the Mughal general. Baji Prabhu sacrificed his life for the safe passage of Shivaji Raje and so this pass, which is located between Panhalgad and Vishalgad, came to be known as 'Pawan Khind' meaning Holy Pass.
Sajja Kothi is a three storied building where Prince Sambhaji was imprisoned by treacherous means. He plunged down into the deep valley and made an escape. Saja, an Urdu word means punishment and Kothi means cell. The building is a fine specimen of Mughal architecture. One can have a panoramic view of the beautiful Warana valley from here.

The next beautiful place is the entrance of the Tabak Uddyana, a garden. The site is called Wagh Darwaja, a gate; the place is often frequented by tigers which is why the name might have come to be. This gate leads to the garden,a favourite spot for Marathi film makers. Birds and snakes of different varieties have been preserved here. The other end of this garden leads to Raj Dindi, a narrow road along the hill side where a natural water fountain is made to pass through the cow's mouth,a sacred water for Hindus taken as Teertha. The same road up the hill takes you to Pusati Buruj, a surveilance tower. If you are here in the late afternoon, you can get a chance to watch sunset from here.
On your way to Teen Darwaja, there is a small lake, Shivateertha, where you can enjoy boating. Teen meaning three and Darwaja meaning gate; these are three gates leading to the Western side of the fort. The gates are so strongly built that along with lime and cement lead has been used to hold the bricks together. The last gate gives panoramic view of the western side of the fort. A building to store foodgrains was constructed at elevated height is called Ambar Khana. It is a very huge and imposing structure. A deep well in the dark leading to secret tunnels is Andharbav. Andhar is darkness and bav is well. A noteworthy thing about Panhala is that there are plenty of wells at such an altitude supplying crystal clear water to the residents of the town. There are two big lakes which overflow during the rainy season and never get dry. The waters of these lakes is used for non-driking purposes. Shivaji Raje's daughter-inlaw, Tararani made Panhala her residence and head quarter of her kingdom and ruled the state from here. Her palace is now used to house a school.
Adjescent to this building is Sathamari where elephants were entrapped and gored to tame them. Panhala is not only a place of historical importance but also a comparatively cheap hill-station. In winter and summer when mornings are cool it is perfect place for trecking. Typical Kolhapuri meal which is spicy and pungent is favourite for non-veg lovers.

Sites

Sajja Kothi, Tabak Udyan, Wagh Darwaja, Dutondi Buruj, Raj Dindi, Pusati Buruj, Teen Darwaja, Ambarkhana, Tararani's palace,Sathamari, Andhaarbav, Pawan Gad and Shivateertha.

Accommodation

Lodging and boarding available at Panhala. More luxurious accommodation at Kolhapur. Apart from ordinary accommodation, Holiday Homes are available.

Important Dates: Panhala [Dist: Kolhapur, Height: 948 meters / 3127 ft]

  • 1052: Bhojraja II constructed the fort
  • 1659: Shivaji Maharaj captures the fort on Nov 28th.
  • 1660: Shivaji Maharaj comes to the fort in March, Siddijohar lays seige to the fort.
  • 1660: Shivaji Maharaj along with Baji Prabhu and 600 Mawalas breaks the seige and goes to Vishalgad on 12-13th July.
  • 1660: The fort was given to Adil Shah in September
  • 1673: Kondaji Farzat captures Panhala with only a handful of Mawalas.
  • 1818: Control of fort passes to British.