Kolhapur (Kolhapur.ogg ) is a city on the banks of the Panchganga River in the southern part of the Indian state of Maharashtra.[4] It is the administrative headquarter of the Kolhapur district. Kolhapur is known as `Dakshin Kashi' or Kashi of the South because of its spiritual history and the antiquity of its shrine Mahalaxmi, better known as Ambabai.[5] The region is known for the production of the famous hand-crafted and braided leather slippers called Kolhapuri chappal, which received the Geographical Indication designation in 2019.[6] In Hindu mythology, Kolhapur is referred to as "Karvir."[4]

Kolhapur
Karvir
Famous Monuments of Kolhapur Clockwise from top: New Palace, Ambabai Mandir, Bhavani Mandap, Shalini Palace, Rankala tower, Sandhyamath
Famous Monuments of Kolhapur
Clockwise from top: New Palace, Ambabai Mandir, Bhavani Mandap, Shalini Palace, Rankala tower, Sandhyamath
Kolhapur is located in Maharashtra
Kolhapur
Kolhapur
Location in Maharashtra, India
Kolhapur is located in India
Kolhapur
Kolhapur
Kolhapur (India)
Kolhapur is located in Asia
Kolhapur
Kolhapur
Kolhapur (Asia)
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
StateMaharashtra
DistrictKolhapur
Founded byShilahara
Government
 • TypeMunicipal Corporation
 • BodyKMC
 • MayorVacant (Administrator Rule)
Area
 • Metropolis66.82 km2 (25.80 sq mi)
 • Metro
204.12 km2 (78.81 sq mi)
Elevation
545.6 m (1,790.0 ft)
Population
 (2011)[2]
 • Metropolis561,489
 • RankIndia : 80th
Maharashtra : 11th
 • Density8,400/km2 (22,000/sq mi)
 • Metro985,736
Demonym(s)Kolhapurkar, Kolhapuri
Official
 • LanguageMarathi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
416001-15
Telephone code0231
Vehicle registrationMH-09
WebsiteOfficial site

Before India became independent in 1947, Kolhapur was a princely state under the Bhosale Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire. It is an important center for the Marathi film industry.[7]

EtymologyEdit

Kolhapur is named after Kolhasur, a demon in Hindu History.[8] According to History, the demon Kolhasur renounced asceticism after his sons were killed by God for harassing people, and prayed to Mahalakshmi that she would leave the area to him for a hundred years. He committed numerous crimes until the goddess returned after the hundred years were over and killed him for his sins.[9][10] The dying wish of Kolhasur was to name the place after him, which was granted and the place was named Kolhapur. Kolha stands for Kolhasur and pur, a Sanskrit word, means "city".[10]

HistoryEdit

 
Mahalakshmi, Hindu goddess

Medieval eraEdit

The Shilahara family founded a dynasty at Kolhapur about the time of the downfall of the Rashtrakuta Empire, that ruled over southern Maharashtra including the modern districts of Satara, Kolhapur and Belagavi (Karnataka). Their family deity was the goddess Ambabai, whose blessing they claimed to have secured in their copperplate grants (Mahalakshmi-labdha-vara-prasada). Like their relatives of the northern branch of Konkan, the Shilaharas of Kolhapur claimed to be of the lineage of Vidyadhara Jimutavahana, a Jain scholar. Their banner featured a golden Garuda. One of the many titles used by the Shilaharas was Tagarapuravaradhisvara, supreme sovereign ruler of Tagara.

The first capital of the Shilaharas was probably at Karad during the reign of Jatiga II, as known from their copper plate grant of Miraj and 'Vikramankadevacharita' of Bilhana. Hence, they are referred to sometimes as the 'Shilaharas of Karad'.[11] Later, although the capital was shifted to Kolhapur, some of their grants mention Valavada and the hill fort of Pranalaka or Padmanala (Panhala) as the places of royal residence. Karhad retained its significance during the Shilahara period. This branch rose to power in the latter part of the Rashtrakuta rule and unlike the kings of the other two branches, this branch does not allude to the genealogy of the Rashtrakutas even in their early grants. They acknowledged the suzerainty of the later Chalukya dynasty for some time. They had used Kannada as an official language as can be seen from their inscriptions. The branch held southern Maharashtra from circa 940 to 1220.

From 940 to 1212 CE, Kolhapur was the centre of power of the Shilahara dynasty.[12] An inscription at Terdal 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-second Jain tirthankara (enlightened being). From this era, Jain temples in and around Kolhapur are called Gonka-Jinalaya.

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, meaning 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 the Western Chalukya Empire and Rajadhiraja Chola and his younger brother Rajendra Chola II of the Chola empire. In 1052 CE, following the Battle of Koppam, the victor, Rajendra Chola II, marched on to Kolhapur and erected a jayastambha (victory pillar).[13]

Between 1109 and 1178 CE, the Kopeshwar temple to Lord Shiva was built by Shilahara kings, Gandaraditya I, Vijayaditya, and Bhoja II in Khidrapur, Kolhapur.[14]

Kolhapur StateEdit

 
Chhatrapati Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj, Maharajah of Kolhapur

The state of Kolhapur was established by Tarabai in 1707 in the midst of a succession dispute over the Maratha crown. The Maratha throne was then occupied by descendants of Tarabai. One of the prominent Kings was Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj (Shahu of Kolhapur). In his reign, he promoted free education to people of all castes and fought against untouchability. The state was annexed by the British in the 19th century. After India's independence in 1947, the Maharaja of Kolhapur acceded to the Dominion of India on 14 August 1947 and merged with Bombay State on 1 March 1949. Kolhapur is sometimes found spelled as Colapore.[15] Often, Kolhapur is also referred as Dakshin Kashi or the Kashi of the South, due to its rich religious history.

Scriptural referencesEdit

Kolhapur is mentioned in the Devi Gita, the final chapter of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana, a 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 Ambabai always dwells."[16]

GeographyEdit

 
The Panchganga river at Kolhapur

Kolhapur is an inland city located in south-west Maharashtra state, 373 km (232 mi) south of Mumbai and 228 km (142 mi) south of Pune, 615 km (382 mi) north-west of Bengaluru and 530 km (330 mi) west of Hyderabad. Within Maharashtra, Kolhapur's nearest cities and towns are Ichalkaranji 27 km (17 mi), Kodoli 35 km (22 mi), Peth Vadgaon 15 km (9.3 mi) Kagal 21 km (13 mi), Kasaba Walva 30 km (19 mi) Sangli 19 km (12 mi), Satara 115 km (71 mi). It lies in the Sahayadri mountains in the Western Ghats at an elevation of 569 m (1,867 ft).[17] Tambraparni river dam near Umgaon village is close by, as also are Radhanagari and Kalambawadi dams. Panhala 21.5 km (13.4 mi) and Jyotiba Temple 21.7 km (13.5 mi) are in the vicinity of Kolhapur too.

ClimateEdit

 
Rankala Lake at morning

Kolhapur's climate is a blend of coastal and inland elements common to Maharashtra. The temperature ranges between 10 to 35 °C (50 to 95 °F). Summer in Kolhapur is comparatively cooler, but much more humid, than neighbouring inland cities. Maximum temperatures rarely exceed 35 °C (95 °F) and typically range between 33 and 35 °C (91 and 95 °F). Lows during this season are around 24 to 26 °C (75 to 79 °F).

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, 2006, 2019 and 2021 were years when floods occurred. Temperatures are low in the rainy season and range between 19 and 30 °C (66 and 86 °F).

Kolhapur experiences winter from November to February. The winter temperatures are warmer than other cities in Maharashtra such as Pune and Nashik. Lows range from 9 to 16 °C (48 to 61 °F) while highs are in the range of 24 to 32 °C (75 to 90 °F) due to its high elevation and being adjacent to the Western Ghats. Humidity is low in this season making the weather pleasant.

 
Kolhapur City at night from Rankala lake
Climate data for Kolhapur (1981–2010, extremes 1946–2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.4
(95.7)
37.8
(100.0)
40.4
(104.7)
41.7
(107.1)
42.3
(108.1)
40.0
(104.0)
33.3
(91.9)
32.2
(90.0)
35.7
(96.3)
36.5
(97.7)
34.6
(94.3)
35.0
(95.0)
42.3
(108.1)
Average high °C (°F) 30.5
(86.9)
32.9
(91.2)
35.6
(96.1)
39.9
(103.8)
35.5
(95.9)
30.0
(86.0)
26.9
(80.4)
26.6
(79.9)
28.8
(83.8)
30.9
(87.6)
30.6
(87.1)
29.8
(85.6)
31.2
(88.2)
Average low °C (°F) 15.2
(59.4)
16.6
(61.9)
19.6
(67.3)
21.7
(71.1)
22.5
(72.5)
22.1
(71.8)
21.4
(70.5)
21.0
(69.8)
20.8
(69.4)
20.3
(68.5)
17.9
(64.2)
15.5
(59.9)
19.5
(67.1)
Record low °C (°F) 8.7
(47.7)
8.8
(47.8)
12.4
(54.3)
13.8
(56.8)
16.2
(61.2)
17.6
(63.7)
18.1
(64.6)
18.0
(64.4)
16.4
(61.5)
13.9
(57.0)
9.6
(49.3)
8.6
(47.5)
8.6
(47.5)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1.1
(0.04)
0.4
(0.02)
5.8
(0.23)
18.5
(0.73)
38.8
(1.53)
213.5
(8.41)
280.0
(11.02)
208.6
(8.21)
124.3
(4.89)
113.4
(4.46)
24.6
(0.97)
5.4
(0.21)
1,034.4
(40.72)
Average rainy days 0.2 0.1 0.3 1.4 2.8 11.6 17.1 16.8 8.5 6.0 1.6 0.4 66.9
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 38 31 31 40 51 74 83 84 76 61 48 43 55
Source 1: India Meteorological Department[18][19]
Source 2: Government of Maharashtra[20]

HydrologyEdit

The Panchganga River originates in the Western Ghats. It has five tributaries which supply the city and surroundings - the Bhogavati, Tulsi, Kumbhi, Kasari and Dhamani rivers. 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

GovernanceEdit

 
The world's first statue of B. R. Ambedkar, a bust erected in 1950 at Bindu Chowk in Kolhapur.

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 sewage treatment and free cremation for residents and has made a number of improvements, for example, the Kolhapur Road Project,[21] the Anti-Encroachment Drive to stop illegal building activity encroaching on the city's open spaces, and the Suvarna Jayanti Nagarotthan Project to improve roads and storm water management.[22] The KMC faces problems like the civic limits of Kolhapur city which have not expanded since 1972, due to which the city cannot benefit from various government schemes.

The Kolhapur Municipal and Regional Development Authority was established on 16 August 2017. This authority to manage Kolhapur city and 42 villages around it was formed for the balanced development of Kolhapur city and the neighbouring villages.[23]

DemographicsEdit

As per the 2011 Census of India, the population of Kolhapur city is 549,236 and that in 'Kolhapur Municipal and Regional Development Authority' is 561,837.[24] Kolhapur has one of the highest Human Development Index ratings among Indian districts, at 0.770 in 2011.[25][26]

ReligionEdit

  • Hindu – 460,774 (83.89%)
  • Muslims – 59,760 (10.88%)
  • Jain – 18,420 (3.35%)
  • Christian – 5,251 (0.96%)
  • Buddhist – 2,929 (0.53%)
  • Not Stated – 1,289 (0.23%)
  • Sikh – 581 (0.11%)
  • Others – 232 (0.04%

EconomyEdit

 
DYP City Mall, Kolhapur
 
Reliance Mega mall at Kolhapur

Manufacturing industryEdit

Kolhapur has a higher per capita domestic product than the state's average. It has auto-ancillary, foundry and casting industrial establishments which act as supporting units for industries in Pune and Bangalore.[27]

The city is the home of Kolhapuri chappal, a hand-crafted buffalo leather slipper that is locally tanned using vegetable dyes. Kolhapuri slippers are sold on Mahadwar road.[28][29][30] 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.[31]

Kolhapur is also an industrial city with approximately 300 foundries generating exports with a value of 15 billion rupees per year.[32] A manufacturing plant of Kirloskar Oil Engines [KOEL] is set up in the MIDC at Kagal near Kolhapur, as is the Raymond clothes plant. Kolhapur has two more industrial areas, Gokul-Shirgaon MIDC and Shiroli MIDC. Shivaji Udyamnagar is an industrial area in the city with a rich entrepreneurial tradition of more than 100 years and specializing in oil engines.

Kolhapuri jewelry includes a type of necklace called Kolhapuri saaj, patlya (two broad bangles), chinchpeti (choker), tanmani (short necklace), nath (nose ring), and bajuband (an amulet).[33]

TourismEdit

The Bombay Gazetteer recorded almost 250 temples in the region of which 6 - Ambabai, Temblai, Vithoba, Mahakali, Phiranga and Yallamma temples - are considered the most prominent.[34] Tourism is an important source of revenue with about three million annual visitors.[35] Kolhapur's attractions include:

 
Bust of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar at Bindu Chowk in Kolhapur
  • Rankala Lake
  • The Tara Rani equestrian statue
  • An 85 feet (26 m) idol of the Lord Ganesh at the Chinmaya Mission (Top-Sambhapur).

The Kolhapur Maybach car of the chhatrapatis of Kolhapur is displayed to the public during the annual Dusshera procession.

Film industryEdit

 
A Memorial to Baburao Painter in Kolhapur

On 1 December 1917, 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. The Kolhapur film city was renovated in 2017.[36]

CuisineEdit

 
Kolhapuri Misal
 
Kolhapuri Bhel

Kolhapur cuisine includes mutton dishes, Kolhapuri misal, and ethnic meat dishes[37] The city also lends its name to certain types of food and ingredients, such as Kolhapuri lavangi (chili peppers), Kolhapuri jaggery (cane juice concentrate), Kolhapuri masala (spice mixture) and Kolhapuri chutney (onion garlic chutney) which is a staple in gravies and curries.

Kolhapur cuisine also includes soup-like curries called Pandhara Rassa and Tambda Rassa which are served as a part of a Thali. Pandhara Rassa, which can be loosely translated as white curry, is a soup-like dish made from mutton stock and coconut milk infused with spices like cinnamon, coriander, ginger, and garlic. It is served as an appetizer, and also as a part of the main course. Tambda Rassa, red curry, is a spicier form of the dish made by substituting coconut milk with red chillies.[38]

 
Kolhapuri Mutton plate with Tambada and Pandhara Rassa (outside the plate).

Media and telecommunicationEdit

Kolhapur's main newspaper is the Pudhari.[39] Other Marathi language newspapers include Sakal, 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.

Kolhapur's FM radio services include Tomato FM (94.3 MHz), Radio Mirchi (98.3 MHz), Radio City (95 MHz), Big FM(92.7 MHz) and All India Radio FM (102.7 MHz).

SportsEdit

Wrestling (known as Kusti in Hindi/Marathi) and football are the sports most played in the city.[40][41]

WrestlingEdit

Kolhapur is known as wrestling capital of India. Kolhapur has a long history of kushti (wrestling) and has produced many wrestlers. The sport flourished during the reign of Shahu of Kolhapur (1894–1922). During this golden age, he built Akharas or Taleems (as they are colloquially called) all over Kolhapur and organized wrestling tournaments, inviting wrestlers from across the Indian sub-continent. Since then, Kolhapur's wrestling culture has been dominated by various Taleems like Gangavesh taleem, Shahupuri taleem, Motibag taleem, etc. More than 70 wrestlers undertake training in each of these.

India's first individual Olympian Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, India's first Hind Kesari Shripati Khanchnale and Rustam-e-Hind Dadu Chougule belonged to Kolhapur.

Rajarshi Shahu Stadium is a football stadium in Kolhapur. Khasbag Wrestling Stadium, India's largest wrestling stadium is situated in Kolhapur.

B.B. Nimbalkar (former Ranji cricketer), Suhas Khamkar (Mr. Asia, Winner), Virdhawal Khade (Indian Olympian in swimming), Jaysingrao Kusale (Indian shooter), Tejaswini Sawant (Arjuna awardee, world championship gold medalist shooter), Rahi Sarnobat (Arjuna awardee, Asian Gold medalist in shooting), Rucha Pujari (chess - Woman International Master), Shahu Mane also belong to the city. Aniket Jadhav who played the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 is from Kolhapur.

TransportEdit

RailwayEdit

 
Kolhapur railway station

The Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus links Kolhapur via rail to India's major cities with express services to Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi. A daily shuttle service connects Kolhapur with the main rail hub of Miraj on the Central Railway main line. A new railway route from Miraj via Kolhapur till Vaibhavwadi has been confirmed, which will connect Kolhapur and many other towns with to the Western coastal region of India.[42]

RoadEdit

Kolhapur is located on National Highway 4 and National Highway 204. The city has three state transport bus stands: Central Bus Stand (CBS), Rankala Bus Stand and Sambhajinagar Bus Stand. Kolhapur Municipal Transport (KMT) provides local bus services. The CBS of Kolhapur is the busiest bus stand in western Maharashtra with more than 50,000 commutators a day.

 
NH 4, (Now NH 48) near the city

AirportEdit

Kolhapur's domestic airport, also known as Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj Airport, is located 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) south east of the city at Ujalaiwadi.

There are daily flights from Kolhapur to Hyderabad and Bengaluru operated by Alliance Air. Indigo operates daily flights to Hyderabad Airport and Tirupati Airport as well as three times a week to Ahmedabad Airport. Trujet operates flights to Mumbai Airport and Jalgaon Airport. Expansion of runway and construction of and airport terminal building is in progress.[citation needed]

The nearest international airports to Kolhapur are Pune International Airport (240 km [150 mi]) and Goa International Airport (220 km [140 mi]).

EducationEdit

Kolhapur has educational institutions for engineering, medicine, management studies, pharmaceutical sciences and agriculture. Shivaji University is located in Kolhapur city. There are international schools and a pre-IAS training centre. The pre-IAS training centre is in Rajaram college campus. The admissions to pre-IAS centre are allotted by merit through an entrance exam. The city attracts students form all over India and Africa.[citation needed]

LanguagesEdit

The Marathi language spoken in Kolhapur has some distinctive adaptations. Women for example will use the masculine gender for verbs. Some syllables in names are uniquely shortened to utter them faster. For example, शंकर becomes शंक्रोबा. Some phrases are unique to the local dialect, and especially popular among the youth, such as 'काय भावा?', 'नाद नाही करायचा', 'काटा कीर्रर्र', 'खटक्यावर बोट, and 'जाग्यावर पल्टी'.[43]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf[bare URL PDF]
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  13. ^ Sastri K. A. N. "The CōĻas." 1935 p. 256–257 (University of Madras, 2000).
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Further readingEdit

"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 linksEdit