Kolhapur City (16° 42' N; 74" 14' E, Ht. 1870
ft.: 25.7 Sq. miles; p. 1,36,835), stands on rising ground on the
south bank of the river Pancaganga, bounded on the north by the
Pancaganga river, on the east by the boundaries of Ucgaon village,
on the south by the boundaries of Kalambe and Pacgaon villages and
on the west by the boundaries of Nave palinge, Padali and Singnapur
villages and by the Pancaganga river.
Climate and Rainfall.
Except from March to May when it is hot, the climate
is temperate and healthy. From March to May hot winds prevail, but
the sea breeze which begins in the afternoon makes the evenings cool
and pleasant. Often, when the heat becomes very oppressive, there is
a shower in the evening which brings down the temperature
Kolhapur derives its importance from its past
political associations and its position as a great commercial,
religious and educational centre. It was the capital of the former
Kolhapur State", a premier state in the Deccan, and was also the
seat of the Residency for Deccan States. Its importance as a
commercial centre is well known. Kolhapur is a big market for
jaggery (Gul) of which the district is a very large producer.
This jaggery is supplied to various parts of India and is exported
to different countries. As a religious centre, Kolhapur is known as
the Dakshin Kashi or the Kashi of the South, the ancient temple of
Mahalaksmi being the main attraction. The city has two Arts and
Science Colleges, one Law College, one B. T. College and one
Commerce College. It has also 20 High Schools. There are numerous
cheap hostel facilities. Kolhapur has produced many well-known
artists and sculptors and it has also been the birth place of
Marathi film industry. It has been a sports centre and has produced
many well-known wrestlers, cricketers and sportsmen who have
represented India in international contests. Although mainly a
residential and commercial town till lately, Kolhapur is now fast
becoming an industrial town with emphasis on the engineering
Kolhapur, or as it seems to have been formerly
called Karvir, is probably one of the oldest religious and trade
centres in western India. In Brahmapuri Hill, near the centre of the
present city, have been found Buddhist coins which are believed to
belong to the first century before Christ; a small crystal casket
which is believed to have enclosed Buddhist relics of about the same
age and a shattered model of a brass relic-shrine or daghoba whose
shape also belongs to about the first century before Christ. [ Jour,
B.B.R.A.S. XIV, 147-154.] The discovery of a Shatakarni inscription
probably of the first century after Christ at Banavasi in North
Kanara and the known extent of the power of that dynasty in the
North Deccan, make it probable that, as suggested by Professor
Bhandarkar, Ptolemy's (A.D. 150) Hippokurh rejia Baleokuri refers to
Kolhapur, the capital of king Vilvayakura, who from inscriptions is
believed to have reigned about A.D. 150.
Recent excavations at Brahmapuri have revealed that
" a city of well-built brick houses stood on the banks of the
Pancaganga river, when the Satvahana (or Audhra according to
the Puranas) Emperor, Gautamiputra Satkarni ruled in the Deccan
about A.D. 106-130. The beginnings of this city were probably laid
in the preceeding one or two centuries. [H.D. Sankalia and M. G.
Dixit:-Excavations at Brahmapuri (Kolhapur) 1945-46.] " Before the
temple of Mahalaksmi was built in the 7th or 8th century there
appears to have been six centres of habitation or hamlets. These
were, (1) Brahmapuri where though the old city had declined, people
continued to live, (2) Uttareshwar, which was a suburb of the old
Brahmapuri city, (3) Kholkhandoba which also was a suburb of the old
Brahmapuri city, (4) Rankala which seems to have been a separate
hamlet, (5) Padmala on the banks of Padmala lake and (6) Ravnesvar
which was a separate hamlet. These six centres continued their
separate existence uptil the building of the Mahalaksmi temple,
which became the centre of Kolhapur city. [Kolhapur
Nagarpalika-Centenary Souvenir-pp. 174-180,] In former times this
great temple was surrounded by a circle of shrines several of which
lie buried many feet under ground. Every pool of standing water was
sacred and in the city and country round about there are many broken
images of Brahman and Jain worship which are supposed to belong to
temples destroyed by the Musalmans in the thirteenth and fourteenth
centuries. According to Major Graham [Graham's Kolhapur, 112.] in
the eighth or ninth century an earthquake overturned many temples
and buildings in Kolhapur. Among the traces of the earthquake are
the two underground temples of Khandoba and Kartik Swami, over which
houses have since been built In the old temple of Ambabai the wall
is of unequal height in different places, and the ground has passed
through so many changes that the original level cannot be
discovered. In digging the foundations of the high school in 1870,
and in making other excavations, at a depth of over fifteen feet,
stones slabs covered with strange figures, shrines and old
inscriptions were found. In support of his statement that many of
these changes are due to the action of an earthquake Major Graham
refers [Graham's Kolhapur 317.] to several small mounds or
upheavings near the city and to the discovery in 1849 of the bed of
the Panchaganga seventy feet above the level of the present bed. In
the Karavir or Kolhapur Mahatmya [Though it probably embodies old
legends and traditions the Karvir Mahatmya or the Greatness of
Kolhapur wag -written as late as 1730,] or account of the greatness
of Kolhapur, Kolhapur is mentioned as the Kasi or Benares of the
South. According to local tradition, when the Jains were building
the temple of Ambabai on Brahmapuri hill a fort was made by a
Kshatri Raja Jaysing who held his court at Bid about nine miles west
of Kolhapur. In the twelfth century the Kolhapur fort was the scene
of a battle between the Kalahhurya or Kalachurya who had conquered
the Kalyani Chalukyas and become the ruler of the Deccan, and the
Silaharas of Kolhapur, the feudatories of the Chalukyas. Bhoja Raja
II (1178-1209) of the Kolhapur Silaharas made Kolhapur his capital
but the headquarters of the State were soon after moved to Panhala
about twelve miles to the North-west, and remained there till the
country passed to the Bahamani Kings. The Bahamani Sultan Allaudin
Hasan Bahmon Shah (1347-1359) towards the end of his reign made a
conquest of Goa and Dabhol and while returning from this campaign
passed through Karad and Kolhapur where he establihed the rule of
the muslims. Kolhapur is next mentioned as the place where Mahmudd
Gawan (1469) encamped during rainy season in his expedition against
Visalgad. [Briggs Ferishta, II., 482-485,] Under the Bijapur Kings,
from 1489 till it came under Sivaji about 1659, owing to its
nearness to the strong fort of Panhala, a Bijapur Officer was
stationed at Kolhapur. Under the Marathas, especially after 1730,
when it became independent of Satara, Kolhapur rose in importance.
In 1782 the seat of Government was moved from Panhala to Kolhapur.
Up to this time Kolhapur's only protection against robbers and
enemies was a mud wall. During the feuds between the Patvardhans and
the Kolhapur State (1773-1810) which filled the latter years of the
eighteenth century, a stone wall thirty feet high and ten to
twenty-six feet thick, was built more than 1¼ miles in circumstance.
At equal distances the wall had forty-five bastions with battlements
and loopholes and outside a deep and wide ditch with a rough glacis.
In the wall were six gateways, three of them with stout wooden
gates, bristling with long iron spikes to keep off elephants. After
the river reservoirs and the wards to which they led, the gates were
named the Ganga, Rahkala, Varunitirth, Aditvar, Mangalvar and
Sanivar, The entrance to each gate was across a drawbridge. The
gates used to be shut at eleven in the evening and opened by four
in, the morning. [With four of the six gates some great event is
connected. By the Ganga gate which opened on the Panchaganga river,
no corpse except one of a member of the royal family was allowed to
be carried. By the Aditvar gate, in 1857 the second band of rebels
led by Firangu Shinda entered the town, broke into the jail, and set
the prisoners free. By the Mangalvar gate, in 1857 the rebels of the
27th Kolhapur Native Infantry tried in vain to enter the city. At
the Shanvar gate, which is said to have been built by Ali Adil Shah
I of Bijapur (1557-1579), a hard battle was fought in 1800 between
the Raja of Kolhapur and the Patwardhans under Ramchandra, son of
the well known Parshurambhau. In this gate, after a seige of two
months a breach was made scaling ladders were appled, and the city
was on the point of being taken when an intrigue at the Poona Court
suddenly obliged the assailants to leave the city. In 1858 by
breaking open the Shanvar gate, Sir LeGrand Jacob entered the city
and arrested the rebels under Firangu Shinda, who was shot by the
treasury guard of the Kolhapur infantry.] When the town was growing
in the eighteenth century, the people built houses without any order
wherever sites could be had, and the streets were narrow, often not
broad enough for two carts to pass. As the city increased in size
weekly markets came to be held outside the walls. Beyond the walls
ten subrubs or peths were founded. After the names of the
founders or of the presiding god of the place, or of the days on
which weekly markets were held, the new suburbs were called Ravivar
Somvar, Mangalvar, Budhvar, Sukravar and Sanivar and Uttresvar,
Candresvar, Kesapur and Logmapur. In these suburbs the lanes were
wide and were planted here and there with trees. In the eighties of
the nineteenth century to improve the air and health of the city the
walls were pulled down and the ditch filled.
The modern development of Kolhapur can be said to
have started when the British obtained political suzerainty in 1844
and built the Residency during 1845-48. The New Palace was built
near the Residency in 1877. The chiefs and jagirdars also
began building their mansions in this area. Then came the railway in
1891-92. The site for the station was selected beyond the
Jayantinala, about 2 miles from the city. The station exerted a
considerable pull on the city and development of the city towards
the station started. The Sahupuri colony was started near the
station in 1895 and was completed in 1920. Then came the Laxmipuri
colony in 1926-27 between Shahupuri and the city. In 1929, the
Rajarampuri Colony was started. In 1933, the area between the
railway line and Rajarampuri was developed and was called the Sykes
Extension. In the city, fields and vacant sites came to be developed
as population increased. From 1884, efforts were made to fill up the
numerous lakes and tanks in the city. The Kapiltirth was first
filled up and a vegetable market was established on the site.
Indrakund was also filled up. The Mahar talao Kumbhar
talao, Umak, Petala, Maskuti, and Ravneswar, were gradually
filled up. Khasbag, Sakoli, Varunitirth, Ravanesvar, Belbag,
Udyam-nagar and Maskuti talao areas came to be developed into
residential areas all of which except Khasbag and Sakoli are very
recent development, i.e., of 1944-45 onwards.
Kolhapur City is divided into five wards. The area
comprised in each ward is as follows: -
Rankala lake, Padmaraje
Garden areas, Cattle market, Sakoli area, Kapiltirth area,
Babujamal Darga area, Gavataci Mandai, Varuntirth area, Ubha
Maruti area, Phirangai area.
Khasbag, Palace Theatre, Sathamari, Old Palace, Rajaram,
College area, Gujari, Subhasa Cauk, Old Race Course, Subhasa
Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Sambhaji Nagar, Kalamba Jail.
Shivaji Market, Bindu Cauk, Town Hall, Laxmipuri, Gujari,
Akbar Mohalla, Sandhya Talkies area, Thorla
Gangaves, Sahu Udhyan
area, Padmaraje Vidyalaya area, Brahmapuri area, Uttaresvar,
Sykes Extension, Tarabai Park area, Temblaivadi, Jadhawadi,
Bhosalevadi, Kasba Bavada,
The number of properties and their annual letting
value is as follows: -
No. of properties.
Annual letting value.
Area and Population.
In 1957 the total limits of the Kolhapur Municipal
Borough covered 25.7 square miles. The total population according to
the 1951 census was 1,36,835 of which 71,360 were males and 65,475
females. According to their livelihood the population was
distributed as follows: -
cultivating labourers and their dependents.
owners of land, rent receivers and their dependents.
dependents) who derive their principal means of livelihood
(i) Production other
services and miscellaneous sources.
The distribution of the population according to the
languages spoken [Mother tongue.] was as follows:-
Marathi-1,16,702; Kannada-3,687; Urdu-11,773;
Gujarati- 1,890; Telugu-1,011; Sindhi-150; Hindi-494;
Rajasthani--49.1; Konkani-103; Tamil-301; Hindustani-3; Kacchi-70;
Portuguese-7; Tulu-24; Malayalam-39; Punjabi-13; English-35;
Naipali-13; Bengali-16; Pashto-5; Chinese-6; Persian-1; Oriya-1.
The population of the Kolhapur Municipal area is
distributed as follows according to the religious they profess;
Hindus- 1,18,223; Muslims-12,232; Jains-4,809; Christians-1,538;
Zoroastrians-15; Buddhists-14; Sikhs-4.
KOLHAPUR CITY. Municipal Borough.
The civic affairs of Kolhapur City are managed by
the Kolhapur Municipal Borough. The beginnings of municipal
administration can be traced back to 1830 when the Chatrapati
ordered the setting up of an organisation to sweep the roads and to
recover the cost by the levy of a tax on houses. In 1850, the
Government of India decided to establish municipalities in various
towns, and the Resident of Kolhapur formed in 1854 a Municipal
Committee for Kolhapur consisting of six members- two officials and
four non-officials. A grant of Rs. 3,000 was made for its
expenditure. In 1869, instead of the Government grant, certain items
of income viz., octroi, pankhoti, tobacco tax, fish
makta, snuff makta, bhang and opium makta,
lease of space in the moat were handed over to the municipality with
a view to increasing its income. In 1871, the number of members of
the committee was increased to 30. A house-tax was levied in 1873.
The Assistant Political Agent was made the President of the
municipality and its General Body met every quarter. The actual work
was supposed to be done by the Managing Committee but as it was
found that the committee was not working satisfactorily, all powers
were vested in the President in 1875. From 1881, however, the
General Body was being called and quarterly accounts were presented
to it. In 1884, there was a move in Bombay Province to have Local
Self-Government. This had repercussions in Kolhapur also and in 1886
a committee was appointed to reconstitute the Municipality.
In 1889, the Kolhapur Municipal Rules were framed.
According to these Rules, the municipality was to consist of
ex-officio members and members appointed by Government, the number
of appointed members being at least double that of ex-officio
members. From 1904 to 1920, the municipality was suspended due to
unsatisfactory working and all powers were vested in the
Administrator. In 1920, the municipality was reconstituted with 47
constituencies and caste-wise electorates and it came into office in
1921. Matters, however, did not improve and in 1924, it was again
dissolved. In 1925, the Kolhapur State Municipal Act, 1925, modelled
on the lines of the Bombay District Municipal Act, 1901, was
enacted. The municipality was to have 40 members of whom 20 were
appointed by Government and 20 were elected. The first body under
this Act was formed in 1926. In 1944, the Kolhapur Municipal
Boroughs Act, 1944, was prepared on the lines of the Bombay
Municipal Boroughs Act, 1925, and it was applied to the Kolhapur
municipality in the same year. The municipality continued under this
Act until the merger of the Kolhapur State with Bombay in 1949.
Growth of Municipal
The area of the municipality has increased
considerably since its formation. In 1844, it is said to have
exceeded four and half square miles and in 1874 it is mentioned as
1,132 acres 29 gunthas. Additions were made to the area from time to
time and in 1957 it measured 25.7 square miles.
The Kolhapur municipality has been constituted under
the Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act, 1925 as amended from time to
time. All the councillors are elected on adult franchise and the
total number of seats is 44, of which 37 are general, three are
reserved for Scheduled Castes and four for women. The city is
divided into 12 constituencies. The distribution of seats according
to wards is as follows:-
No. of Ward.
Name of Ward.
Total No. of
Seats reserved for
Seats reserved for
To rotate in Wards I and
II beginning with Ward
No. of Ward.
Name of Ward.
Total No. of
Seats reserved for
Seats reserved for
To rotate in Wards IV
and III beginning with Ward IV.
C and a small portion of
D and a small portion of
To rotate in Wards VIII
and VII beginning with Ward No. VIII.
To rotate in Wards XI
and X beginning with Ward No. XI.
The term of office of the councillors is four years,
which may, however, be extended by the State Government for a term
not exceeding in the aggregate five years. The President and the
Vice-President are elected for such period as may be determined by
the General Body. The main function of the President is to convene
meetings of the General Body and to preside over them. He has also
to watch the financial and executive administration of the
municipality and to exercise supervision and control over the
municipal staff. The Vice-President is to discharge the functions of
the President in his absence.
The municipal authorities charged with the carrying
out of the provisions of the Municipal Boroughs Act are: -
(1) General Body, (2) Chief Officer, (3) Standing
The Chief Officer is the head of the executive
administration and exercises all executive powers under the Act
subject in certain cases to the approval or sanction of the Standing
Committee or the General Body. In addition to the Chief Officer, the
municipality can appoint an Engineer and a Health Officer. None of
these three officers can be removed from office, reduced or
suspended except by the assent of at least two-thirds of the whole
number of councillors and none of these officers is punishable with
The following are the principal departments of the
Kolhapur municipality with the designations of their heads:-
Officer of Health.
The Standing Committee is to consist of not more
than 12 councillors and not less than six. The committee is elected
every year by the General Body.
Powers and functions of
Under the Bombay Municipal Boroughs Act, the
Kolhapur municipality has the power to levy taxes with the sanction
of Government. It has also the power to recover these taxes by
coercive measures, if necessary. It has power to raise loans with
the sanction of Government. It can create posts when the additional
burden on the municipal funds does not exceed Rs. 100 per mensem.
For posts where the burden exceeds this amount the sanction of the
Divisional Officer is necessary. The functions of the municipality
are divided into two categories:- Obligatory and Discretionary.
Obligatory functions include maintenance of streets, gutters,
provision of street lights, arrangements for sweeping and cleaning,
provision of fire-fighting, disposal of dead bodies, provision of
medical relief, public vaccination and so on. Discretional functions
include providing public parks, and gardens, running transport,
provision of electricity, provision of dwelling houses for the staff
and for poor people and so on. Some municipalities are authorised
under the Primary Education Act to run primary schools. The Kolhapur
Municipal Borough is so authorised and it has a Municipal School
Board which runs primary schools in the city.
Receipts and Expenditure.
(4) Tax on
(8) Tax on
The following schedule shows the income of the
Kolhapur Municipal Borough during the year 1956-57:-
under Special Acts
from municipal property and power
The following schedule shows the expenditure of the
Kolhapur municipality during 1956-57:-
(3) Collection of
(4) Octroi refund
(5) Other refund
(7) Public safety
(8) General and special
(9) Hospitals and
(11) Prevention of
epidemics and disinfection.
(12) Water supply
(public stand posts)
(14) Public works
(public health and public conveniences).
The incidence of taxation amounted to Rs. 18.57 per
head per year and the incidence of total income of the municipality
per head per year was Rs. 24.27 during 1956-57.
The following were the rates for the House tax,
Education Cess and General and Special Sanitary Cess: -
House tax.-8 per cent. of the net
annual rental value of the property.
Education cess.-3 per cent. of the
gross annual rental value of the property.
General Sanitary cess.-This
cess is levied on houses where there is no space for building a
latrine. The rates are based on house-tax as follows:-
Rate of General Sanitary Cess.
1. Below Rs.
2. Rs. 3 to
3. Rs. 4 to
4. Rs. 6 to
5. Rs. 8 and
Special Sanitary Cess.-Rs. 15
per seat per year.
Roads emanate from Kolhapur to Ratnagiri, Phonda,
Gagan Bavda and Gargotl. The Poona-Bangalore National Highway (NH 4)
passes through the eastern tip of the municipal area and Kolhapur is
an important halt thereon. The total length of roads including
lanes, in the present Kolhapur municipal limits is 102 miles. Of
this 37.3 miles were asphalted by the end of 1956-57. Most of the
streets are lighted by electric lights and important squares are
lighted with mercury vapour lamps.
The road system of Kolhapur is such that the main
roads do not converge at a central point. There is a network of
roads joining different localities. There are four roads leading
into the city proper from the Poona-Bangalore National Highway. One
rdad (the Sahu Road or Station Road) starts from Kavlenaka leading
straight into the city from Poona. This road passes along the
railway station and Venus corner and goes straight to the statue of
Sahu Maharaj and further on crosses Bhausingji Road near the Power
House and then goes on to Sivaji bridge on Pancaganga River. The
Sivaji Road branches off from the Sahu Road at Venus corner and goes
along Wilson Bridge to the Statue of Aisaheb Maharaj, then turns to
the left and goes to Bindu Cauk, again turns right and goes to
Sivaji Cauk then, goes straight to Papaci Tikti, passes through
Gangaves goes to Rankalaves where it turns right and then proceeds
to Rankala Tower and then goes on to Phulevadi. From Phulevadi it
leaves the municipal limits to proceed towards Gagan Bavda. This is
the most important road in the city as it goes right through the
city. It is lined with shops up to Rankalaves.
The second main road starts from the Poona-Bangalore
National Highway near the level-crossing and goes along the Northern
boundary of Rajarampuri, passes through Bagal Cauk, crosses Subhasa
Road near Sandhya Talkies, goes through Bindu Cauk and joins
Bhausingji Road, near old Palace. This road is named Rajaram Road.
The third road in the city starts from the Poona Bangalore National
Hhighway near the southern end of the city, passes along the
southern boundary of Rajarampuri and joins the Subhasa road near
Sathmari. A portion of this road is known as the Old Kagal Road and
a portion as Sathmari road. This road is not in general use. The
fourth road into the city from the Poona-Bangalore National Highway
is the Bhaskarrao Jadhav road starting from Kavle naka and passing
through Jamkhindikar Tikti (square) to join the Bavda road near the
Inside the city there are important roads going from
north to south. The Subhasa road starts from the Sahu road a little
below the statue of Sahu Maharaj and passes through Laxmipuri,
Sandhya Talkies square and goes up to the Yellama dip. Up to Sandhya
Talkies this road is lined with shops, many of which deal in
automobile spare parts. The Karmavir Bhaurao Patil road is almost
parallel to Subhasa Road. It starts from a little beyond the statue
of Sahu Maharaj and goes along the square of the statue of Sahu
Maharaj where it joins the Sivaji road which comes from the station
and proceeds to Bindu cauk. The square of the statue of Aisaheb
Maharaja is an important shopping centre and has five cinema
theatres located within a short distance of one another. Another
important north-south road is the Bhausingji road. It starts from
the old Palace and passes through Sivaji Cauk and goes to the civil
hospital and the Power House and from these goes on to Bavda and the
sugar mills. From the Power House onwards it is also known as the
Bavda Road. It is an important shopping centre up to the Distrioc
Local Board Office and many chemists's shops are situated on it.
Another important road running parallel to the Bhausingji road is
the Mahadwar road. It starts from Papaci Tikti (Papa's square) and
goes along the main gate Mahadwar of the Mahalaxmi temple, passes
the Binkhambi temple of Ganapati and goes towards Panyaca Khajina
(water reservoir). The portion beyond the Ganapati temple is also
known as New Mahadwar road. The Mahadwar road is an important
shopping centre and shops of all kinds line this road.
The other important roads are as follows:-one starts
from Papaci Tikti, goes along the southern wing of the municipal
office, crosses Bausingji road and goes on to join the Sivaji Road.
Betel leaf shops tobacco and snuff shops and the general mutton
market are on this road. The road is called Dasram road.
Another important road is the Tarabai road starting
from Mahadwar (main gate of Mahalaxmi temple) and going towards
Rajghat on the Rankala tank. Sripatrao Sinde road starts from the
Binkhambi Ganapati temple (Joshirao's Ganapati) and goes to Ubha
Maruti through Varuntirtha and further goes on to Sandhyamath in
Rankala tank. The Rankala road starts from Rajghat and goes along
the Rarikala tank to Waslnaka and thence towards Radhanagari. Many
people go along this road for an evening walk. The Pahilwan Hujare
road starts from Wasinaka and goes to Panyacha khajina (old water
reservoir) there joining the road going out to Gargoti. The Deval
road starts from Bindu Cauk and goes to Khasbag via statue of
Alladiya Khan. The Natasamrat Kesavrao Bhonsale road starts from the
statue of Alladiya Khan and goes to the temple of Ganapati
(Josirao's Ganapati) passing through Subhas Cauk (Mirajkar Tikti).
The Vastad Bajaparao Mane road starts near Subhas Cauk and
goes to Panyaca Khajina (old water reservoir) and thence becomes
Kalamba road, to go towards Gargoti. Daulu Master road starts from
Subhas Cauk and goes to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Varunatirth.
In Laxmipuri, there is one road running parallel to Subhas road.
This road called the Raosaheb Mali road, starts opposite Malabar
bakery on the Sivaji road and goes to Rawiwar Gate. Three roads
running east-west cut this road and join Subhas road. Master Vinayak
road starts from Sahu Talkies, the Comrade Dange road starts from
Padma Talkies and the Karmavir Vitthal Ramji Sinde road starts from
the Satyanarayan Talim road. All these join the Subhas road. There
is a wholesale grain market on the Comrade Dange road and these
three roads and the Raosaheb Mali road are the venue for the weekly
bazar. The Gujari road starts from Bhausngji road and goes on to
join the Mahadwar road. This road is lined with Jeweller's shops.
The Mahatma Phule road starts from Gahgawes and goes to Sivaji Pool.
In Sahupuri there are seven main roads running
parallel to the Sahu road and starting from the Sivaji road. The
'Gur' market is situated in Sahupuri and first main road is known as
Vyapara Peth and the other main roads are numbered one to six.
In Rajarampuri, there are four main roads running
north-south and thirteen cross lanes running east-west.
In Tarabai Park there is a road leading from the
Mandai corner on Sahu road to Jamkhindikar Tikti via Kiran Bungalow
This road is named Major General Thorat road. Another road goes from
Jamkhindikar Tikti to the Collector's office and then goes on to
join the Bavada road. To the North this road goes to Line Bazar.
There are two bridges across the Pancaganga river
and five bridges across the Jayanti Nala. There are also two
causeways across the Jayanti Nala. There is one bridge across Gomati
Nala. The two bridges across Pancaganga river are the Sivaji Pool
which takes one to the Kolhapur-Ratnagiri Road, and the Pancaganga
bridge which takes to the Poona-Bangalore National Highway across
the river. Sivaji Pool is a stone masonry structure with five
arches. It is 411 feet long, and its height is 69 feet above the bed
of the river. It was built between 1874 and 1878. The Pancaganga
bridge is a steel structure of the girder deck type with seven
pillars. It is 5-10 feet long, its height above the bed of the river
is 40 feet.
Of the five bridges across the Jayanti nala, one
takes the Bavada road (Bhausingji) across the nala; another known as
Juna Pool or old bridge, takes the Sahu road across the nala; the
Wilson bridge takes the Sivaji road across the nala; the Ravivar
Pool takes Rajaram road across the nala and the new bridge near the
proposed Hutatma Park takes the Sathamari road across the nala.
The first bridge is a stone masonry structure with
three arches. It is 91 feet long and 31 feet high. It has slightly
ornamental parapets. It was built in 1876. The Juna Pool or Sahu
bridge is an arched bridge with cantiliver girders for footpaths. It
is 127 feet in length and its height is 21 feet from the bed of the
nala. It was built in 1875. The Wilson bridge is a stone masonry
structure with three arches. It is 87 feet in length and its height
is 21 feet from the bed of the nala. It was built in 1927 at a cost
of Rs. 70,000. The Ravivar Pool is also a stone masonry structure
with three arches. It is 103 feet long and its height above the bed
of the nala is 24 feet. It was built in 1879. The bridge near the
proposed Hutatma Park is a R.C.C. deck type bridge with three
arches. It is 76 feet long and its height from the bed of the nala
is 15.5 feet. It was built in 1953. The bridge across the Gomati
Nala is near this bridge on the same road. It is also a R. C C. deck
type bridge with two arches built in 1953. Its length is 44 feet and
height 13.5 feet.
Kolhapur city gets its water from two
sources-Kalamba tank and the Bhogavti river. The Kalamba tank is
about three miles from the city. It is formed by building a bund
between two ridges and impounding the water of the Katyayani valley.
The bund was built between 1881-83 and its height was increased in
The water was taken through an aqueduct to a
reservoir just outside Mahgalwar Peth and from there distributed to
the city. The water was not filtered or treated till 1946, when a
filter house was built on rising ground beyond the old race course
of Padmala. The use of Katyayani water in the city dates back to
1792 when a rich resident of Poona named Baburao Kesav Thakur or
Khatro was persuaded to bring water from Katyayani to supply
Mahalaxmi's temple, and in time the water began to be used by all in
the city. The water of the Kalamba tank is pure and wholesome and is
filtered and chlorinated.
Kalamba water is available only to a portion of the
city. To meet the growing needs of the city it was necessary to find
other sources of water supply. The Pancaganga river was the nearest
source available. When the new extensions of Sahupuri and
Rajarampuri were laid down, it was necessary to supply water to
them. A pumping station was, therefore, established near Bapat camp
and the water was taken to the Vikramsinh Reservoir on the Temblai
hill between 1927 and 1930. The water was supplied to Sahupuri,
Tarabai Park area, new Palace, Residency etc. In course of time,
this source was found to be inadequate and also liable to
contamination from the sewers of the city. Between 1941 and 1947,
therefore, a scheme to improve the water supply of the city was
undertaken. According to this scheme the aqueduct of the Kalamba
tank was improved to prevent loss through seepage and a filter house
to purify the water was established. The pumping station near Bapat
camp was stopped and instead a new pumping station near Balinge, a
village about three and a half miles from Kolhapur, was established
on the Bhogavati river and this water was taken to a reservoir on
the Cambukhadi hillock and from there was distributed to the city. A
filter house was also established at Balihge. The whole scheme cost
about Rs. 30 lakhs and was planned to meet the needs of a population
of two and a half lakhs. With the completion of the Radhanagari dam,
there is sufficient water in the Bhogavati river throughout the year
and the water supply is adequate to meet the growing needs of the
The water works are maintained by Government.
Distribution is also done by Government. Water is supplied through
private connections and through municipal public stand-posts. Water
is generally available for all the 24 hours for private connections.
Formerly, the water of Rahkala tank was supplied
through taps and was otherwise used for drinking and other purposes.
In 1883, a new-cut-stone dam higher and stronger than the old dam
was built on the city side. New pipes were laid and water was
distributed by stand-cocks eighty or ninety feet apart. The use of
Rankala water for bathing or washing was forbidden. [Old Distrjct
Gazetteer.] The use of Rankala water was however, discontinued later
on and at present it is mainly used for irrigation. Dhobis use the
tank for washing clothes and residents of the neighbourhood use it
for bathing and washing. In addition to Rahkala there were formerly
nine other tanks or lakes the water of which was used for washing
and bathing. [Old Distrjct Gazetteer.] All these lakes, except the
Kotitirth are now filled up and converted into residential and other
places. The Kotitirth is, however, still used for bathing and
In Rajarampuri, there was no piped water supply till
1954. Bore wells were being used for suplying water till then. The
water of these bore wells was slightly brackish. With the laying of
pipes in this area, the bore wells have gone out of use.
In the newly included hamlets of Kadamwadi,
Bhosalewadi and Temblaiwadi there is still no piped water supply.
Well water is used in these places. There is also a small lake. at
Kadamwadi. In Bavda there is piped water supply. In addition there
is one lake, the water of which is used for washing and bathing.
There is no underground drainage in the city and
drainage is mainly by surface drains. The drains are let into the
Jayanti nala and the Pancaganga river. Drainage of A and D wards is
mainly let into Pancaganga river. At some places, it is also used by
agriculturists for manuring their fields. Drainage of Sahupuri,
Rajarampuri, Laxmipuri, Khasbag, C Ward and B Ward is mainly let
into Jayanti nala.
There is a proposal to have underground drainage for
the city and plans and estimates for the same are being prepared
There are two gardens maintained by Government and
five maintained by the municipality. The two Government gardens are
the Town Hall garden and the garden behind the Jain hostel. The Town
Hall garden was constructed in 1870 and has to-day many old trees
and some special varieties of plants. There is a glass house and a
band stand. In the garden is siutated the attractive Town Hall
building which now houses a Museum. There is a beautiful fountain
and a marble bust of Sivaji There is a small barrack like structure
which houses the office of the Garden Superintendent. There is a
temple of Mahadeva at the southern end. The civil courts are also
situated within this area but are near the road and do not obstruct
the beauty of the garden. The garden is a real beauty spot and is
perhaps the coolest spot in Kolhapur on account of the shade of many
The other Government garden is on the same road
about two furlongs to the north. It has a beautiful equestrain
statue of Prince Sivaji. There are many flower-trees and seasonal
Of the five municipal gardens, the Padmaraje park is
near the Rahkala tank. It has well-trimmed hedges and flower-beds.
There is a section for children where swings, sea-saws, and other
equipment are provided. There is a band-stand at one end. A radio is
also installed in the garden. In the centre of the garden there is a
bronze bust of Rehman, a well-known painter of Kolhapur. This garden
is a favourite place for evening strolls.
The Sahu Udyan is near the Gangawes. This garden
also has good hedges and flower-beds and a children's section. In
the centre of this garden, there is a bust of Sahu Chatrapati.
The Rajaram hall garden is in Rajarampuri. It has
good rose beds and lawns. It is a favourite place for evening
strolls. A radio is also installed and music is given in the
evening. There is a bronze bust of Govindrao Tembe, a noted musician
The Tarabai Garden is situated in the Tarabai Park
area. It has good flower beds, and a separate section for children.
The fifth garden is in the Line Bazar near the
There are four vegetable and fruit markets in the
city and one main mutton and fish market. In addition there are 16
small mutton stalls distributed in different parts of the city.
There is one main milk-stand where buffaloes are brought and milked
in the presence of the customers. In addition there are three or
four smaller milk-stands in other parts of the city. There is also
one grain market. The annual income of The markets is about Rs.
1,30,000. The main vegetable and fruit markets is the Sivaji Market
(Old Ferries Market) near Sivaji Cauk. There are many fruit stalls
and wholesale business is also transacted here. There are some
vegetable stalls and a few stalls for sale of coli pieces
(colkhan). During mango season, the market is full of
mangoes coming in cases and baskets from Ratnagiri district. The
market has 163 built stalls and there is a separate shed for
wholsale business. This market was opened in 1906.
The second important market is the Kapiltirth
market. It is mainly a vegetable market, both wholesale and retail.
Butter, ghee and curds are sold here in a special shed. Grains are
also sold here. The whole market is an open paved area except for
the shed where butter, ghee and curds are sold. About 600 vendors
come here daily. There is a well in this area and its water is used
for cleaning the market. The other two vegetable and fruit markets
are near Sukravar Peth dharmasala and in Rajarampuri. The
latter named Bagal Market is not very popular and there are hardly
any vendor in it. There is a market called Gandhi Market in the
Municipal office building itself. These shops are mainly grain and
grocery shops. A number of vegetable vendors also sit in
cauk, behind the building, and on the Bazargate Road for want
of accommodation in the Sivaji market.
The main or general mutton and fish market is
situated about a furlong from the municipal office on the Dasram
Road. It contains a slaughter house for sheep and 35 stalls for
selling mutton. On the other side, there are 13 stalls for dried
fish and also for fresh fish. Some fish vendors sit on the open
paved space outside the stalls. Sea fish comes daily in the evening
from Deogad and Malvan. Local river fish is also available in
plenty. In addition to this market, there is a slaughter house and
stalls for sale of beef in the Sadar Bazar.
The milk-stand or Katta is at
Gangaves. It is a practice in Kolhapur to buy milk by getting
the buffalo milked in one's presence. About 300 buffaloes are
brought every morning and evening to the Gangaves milk-stand. The
stand area is paved and provided with rings for tethering the
The grain market is situated in Laxmipun. Wholesale
and retail business is carried on here. It consists of a number of
tin sheds, belonging to the municipality. In addition, there are
shops in private buildings along this road. All these together
constitute the grain market. The municipality proposes to pull down
the tin sheds and construct an enclosed grain market.
There is a separate grass market and a separate
market for bamboos. The former is situated near Uttaresvar while the
latter is situated beyond the Panyaca Khajina (old water reservoir)
near the aqueduct. The bamboo market is held on Sundays while the
grass market is held daily. Near the bamboo market is a cattle
market where cattle are bought and sold in large numbers every
Sunday. The cattle market is a well-planned area of about two acres
with plenty of trees for share and tin shed for buyers and sellers.
A water trough for cattle is also provided. Every Sunday 400 to 500
cattle are brought for sale of which 200 to 250 are sold.
In addition to the daily markets, a weekly bazar is
held on every Sunday, where all articles of daily need are
available. Villagers of nearby villages come to this bazar for their
weekly purchases. The local people buy their requirements of onions,
chillies, etc., during the season when these commodities come to the
market in large quantities and prices are low. The weekly bazar is
held on the Raosaheb Mali Road, on Master Vinayak Road and on
Comrade Dange Road.
Gur Market Yard.
Kolhapur district has been producing sugarcane and
jaegery (gul) since long. In 1854, Graham in his report
mentions that Kolhapur State produced annually 1,296 Khandis of '
Gur' valued at Rs. 1,20,539. This gul used to be sent to
Rajapur for sale as there was no market at Kolhapur. Afterwards,
when a market was established at Sangli, Kolhapur gul was
sent there. In 1895, Sahu Chatrapati ordered the establishment of a
market near the station. Traders were given free plots and other
concessions and were persuaded to start a market in Sahupuri. The
market seems to have started in 1902 and made rapid progress
thereafter. During 1955-56 gul worth Rs. 3.60 crores was sold
in it. It has also given a great filip to the cultivation of
sugarcane in the district. In 1954-55, the acreage under sugarcane
in the district was 44,419 acres. In addition to jaggery, groundnut
is also soid in the market. During 1955-56 groundnut worth about Rs.
44.5 lacs was sold. Jaggery is sold by brokers on behalf of
agriculturists and is bought by traders who export it to Bombay,
Gujarat, Karnatak and other parts of India. It is also exported to
Africa, Malaya and other countries. The following are the number of
brokers and traders:-
No. of licences.
(1) General Commission
(2) Traders: -A Class
(3) Combined licence
The market is situated in the Vyaparpeth of Sahupuri
and also on the Sahu Road, and the cross lanes of Sahupuri. The
godown facilities are, however, woefully inadequate and during the
season, a lot of jaggery is stored on the road in the open until it
is exported by truck or rail. There is now a proposal to shift the
market yard outside the city proper and a site measuring about 120
acres has already been acquired for the purpose on the
Poona-Bangalore Road and the work of developing it is going on
(1957). The shifting of the market yard outside the city will also
reduce the traffic congestion in the city where at present the roads
are full of bullock-carts bringing jaggery from the villages.
In order to control this market and prevent
malpractices, an Agricultural Produce Market Committee was appointed
by the Kolhapur Government in 1945 and the Agricultural Produce
Markets Act was applied. The Committee controls the activities of
brokers, traders, weighmen and shop assistants by licensing them; it
fixes the races of brokerage and weighing and regulates sales by
enforcing sale by public auction. The Committee consists of 15
persons of whom seven represent agriculturists, three represent
traders, and brokers, one represents co-operative societies, one
represents the municipality and three are nominated by Government,
one of whom is the Marketing Inspector and other is the Mamlatdar of
the Taluka. The last two are ex-officio members. Every year the
committee elects two of its members to work as Chairman and
Vice-Chairman. The Committee is elected every three years.
The Municipal Fire Brigade is controlled by the Fire
Brigade Superintendent. There are two fire stations, one in the
municipal office building and the other in the Subhasa Store of the
municipality on the Subhasa Road. There are two new fire engines
bought recently and one old fire engine. They are of the storage
type and not tenders as there are no hydrants. However, the work of
fixing hydrants in some localities has been started. Under the Fire
Brigade Superintendent, there is a total staff of six motor drivers
and 19 firemen.
There have not been many big fires in recent years
in the Municipal limits. The following major fires have occurred in
(1) Jamsandekar Dongle
Gul Vakhar, Sahupurl.
(2) Gadi Karkhana, flour
mill and shops opposite Ubha Maruti in Sivaji Peth.
The fire brigade sometimes goes out of city limits
on request. The following major fires were handled by the fire
brigade recently outside municipal limits:-
(1) Gandhinagar Camp
(2) Kurundwad Harijan
There are eight places in the city for the disposal
of dead Disposal of dead bodies. Of these two are cremation grounds
for Hindus, of which bodies. one is owned and managed by the
municipality. The remaining are burial grounds, one for Mohamedans,
three for Christians and two for Hindus and other communities. Of
these, two are private and are managed by trustees belonging to the
different communities concerned.
Kolhapur as a military centre.
Kolhapur has been a military centre since old days.
The Chatrapati had his own armv before the British came. The British
maintained their infantry and it was quartered at Infantry Lines
near Line Bazar, but when the British units withdrew and the
Maharaja was allowed to have his own army, the Raiaram Rifles were
formed. They were Quartered in barracks specially built on a hillock
near the Terhblai Hill. This continued to be the head quarters of
the Raiaram Rifles until the merger of the Kolhapur State when this
infantry was disbanded. Now a Territorial Army Artillery unit is
stationed at Kolhapur and it uses the barracks built for the Rajaram
Of all the objects of interest in Kolhapur the
Ambabai or Mahalaxmi temple is the most important. It was the centre
of the old town and the city derives its appellation of 'Daksin
Kasi' mainly from this temple. The construction of the temple is
said to have been started in the 9th Century A. D in the Rastrakuta
Period. [H. D. Sankalia and M. G. Dixit; Excavations at Brahmapuri
(Kolhapur) 1945.] Some people believe that the oldest part of the
present shrine may have been the work of the early Chalukyas (550
A.D. to 660 A.D.) which the Silahara rulers of Kolhapur (9th Century
A.D. and onwards) added to and embellished considerably.
The main portion of the building is of two storeys
and is built of black stone brought from local quarries. The spire
and domes of this temple are said to have been added by a
Sankaracarya of Sankesvar; the Jains declare that the temple was a
Jain temple dedicated to Padmavati and that the spire and domes are
Brahmanic additions. The architecture of the building seems to
support that claim. The spire and domes do not harmonise with the
carved work below, which strongly resembles the style of the twelfth
century in the Jain temples in the Mysore State. The image of the
god Ganapati which ought to be carved on the lintel of every
Brahmanic temple is absent and the wall and domes are full of seated
cross-legged figures, many of them naked. These details, it is
argued, prove that this was originally a Jain temple. According to
Major Graham, during some Musalman persecutions in the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries the image of Ambabai was hid in a private
dwelling and in about 1722 A.D. was installed in the present temple
by Sambhaji Maharaj (1712-1760) who for this purpose sent Sidhoji
Hindurao Ghorpade from Panhala to Kolhapur [An extent sanad
or deed by Sambhaji assigning grants for the expense of the temple,
states that though under the Bijapur Government (1489-1686) there
existed many votaries well able to replace the image, Sambhaji Raja
has alone the merit of re-establishing it in its ancient temple.
Bombay Govt. Se. New Series VIII, 317.] The temple is in the form of
a cross and is built with the mortarless close-fitting large blocks
of stone known in the Deccan as the Hemadpanti style. It faces west
on which side is the main entrance with the nagarkhana or
drum chamber on the top. Besides the main entrance to the west,
three small gates open out on the north, east and south. The
northern gate (Ghati Darvaja) has a large bell, which is rung five
times a day, at four in the morning, at noon, at one in the
afternoon, at eight in the evening and nine at night. The body of
the temple is built of local black trap without the help of any
timber Except a few doors it has no openings for air. Under the big
dome on the east is installed the image of Ambabai; and on the north
and south sides two smaller domes enclose images of Mahakali and
Mahasarasvati. The image is about four feet high and it stands on a
stoned platform about three feet high. The main building as it
stands at present, consists of an entrance mandap (proves
mandap) now styled as Garud mandap, in which during
the Navratra celebrations in Aivin (September-October)
a silver image of the goddess is installed for worship on the raised
stone platform therein. As one enters the old main building one sees
the Mukha (face) mandap on either side of which there
are niches containing beautiful images, the chief of them being the
duplicates of the so-called Bharata and Satrughna images, though in
reality in spite of all their charms they are only Jain Dwarpalas
(gate-keepers). This mandap leads on to the Manx
(Bell) mandap, at the end walls of which are two very
beautiful Dwarpals (gate-keepers) called Jay and Vijaya cast in
heroic mould and standing over 10 feet in height. This Bell
mandap leads into the Mula-sthan or the Sanctum
Sanctorum wherein is the image of Mahalaxmi or Ambabai. Inside the
big dome round the image of Ambabai is a closed dark passage with no
opening of any sort and with lights burning day and night to anable
the worshippers to go round the image. There is an upper storey to
the main temple and here there is a linga exactly above the
image of Ambabai. On the outside of the main temple are beautiful
carvings. At regular intervals there are niches and in each niche
there is a beautifully carved figure in polished black stone. The
figures are of musicians and danseuses (dancing apsaras)
known as Yoginis. The cost of the building must have been
immense. The upper works added by Sankaracarya are said to
have cost about Rs. 1 lakh. The big hall or Garud
(Sabha) mandap in front was added during the
administration of Daji Pandit between 1838 and 1843. The main temple
is surrounded by a number of other shrines including shrines of
Dattatraya, Vithoba, Kasi-Visvesvar, Ram and Radha-Krsna. The open
space round the temple is paved with stone-slabs. On either side of
the Sabha Mandap there was a Kund or a small
tank with a fountain, where the devotees could perform ablutions.
The Kund on the southern side has since been filled in. The
temple has four inscriptions carved in Devnagari characters. One on
the outer wall of the temple of Hariharesvar behind Datta Mandir,
dated Saka 1140 (A.D. 1218) a second on a pillar on the left
hand after entering the courtyard dated Saka 1158 (A.D.
1236), a third on a pillar of the small temple of the Navgrah
to the left of the main building and a fourth in the temple of
Sesasayi behind the main temple on the left hand when entering from
the eastern gate. The temple of Ambabai is visited by large number
of pilgrims many of whom come from long distances. Besides
contributions from pilgrims which yearly amount to about Rs. 5,000,
the temple receives a yearly cash allowance of Rs. 6,000 and has
three inam villages in Karvir Taluka. It is served by twenty
pujaris or ministrants. Every Friday night the image of
Ambabai is paraded in a litter round the temple and a salute is
fired. Ambabai has three great days in the year. On the full-moon in
Caitra or March-April a brass image of the goddess is carried
in procession through the town in a triumphal car. On the bright 5th
of Asvin or September-October the image is carried in a
litter in procession to the small temple of Temblai about three
miles east to the city where the unmarried daughter of the headman
of Bavada makes the deity the customary offering the Kohala
or pumpkin. On the full-moon-day in Asvin or
September-October the dome and roof are covered with lamps, and
mahaprasad is offered to the deity. Once in Kartik and
once in Magh, every year there is a peculiar phenomenon. The
sun rays pass through the Mahadvar, pass through the mandaps
and entering the inner temple fall on the image of Mahalaxmi. The
rays first fall on the feet and gradually move upwards. The
phenomenon lasts for about five minutes. Special prayers are offered
on the occasion and many devotees flocK to the temple to see the
phenomenon. The exact time is determined by the pujaris with
the help of the almanack. The phenomenon arises from the peculiar
construction of the temple which enables the sun rays to fall on the
deity only on two days in a year.
Of the temples within the Ambabal temple area two
are of particular interest from the point of view of art and
antiquity. One is the temple of Sesasayi and the other of Navagraha.
The Sesasayi temple is to the south of the eastern gate. The shrine
contains a sculpture of Visnu reclining on his primeval serpent
couch. There is also a linga in the shrine. In front of the
shrine there is a beautiful mandap, the inner dome of whose ceiling
is carved in a most exquisite fashion rivalling in its delicacy the
carving inside the ceiling of Vimala Sabhd at Mount
Abu. Below the carved ceiling are standing figures of naked Jain
Tirthankars with inscriptions carved along in an old form of
Kannada language (Hale Kanada). This mandap appears to have been the
work of a pious Jam king.
The other temple of interest is the temple of
Navagraha. This temple has a beautiful mandap in front called the
Astadikpal or Navagrah Mandap on account of the
nine panels that adorn the inner face of its ceiling. The
mandap is an exquisite work of ancient Indian sculpturesque
architecture and contains also a fine freize of swans. At the ends
of this mandap are exquisite types of Indian womanhood whom
religion has sanctified as Apsaras. The inner shrine on the
right contains a figure of Durga slaying the Buffalo Demon
(Mahisasura Mardini) and also another fine group
depicting the solar deity being borne aloft on his seven horsed,
single wheeled chariot (Hatha). The shrine on the left contains
figures of the nine grahas installed in 1941.
In addition to these two subsidiary shrines the.,
temple also contains other smaller places of worship. Of these, the
most important are the small temples of Dattatraya, Hari-Haresvar,
Muktesvari, Vithoba, Kasivisvesvar, Rama and Radhakrsna.
There were on the northern side of the temple two
tirthas or pools of holy water known as the Kasi and the
Mankarnika whose sides were lined with images and hero stones. These
pools have now been filled up and the images and stones have been
removed to the Museum or to other places.
The Ambabal temple and its property were formerly
managed by the Devasthan Mandal of the District Local Board. In
1950, the management was handed over to one person who claimed to be
the vahivatdar of the deity. Subsequently in 1955, the
management was taken over by Government and since then it is managed
by the collector of the district with the help of a small committee.
Binkhambi Ganapati Temple: This temple is at the
corner of Mahadvar Road. The temple consists of two parts, the inner
temple and the mandap in front. Both these have no pillars to
support the ceiling and hence the temple is called Binkhambi (or
without pillars). The mandap is a square room about 25' x
25'. The usual tower with Kalas is on the inner temple. The
image of Ganapati is of stone with Shendur applied to it. The
temple was formerly known as Josirao's Ganapati, possibly because
the Josirao family was managing the temple.
Bramhesvar temple: This temple is near Varuntirth.
It is like the Ambabai temple in construction but the spire or tower
is missing. The temple is also half buried under the ground and
presents a desolate appearance. It has a small original
mandap in front and a big recent mandap of corrugated
sheets. Inside the shrine there is a linga below the level of
the ground and in the mandap there is a Nandi.
Khol Khandoba: The Khol Khandoba is a temple near
the Burud Galli. From the outside one sees a big dome like that of a
mosque. One has to go down about 20 to 25 feet. into the temple to
reach the deity. The deity in the temple is the Linga. The
temple is said to be ancient and the habitation round about is said
to be even older than the habitation round the Mahalaxmi temple. The
temple is not, however, in its original shape. It appears to have
been partially demolished by an earthquake and have been rebuilt at
a later date. The structure is rough and is without any
Phirangai Mandir: The temple of Phirangai or
Pratyangiras a favourite goddess of the lower classes, is near
Varuntirth. This goddess receives offerings of flour, salt,
turmeric, and oil and she is supposed to have the power of curing
children suffering from itch. Formerly buffaloes were offered but
now goats have taken the place of buffaloes.
The temple is simple. It is of slightly rough stones
without any carvings or decorations. It appears to be a very old
temple and perhaps it existed even before the Mahalaxmi temple was
built because this habitations is said to have been prior to the
habitation round the Mahalaxmi temple. It is now falling into a
state of disrepair.
Radhakrsna Mandir: This is an old temple near the
Padmala or old race course. The temple is small and simple in style
with a spire in the usual way. The idols are of white marble. There
is an image of Krsna playing on the flute and an image of Radha
standing beside him. There is a small cow in between and a small
figure on the left hand possibly of another cowherd. These figures
face north on the left hand side and facing west is the figure of
another woman, possibly a Gopi.
The period of the temple is not known. But in 1857,
some of the mutineers are said to have taken refuge here. This shows
that the temple is an old one.
There is a mandap in front of the temple of
fairly recent construction. Round the temple are hutments which were
formerly used as stables for race horses. Now some people live in
Sesasayi temple: This temple is in the Subhas
Cauk. The temple itself is of recent construction but the image of
Visnu sitting on the coils of Sesa is an ancient one. It was found
in the moat round the city wall south of Ravivar Vesa, and has been
removed from there and installed at the present place during the
reign of Sahu Maharaj. The image is carved in black stone and shows
Visnu reclining on the coils of the serpent who has spread its many
headed hood on him and a ' Das' and a ' Dasi' are pressing Visnu's
feet. The work is exquisitely executed and is very interesting. The
whole figure is about 10 to 12 feet in length.
Tembalai temple: On the east of Kolhapur city about
three miles from the old city there is a small hill and on this bill
is built the temple of Temblai or Tryambuli. According to the Karvir
or Kolhapur Furan, Temblai the younger sister of Mahalaxmi in
consequence of a quarrel with Mahalaxmi left Kolhapur 1900 years ago
and retired to a hill about three miles to the east of the city and
remained there with her back turned towards her elder sister. The
reason for the quarrel is given as follows:-After Mahalaxmi had
killed the Daitya Kolla in the war between the devas and the
daityas, his son Kamaksa decided to take revenge. He had
acquired some magic by which he could convert human beings and
things into sheep. Using this magic he converted Mahalaxmi and other
gods into sheep. Tryambuli was not there at the time and so escaped.
When she came to know of it she came and killed Kamaksa by a ruse
and using his magic wand converted the sheep back into their natural
form. The gods were very glad and decided to celebrate the occasion.
Invitations were sent out to all but Tryambuli was forgotten by
mistake. She got annoyed and went and sat on the Tryambuli Hill.
When her absence at the celebrations was noticed Mahalaxmi sent some
devas to fetch her. But she would not come. Finally Mahalaxmi
herself went there with a Kohala' or pumpkin to remind her of
an incident in the fight with Kolla, the Daitya. But Tryambuli was
not moved. This incident occurred on the 5th Asvin, even
to-day. Ambabai is said to pay her sister one visit in honour of the
Goddess. An image of Ambabai is placed in a litter and carried in
procession to the hill and a Kohala or pumpkin is afterwards
cut to pieces by an unmarried girl in memory of the destruction by
the deity of a giant named Kolhapur. The fair is attended by 15,000
to 20,000 people and sweetmeats and other eatables as well as toys
are offered for sale. Every third year and also during bad attacks
of cholera and other epidemics a buffalo is offered to the goddess.
The temple has a small allowance from Government and one
pujari or ministrant is in attendance. In the old days every
year in Asadh or June-July or in Magh or
January-February it was customary in Kolhapur to offer a he-buffalo
to the goddess Margai near Temblai. This practice was stopped a long
time ago. Now only naivedya of mutton is offered. During the
month of Asadh, on every Tuesday and Friday, water from
Pancaganga river is taken ceremoniously in brass vessels and
Kavadis are poured on the threshold of Temblai temple.
Offerings of eatables and mutton are also made. Some of the local
talims or gymnasiums organise some of these parties.
The temple in the old Hemadpanti style is without
any ornate carvings. There is a mandap in front of the main
On the same hill there are two more temples. One is
the temple of Margai and the other is a temple of Sivaji Maharaj.
The latter is a recent construction. The former is an old structure
with a recent addition of a mandap of corrugated iron sheets.
The Tryambuli hill is a picturesque spot apart from
its religious importance. It is a windswept hill with very few
trees. One gets a panoramic of the sprawling city from the top.
Nearby on similar hill is the Vikramsingh reservoir where there is a
garden maintained by the Water Works Department. This is a beautiful
spot for an evening stroll. There is a small reservoir from where
water is supplied to a part of the city. On the other side of the
Tryambuli hill is the hill on which the barracks of the former
Rajaram Rifles are seen. Between this hill and the Tryambuli hill
passes the road to Hupari.
Vithoba Mandir: The temple of Vithoba, which was
probably built about the same time as Ambabai temple, lies
south-east near the Subhas, Cauk. A large space encloses five
temples with a rest-house large enough for several hundred
travellers. The chief temple of Vithoba to the right is built of
stone and is similar in style to the great temple of Ambabai. In
front of this temple, there is a double-storeyed wooden mandap which
is of fairly recent construction. Another old temple to the left
dedicated to Visvesvar is similar in style to Vithoba's temple. The
entrance is grand and has spacious rooms on the top. On the bright
elevenths of Asadh or June-July and Kartik or
October-November fairs are held in honour of the god Vithoba when
flowers and leaves of the bel or Aegle marmelos and the
tulsi or basil plant are offered. The rooms on the entrance
as well as the two buildings on either side of the entrance are now
used by a school. Except the temple of Vithoba the other temples
appear to be slightly neglected and signs of disrepair are visible
in some of them.
Jain Mandir.-In Laxmipuri, near the Padma
Talkies there is a temple of Munisuvrat, the 20th Tirthahkar of the
Jains. Although the mandir was-built in 1947, it is a fine
example of an attempt to build in the old Indian style of
architecture. The mandir is modelled on the lines of the old Jain
mandirs and reminds one of the Jain mandirs at Abu.
There are beautiful carvings both inside and outside the temple. The
image of Munisuvrat is installed in the inner temple. There are also
images of other Tirthahkars in marble, in the temple. Next to the
inner temple there is a mandap. The mandir was built
at a cost of Rs. 1,25,000.
Jain Swami Math.
Jain Swami Math.-This
math is in Sukravar Peth a short distance from the Sukravar
Dharmasala. The math is very old. The main gate or
Nagarkhana, is very beautiful and is similar to the
nagarkhana of the old Palace. It is, however, surmounted by a
number of four-pillared towers. The main arched gateway is very
beautiful. This nagarkhana or gate was built 80 years ago by
Mathadhipati Laxmisen Maharaj at a cost of Rs. 61,000. It is built
of black stone and is 65 ft. in height.
At present there is only an open space beyond the
gate, except for a small structure at right angles to the main gate
and joined to it. The old math building appears to have been
destroyed and the upper storeys of the main gate and the other
structure are at present being used as math.
Sahkaracarya Math.-This math is
in Sukravar Peth on the way to the Pancaganga Ghat. It is an old two
storeyed structure without any embellishments or architectural
points. It is, however, very old. The building is occupied by
Sankaracarya of Sankesvar. Although formerly it was a part of the
Sankesvar Math, the link was broken about 50 years ago and now the
Kolhapur math is known as Karvir Pitha.
Babujamal Darga.-The Babujamal Darga
is behind Saraswati Cinema theatre within a short distance of the
Ambabal temple. This darga appears to have been built when
the Muslims first conquered Kolhapur.
There is a big gate leading into the draga
grounds. The top of the gate has, however, been removed. This gate
was built in 1909 according to a tablet fixed there. The darga has a
fairly extensive area with a garden and subsidiary building. The
main darga stands in the middle of the ground. It is a typical
Muslim structure with a big dome and four small domes at the four
corners. The darga seems to have been built with stones of
Hindu temples because the image of Ganapati appears on the lintel of
the door. It is white washed.
This Darga is the most important Muslim shrine in
the city. Many Hindus also go there for worship.
Municipal Office Building.-The
Municipal Office building stands on the Bhausingji road near the
Sivajl Chowk. It is a rectangular two-storeyed stone building with a
small third storey in the middle of each side. There are shops
on the ground-floor on the outside. On the first floor, there is a
verandah with arches on the outside and rooms opening out on the
inside. There is a big quadrangle in the building which is
approached from a gate on the northern side. There are arched gates
on the other three sides but two of them are generally closed and
the one on the eastern side is used for a firefighter station. On
the first floor there are two big halls, the old and the new, which
are meant for meetings of the General Body. The new hall constructed
in 1953 has special wall panels which absorb sound and prevent
reverberations. There is also a gallery and new type of fluorescent
The building has been built in two sections. The
eastern and southern wings and a portion of the northern wing were
built in 1929 at a cost of Rs. 1,60,000. The western wing and a
portion of the northern wing were built in 1955 at a cost of Rs.
2,74,000. The new hall is situated in the western wing.
New Place.-The New Palace is on the
Bhausingji Road (Bavada road) near the Residency. It took seven
years to complete, from 1877 to 1884, and cost about seven lakhs of
rupees. The building faces south and has an octagonal tower in the
centre, commonly known as the clock tower, about 25 ft. broad
(outside dimension) and 135 ft. high. The end rooms of the Palace
are octagonal in shape both in front and at back, and it has a grand
Darbar hall and billiard room on one side and two reception rooms on
the other. At the back is an open cauk (square) with a fountain at
the centre and an enclosed verandah arcade and rooms on all sides of
the chowk. The main building is two-storeyed with a terraced roof
and numerous turrets and domes. The Palace is designed with an
exquisite grace of outline which characterises the mixed Hindu style
of architecture and is ornamented with a profusion of elaborate
detail which presents itself to the utmost advantage. The Darbar
Hall is particularly grand. It has very beautiful stained windows
depicting various episodes in the life of Sivaji the Great, which is
the work of an Italian artist.
The Palace has beautiful grounds. There is also a
small zoo. There is a small lake specially created for this zoo.
There was also a small in-door swimming pool near the Palace. The
building, however, is not in proper repair now and the pool is not
Old Palace.-The Old Palace stands near the
Mahalaxml temple to the south-east of the temple. It was built
more than 200 years ago. Some portions of this Palace were set on
fire and destroyed in the insurrection of 1813 by Sadalla Khan and
they had to be rebuilt from time to time. The front portion is very
recent. The Palace is a two-storeyed building having a terrace all
over except the central portion where a hall has been erected. The
Palace contains six chowks (quadrangles). The most important of
these is the Bhavani cauk in which the image of the family deity,
Bhavani, is set up. In this cauk darbars and all religious functions
connected with the chatrapati's household were formerly held. This
cauk is big and has a polished floor, wide verandahs on the four
sides and a gallery on the first floor overlooking the chowk. The
temple of Bhavani is on the western side facing the east. The temple
is spacious. Outside in the southern verandah is kept the 'Gadi' or
throne which was used for the darbars. There is also a life-size
wooden statue of Sahu Chatrapati. Next to Bhavani cauk on the
southern side there is another cauk where there is a small tank with
goldfish in it. In the middle of the tank, there is a small temple
of Mahadeva. The first floor has residential rooms. The western
portion of the Palace is owned by Government and many offices are
located therein. There is a police station in the portion which
formerly belonged to treasury. On the first floor of this portion
are situated the Judicial Magistrates' courts. In the next chowk,
there are the Prant Offices, the Sub-Registrar's Office, Labour
Office, etc. This cauk is big and has a fountain in the middle. In
the south-western portion there is a women's institution patronised
by the Dowager Maharani. In front of this portion there is a small
open space with small temples. The North-eastern portion is in a
dilapidated condition. There used to be also a garden here but now
it is a neglected back-yard. Beyond it there is a medium-sized tank.
This and the buildings round about are used by the Motibaug
The Palace is built in simple style and there are no
special decorations or carvings. It is built mainly in the Hindu
style with very few arches, domes or minarets.
In front of the Bhavani cauk in the eastern side of
the Palace a big mandap with corrugated sheets has been
built. It is in a state of disrepair now.
The Palace is surrounded by other structures with
gates in them in such way that there is a courtyard for the Palace.
On the northern side there is a two-storeyed stone building with
arches and domes with the nagarkhana or the main gate in the middle
and the building of the Rajaram College further on. On the eastern
side, facing the Bhavani temple is another structure with a
beautiful gate in the middle. On the south there is the " Wada " of
a courtier. The courtyard formed with these buildings is not paved
and is now a public thoroughfare with roads passing through it. The
nagarkhana building is of particular interest It is perhaps the
tallest building in the city and form its top one gets a panoramic
view of the city. It is a massive five-storeyed building built
mainly in black-stone and is a fine example of Indian architecture.
There are no domes but there are a few arches which point to Islamic
influence. On the third-storey, there is a chamber with square
pillars. The pillars as well as walls are of highly polished
black-stone. It is called Aine Mahal or the hall of mirrors because
the surface of the walls and of the pillars is so highly polished
that it reflects images. The main gate of the nagarkhana has
big arches. On either side of the gate, there is a room where
elephants were formerly kept. The nagarkhana was built by
Buvasaheb Maharaj, the ruler of Kolhapur between 1828 and 1838. Its
cost is unknown but it has been estimated at Rs. 5,00,000. The gate
on the eastern side has beautiful pillars.
Rajaram College.-The Rajaram College
(Arts Section) building is near the nagarkhana. of the Old
Palace. This building is in the Rajasthan style of construction with
small curved domes supported by slender pillars and galleries with
curved roofs. The building is a two-storeyed structure in
black-stone with two beautiful polygon towers in the Indo-Saracenic
style, with slender pillars supporting a dome with an inverted
lotus-leaf. There is a partial third storey which seems to have been
built at a later period and does not completely harmonise with the
The building was originally built for the Rajaram
High School. Subsequently when the Rajaram College was started in
1880 the High School was shifted and the College was housed in this
building. There is a beautiful hall in the building which is used
for various functions. There is an open air theatre recently built
behind the college building.
Salini Palace.-The Salini Palace
stands on the northern bank of the Rankala lake. It is a modern
construction in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. It is a
rectangular double-storeyed structure with four square towers
surmounted by domes at the corners. On the front side above the main
entrance another square tower rises above the corner towers and it
is surmounted by a polygon tower with slender pillars and a dome at
the top with an inverted lotus leaf. The Palace faces the Rankali
tank and has beautiful grounds. There is a small ghat on the
lake where one can sit and enjoy solitude or from where one can go
boating. The Palace is richly decorated inside and is lavishly
This Palace was built between 1931 and 1934 at a
cost of Rs. 8,00,000. At present (1957) it is not in regular use.
Town Hall.-This beautiful building is
situated near the Civil Hospital on the Bhausingji Road. It stands
in the extensive and beautiful Town Hall garden. The building is in
Gothic style with two spires and a steep roof. It consists of a
large central hall and gallery with two rooms on either side joined
to the main hall by a spacious verandah in the front. There is a
fine porch with a terrace over it, joined to the hall and gallery.
The hall is spacious enough to seat 500 persons. There is a big
arched wooden door leading into the hall. Creepers have been let on
the porch and on the walls. There is a beautiful, large, oval
fountain in front of the building with a pool of water which
contains goldfish. The building is surrounded by a splendid garden
(for description of the garden see Gardens). The Town Hall building
was constructed between 1872 and 1876 at a cost of Rs. 80,000.
The building at present houses a museum. The hall
contains glass cases in which are displayed various articles found
in the excavations at Brahmapuri such as earthern vessels, beads and
so on. Some cases display coins of different periods. There are
tamrapats also. There are many figures carved in stone found
in the different parts of the city and at Bid, a village in Karvir
taluka where there was a kingdom in pre-Muslim days. In the southern
wing there is an armoury where old weapons are displayed. In the
northern wing there is an Art gallery where paintings of noted local
artists are displayed. There is also a small collection of busts and
Statues.-There are some beautiful statues in
Kolhapur city.Of particular interest are the following:-(i) Statue
of Sivaji Maharaj in Sivaji Cauk, (ii) Statue of Sahu Chatrapati,
(iii) Statue of Aisaheb Maharaj and (iv) Statue of Mahatma Gandhi in
The statue of Sivaji Maharaj in Sivaji Cauk faces
north It is a standing figure of Sivaji with a sword drawn. The
statue is in bronze and is mounted on a pedestal of polished
black-stone. The pedestal is about 10 ft. in height and the statue
is about 6 ft. in height. The statue is enclosed by a polygon-shaped
compound of stone pillars and a green hedge is gown around it. The
statue was erected in 1945, on the site formerly occupied by the
statue of Sir Leslie Wilson.
The statue of Sahu Maharaj is on the Sahu Road near
Dasara Chowk. The statue is a full size standing figure of Sahu
Maharaj in bronze mounted on a greenish marble pedastal with a small
polygon-shaped compound of small stone pillars and an iron chain.
The statue itself is about 10 ft. in height and the pedestal is 12
to 15 ft. in height. With this height the statue looks imposing. The
statue was unveiled on 12th April 1927.
The statues of Aisaheb Maharaj is on the junction of
Sivaji Road, Latthe Road and Karmavir Bhaurao Patil Road. It is a
marble statue of Maharani Laxmibai, the mother of Rajaram Maharaj.
It is a beautiful sitting figure of the Maharani with a beautiful
marble canopy. There is a marble pedestal. Formerly, there were
trees round the statue but they have been recently removed and the
place has been converted into an oval-shaped traffic island. The
statue was erected in 1929, at the time of establishment of
The statue of Mahatma Gandhi is at Varuntlrth. It
stands in the middle of what was formerly the Varuntirth tank. The
statue is an bronze and shows Mahatma Gandhi in the familiar pose of
walking with a long stick in his hand. The statue itself is 11 ft.
in height and it is mounted on a stone pedestal which is 12 to 15
ft. in height. The area round the statue is being developed into a
garden. The statue cost Rs. 1,00,000 and was unveiled on 7th June,
Besides these statues, there are the following
statues or busts in the city: -
(1) The equestrian statue of Prince Sivaji near Sahu
(2) Bust of Mahatma Phule Bindu Cauk.
(3) Bust of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in Bindu Cauk.
(4) Bust of Alladiya Khan near Deval Club.
(5) Bust of Abalal in Padma Raje Garden.
(6) Bust of Sahu Maharaj in Sahu Uddyan.
(7) Bust of Rajaram Maharaj in front of the Civil
(8) Bust of Cimasaheb near Power House corner.
(9) Bust of Govindarao Tembe in Rajaram Hall garden.
(10) Bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Papachl Tikti.
(11) Bust of Sivaji at Varuntlrth.
Pancaganga Ghat.-To the north-west of
the city, there is an extensive ghat on the Pancaganga river.
There are numerous temples here including some in the river itself.
On the bank is an enclosure where members of the royal family are
cremated. There are many temples here dedicated to the deceased
members of the royal family. Sambhaji, Sivaji III, Aba Saheb and
Babasaheb. Of these, the biggest and best is the temple of Sivaji
III. It was built in 1815 and contains some beautiful carvings. It
is, however, an ill-assorted combination of large Musalman Hall and
a lofty Hindu spire covered with stucco formed into mouldings and
with a few ornaments. [Old District Gazetteer.] These tombs are
ling shrines. In some temples padukas are found.
The ghat consists of long stone flights of
steps reaching down to the river. The ghat is used for
bathing and washing. One gets a very picturesque view from the
ghat. To the north one sees the river windmg under the lofty
arches of the Shivaji Bridge. Overlooking this bridge, the
ghat and the river is the Bramhapuri Hill, the site of the
Kotitirth.-To the east of the city near the
sahu Mill (Sahu Chatrapati Spinning and Weaving Mill) there is a big
tank or lake with a temple of Mahadeva. This is called the
Kotitirth. This is a picturesque spot in Kolhapur. On the city side
there is an earthen bund. There are some babul trees on this side.
The temple of Mahadeva is slightly inside the lake with a small
strip of land joining it to the bund. The temple is small and simple
and has no ornate carvings or decorations. The image of Ganapati is
carved on the lintel of the temple. There is a small mandap
of recent construction before the temple. Inside the temple there is
a Pindi or ling of Mahadeo. On the southern side there
is a sort of mangrove and a building. This building was constructed
by one Narayandas Maharaj, who came here in 1894 and built this
rest-house like building with country tiled roof.. Narayandas
Maharaj toot samadhi, in 1933. The samadhi is in a small
chamber below the main room of this building. In front of this
building, there is a small ghat going upto the edge of the
water. The samadhi has become a place of worship.
There are different stories about how the place came
to be called Kotitirth. According to one the daityas defeated
the devas. The devas implored Mahalaxmi to help them
and she attacked the devas. But when she saw their plight she
took pity on them and refused to kill them. But the daityas
did not like this and they told her that those who seek mercy go to
hell while those who die on the battle field go to heaven and that
she should kill all of them and give the place the name of Kotitirth
as they were one crore in strength. According to another story
Kotitirth is the tirth or holy tank established by Puskaresvar at
Karvir. As king Bhanu took bath here and washed away his one crore
sins the tirth was called Kotitirth.
The water of Kotitirth is not used for drinking. It
is used for bathing and washing. A few people swim in the tank
especially near the temple of Narayandas Maharaj.
Rankala: Of all the places of
interest in Kolhapur, Rankala is perhaps the most popular. It is a
place where people throng in the evening for a stroll. It is
sometimes referred to as the mackbay or Marine Drive of Kolhapur.
Rankala is a lake at the south western end of the city. It has a
radius of 2½ miles to 3 miles and depth of 35 ft. The road on the
city side is in good condition and is the most frequented. It is
really a bund which was built to increase the capacity of the lake.
The water of the lake is now used mainly for irrigation and about
350 acres are irrigated. The water is let through a sluice gate in
the bund. This gate is operated from a minor type of beautiful
structure called the Rankala Tower. Near the Tower is the Raj ghat,
a flight of broad steps leading to the water. It is now used for
bathing and washing. On the northern bank of the lake stands the
beautiful Salini Palace lending additional charm to the lake. On the
eastern side and slightly in the lake stands the Sandhya-math. It is
a structure of stone columns with a stone slab forming a big hall.
It is an old structure in a crumbling stage. It is almost fully
sub-merged in water during the monsoon and almost fully seen in the
summer when the water in the lake reaches its lowest level. On the
south-eastern side of the lake there is the Padma Raje Garden, where
one can sit and relax. Formerly there were a few boats for going
round in the lake which were used mainly by the Maharaja. Fishing
rights were also reserved by the Maharaja. Now there are no boats in
the lake. Fishing rights are annually auctioned. Very good
Moral is found in the lake. The lake is named after the god
Rank Bhairav, who is said to have been a great favourite with
Mahalaksmi and to have a gold temple now hidden under the water of
the lake. The beginning of the Rankala lake is said to have been a
quarry from which, according to the Jains, including the temple of
Ambabal, stones were supplied to 360 Bastis or Jain temples
built by a Jain Raja Gandharaditya. Afterwards in the eighth or
ninth century an earthquake is said to have enlarged the quarry and
filled it with water. The lake now receives water from two streams
in the north and has also a waste weir outlet in the north. In 1883
the Rankala water supply was much improved. A new cut-stone dam
higher and stronger than the old dam was built on the city side.
This dam with its parapet wall still stands, although the height of
the dam or embankment has slightly increased due to remetalling of
the road on the top and the height of the parapet wall has
correspondingly decreased. The lake is now owned by Government and
is managed by the Public Works Department.
Bindu Cauk is a square in the heart of
the town. In this . square there is a semi-circular place for
public meetings. This place is paved and fenced and has a specially
built dias at one end. It has a picturesque background of the only
remaining bastions of the old city wall and on the south is the only
remaining gate viz., the Ravivar Ves. On either side of the dais,
there are two busts, one of Mahatma Phule and the other of Dr. B. R.
Ambedkar. All major public meetings are held at this place.
Sathmari or the arena for elephant fights is
on Subhas Road in the south-eastern part of the old city. It is a
plot of about two acres with small stone castles built at different
points where the persons provoking the elephants to fight could take
shelter. The whole plot is fenced round with a wall on the top of
which there is place for the spectators. Elephant fights were
popular during the rule of Sahu Chatrapati. Now the place is used as
a playground and is only a remainder of the old sport.
Kolhapur is known for wrestling. To encourage
wrestling a special wrestling arena has been built by the former
Kolhapur State Government. The arena is between Subhasa Cauk and
Kesavarao Bhosale Natyagrha (old Palace Theatre). It is a circular
open place with a pavilion at one end and circular sloping ground
all round. The ring is in the middle. The arena can accommodate
20,000 persons at a time. The arena is now owned by Government and
has been leased out to the Kolhapur Sports Association which
arranges wrestling bouts periodically.
Chhatrapati Pramila Raje
The C. P. R. Hospital or the Civil Hospital
(formerly known as Albert Edward Hospital) is situated on the
Bhausingji Road near the old Queen's or Rani Circle. The main
building of the hospital is an example of English architecture of
Gothic style of the nineteenth century. It was constructed between
1881 and 1884 at a cost of Rs. 3 lakhs. It is a two storeyed
structure with a small portion behind the porch at the entrance
going up to three or four storeys. This portion has a steep tiled
roof ending up with wrought iron railing at the top.
The hospital has accommodation for 200 patients. On
the ground floor are the administrative offices and a small general
ward. On the first floor are two general wards, the one on the right
hand side as one goes up the staircase, is a female and children's
ward and the other slightly higher up on the left is the male ward.
There is a well-equipped operation theatre on the first floor.
Behind the main building there is a newly constructed T. B. Ward and
a small ward for infectious diseases. On the southern side there are
special rooms in what is called Nursing Home. In the open space in
front of the main building on the southern side there is the
out-patient department with X-Ray arrangement. This building is
comparatively a recent construction.
There is a separate maternity home attached to the
Civil Hospital. This is known as Padma Raje Maternity Home. It is in
the same compound as the main hospital but is at the other end. It
is a two-storeyed building.
Karvir Nagar vachan
The Karvir Nagar Vacan
Mandir is opposite the Rajaram Colleg (Arts Section). It has
a small but attractive building with a small dome and some carved
slender pillars, forming a porch. The architecture is somewhat
similar to the architecture of the Rajaram College building, though
not of that exquisite quality.
The library was founded in 1850 and was then known
as the Kolhapur Native Library. It was originally housed in a
building which was later on taken over by the Government. The
present building was constructed between 1879 and 1881. In 1921 the
reading hall on the east was built.
There is a reading hall in the original building
where newspapers and magazines are available for reading. Books are
issued out for reading at home. There is another reading hall in the
building constructed later where reference books are generally
available. There were 26,000 books in the library in 1957.