Postcards from Kolhapur (Part 1 - Palace and Open Zoo) | Travel

Kolhapur, about 410 kms by road from Mumbai, is a beautiful city. It has a rich history and culture. Although most of you will only think about the Kolhapuri Chappals when one talks about this city, but there is a lot more to Kolhapur than just that. The city has lots to offer and is an ideal tourist destination for those who love shopping, food and re-visiting history. I have been to Kolhapur a couple of times and I just can't get enough of this city's awesomeness. I end up shopping more than I want to!

My recent trip to Kolhapur was fantastic. I must share one important thing - although I did not opt for History as my subject for majors (despite the fact that I love Indian history, especially all about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj), I absolutely love visiting historical locations, forts, palaces etc. I can roam around for hours, clicking pictures, talking to the natives about the real history of that area, understanding the monument and more.

Our first stop was the beautiful Mahalaxmi temple (Karveer). When in Kolhapur, I make it a point to visit this temple (I visit all the temples, wherever I am). After that, we had some spicy Kolhapuri Misal at a joint nearby.

Post some book shopping at a local store (picked some amazing Marathi and English books), temple visits and lunch, we finally reached the New Palace of Kolhapur (also known as the Shree Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Museum). This beautiful palace was built in 1881. The architect of this museum was a British royal engineer named Major Charles Mant. The first storey of this building is occupied by the current Chhatrapati of Kolhapur and his family.

Unfortunately, as is the case at most of the museums and palaces, photography was not allowed inside the museum. The museum houses the furniture, clothes, war equipment among other important items used by the Chhatrapati. It also has the beautiful, huge Darbar hall (I fell in love with this hall and stood there for a good 15 minutes looking at each & every detail). The beautiful architecture makes you wanna live there forever. They also have a huge hall dedicated to some of the animals and birds hunted by the Chhatrapati.

Spot me in this picture :)
You can also see a few glimpses of this beautiful palace in the Marathi film, Balgandharva.
Honestly, I am a bit annoyed with the government's attitude towards these heritage buildings. They don't believe in taking care of it, neither do they believe in promoting state tourism. There are so many wonderful heritage sites in Maharashtra, but the Government and the Tourism department simply ignore them. High time our state gets a better tourism minister and team, so that these sites can be promoted. This will help in increasing the foot fall and our state can definitely benefit a lot from this.

Okay! Let's move on to talking more about this beautiful palace. In front of the palace area, there is a picturesque lake. Around the lake, one can spot some wild life animals like Spotted Deers, Sambar, Peacock. All of them are kept in an open space and are allowed to roam around freely. The palace authorities and servants working for the current Chhatrapati take good care of these animals. Trust me, they take care of these animals very well and I am proud that they are allowed to move around with complete freedom.These animals are absolutely adorable.

PS: Some people need to get a life and understand that they cannot feed these animals anything under the sun. I saw some people giving diary milk chocolates to the Deer. I told them to stop, but some people are just so stupid! These animals are much better than most illogical humans. I am sure you will agree.

This picture is so cute, don't you think so?
   The New Palace is an ideal place to unwind and perfect for a day long picnic, in case you are in Kolhapur. You can relax, walk around and enjoy the beautiful weather (Kolhapur is wonderful during the winters) without anyone disturbing you.

Post the palace tour, we had some great time shopping in the Kolhapur market and eating some really awesome Kolhapuri bhel! Find out more in my next post on Kolhapur (Part 2 - Shopping and Food)

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  1. OhMyGod. I love the pictures. Especially first three. You are an amazing photographer.

    Also, this post was so nice. Nature and places and all. Refreshing!


  2. Hey ,,,,,, love the pictures ,,,,,awesome ... Misal ,, yummmm ,,, my mouth is watering ,, the animals are sooo cute ... Dumb people feeding dairy milk ,, crack pots ,,, waiting fr part 2

    Do visit my blog ,,, following you




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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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