(Last Updated on : 13/06/2013)
Satara, the headquarters of the Satara district
, gets its name from the seventeen or Satara gates, towers and walls that the fort was supposed to posses. The monuments of Satara are contained in a fine collection of historical relics associated with Chatrapati Shivaji
. Satara lies in a shallow basin between two hills, near the confluence of the Krishna and its tributary Venna rivers. It is a pleasant and interesting town, bounded on the West by the Yavteshwar hill and on the North by the Pune-Satara road. The town is situated at the base of the famous Satara fort.
There have been found historical inscriptions as old as 200 BC which refer to Satara, mentioning then oldest known place there as karad. The Empire of Chandragupta II extended as far as the Satara district in Deccan, when he ruled there between 451 AD and 455 AD. The Guptas were followed by the Satavahana dynasty
who ruled here for about two centuries. The first Muslim invasion of the Deccan took place in 1296. In 1636 the Nizam Shahi dynasty came to an end. In 1663 Shivaji conquered Parali and Satara fort. After the death of Shivaji, Aurangzeb
conquered Satara fort. In 1708 Chhatrapati Shahu was crowned within the Satara fort. The direct descendents of The Great Maratha King Chatrapati Shivaji continue to live in Satara. The current king of Satara, Chatrapati Udayanraje Bhonsale is the 13th descendent of Shivaji Maharaj. Satara was captured by the British and added to the Bombay Presidency in 1848.
Not many temples are found in Satara. This is because Mahuli, three miles to the East is the place of devotion for Satara and contains all the best temples. Among the temples found here, some were built by Satara chiefs and others by private individuals. The Yamai Devi Temple is found in Satara. Constructed in the Hemadpanthi pattern, it contains life sized idols of the Avatars of Lord Vishnu
. These have been carved in marble. Also contained herein is an art gallery, and a deepmala which is 200 feet high. This deepmala is considered to be the highest intact deepmala in the state.
A popular place of pilgrimage in Maharashtra
is Sajjangad, located here. It is the birth place of Sant Ramdas Swami, spiritual guru of Shivaji Maharaj lived, taught and died here. The Samadhi of Sant Ramdas is to be found here. It is taken care of by the Shri Samarth Seva Mandal. Sajjangad is of significant spiritual importance.
Some other temples found at Satara. The Garecha Ganpati is located at Chimanpura. In Mangalvar Peth are located the Bhavani, Kalaram and Vithoba temples. The Bhavani temple dates back to the reign of Chhatrapati Shahu (1682-1749). The Kalaram mandir is named thus after the black- stone image of the God found here. The temple of Dholya Ganapati in Machi has a huge image as is suggested by the name
The Matyancha Ram, the Kasardevi and the Maruti Mandir are in the Shanivar peth. The Goreram Mandir Pratapganj, the Krishneshvar temple in Sadasiv and the Koteshvar temple are worth mentioning. Among the Muslim places of worship in Satara can be mentioned a few mosques found here. Amongst the mosques the significant are the Khatiba mosque, the Sanivar mosque in Guruvar peth, the Daulatkhan mosque, the Amina mosque in Durga and the Mhatba mosque.
The costliest of these mosques is in Durga built at a cost of rupees 1, 00,000 by the late Raja Pratapsinh at the request of Amina, a dancing girl. It is a plain domed whitewashed building about fifty feet by forty and fifteen feet high. The east part of the building has four Saracenic arches, another row running down the centre of the building. The arches are ornamented in floral patterns.
There are a number of Monuments found in Satara, mainly historical in nature. These include various forts, palaces and civic constructions of the various dynastic rulers of Satara.