Panhala is a fortified hill station in Kolhapur District of Indian state of Maharashtra. Panhala was established before the establishment of Kolhapur as a seat of administrative power of Peshwas, but today this fort city is a tourism attraction. Here, the cuisine, festivals and arts and culture have now bubbled over to Panhala.
Panhala fort is located at about 20 kilometers northwest of Kolhapur. One can see the distant view of Sahyadri mountain range.
Andharbav was built during the 17th century. The compound of Andharbav had encompassed a three-storey building. It was used as a hideaway to entangle enemy soldiers.
Facing Andharbav, to the right, is Teen Darwaza. This architecture is known as 'Konkani Darwaza'. With three enormous doors and five arches of black basalt, the gateway of Konkani Darwaza could only be approached at a clumsy angle, which made it unfeasible for the enemy to absorb in a full-scale charge. Most enemies, thus, preferred to lay siege and bomb the fort from a distance, as it had occurred in 1660 when Sidi Jauhar had cornered Maratha Emperor Shivaji.
Each gate of the Teen Darwaza is discerned by symbols and motifs of Mughal art. On the third gate, the thumb-sized sculpture of Lord Hanuman and a lotus roof is worth a second look. The second gate was constructed by Raja Bhoj II (1175-1215), has a Lord Ganesha, while the first gate has a seal of Adil Shahi Dynasty scripted in Urdu language, admonishing the enemies that if they broke down the gate, they would have to face terrible consequences.
Vishnu-Tirth well is located inside Panhala Fort. It is said that Shivaji used to send the secret messages. The paper containing a message would be folded and enclosed within a lemon. The lemon was then strongly tied with a string and dropped into the well. The water from the well flowed directly to Ranakala Lake in Kolhapur, (20 km away), from where it was then reclaimed.
Sajja Kothi or Sadar-e-Mahal is the best specimen of Maratha architecture in Panhala Fort. It is a two-storey building, built on the periphery of the cliff, that Shivaji use to hold his military and administrative meets. It was from here that he turned tail to Vishalgad.
Ambar Khana includes three buildings constructed by Raja Bhoj II. It was a granary that could store up to 25,000 khandis of grain (approximately 50,000 maunds).
Shiva Temple is a small Hindu temple in Panhala. During the Panhalgad siege, Shivaji performed a prayer ceremony to Mahadeva in which he had shed a few drops of his own blood.
Kali Masjid is an example of architecture of Adil Shah Dynasty. It was constructed by Ali Adil Shah II.
Dutondi Buruj is a two-mouthed citadel that faces north and provides a favourable position to observe the entire Panhala.
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Tourism in Panhala