Panhala Fort is the largest fort in Deccan and is situated at 20 km from Kolhapur in Maharashtra. It is one of the protected monument of India. It has great historical importance. Chatrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler, had spend more than a year in the fort which makes the fort more historically important. The fort is triangular in shape and built over a vast area. The fort is spread over the circumference of about 7 km. The fort has three strong gates. First gate contains some inscriptions in Persian language. Second gate has inscription of Lord Ganesha and the third gate contains the inscription of Lord Hanuman. There are three huge granary or Amberkhana. These granaries can store 50,000 pounds of corn. Among these, the Ganga Kothi is the largest one. In the north east part of the fort, there is Sajja Kothi (a two storied building) where Chatrapati Shivaji had imprisoned his son Sambhaji.
History of Panhala Fort :
It is believed that, the fort was built by Shilahara ruler Bhoja II (1178-1209). Panhala was his captial. Subequently, the Panhala fort was occupied by Yadavas. Later on, it comes under the control of Bahamanis of Bidar and then under the kingdom of Bijapur. Shivaji seized the fort in 1659 AD. In 1701, Panhala Fort was occupied by Aurangzeb (Mughals) for a short period. But after sometime, again Marathas occupied the fort, after which it remained with Marathas. One can see many ruined monuments inside the fort.
Places of Interest inside the Panhala Fort:
Andhar Bavadi : Andhar Bavadi or hidden well was the main water source for Panhala fort. It is a three-storey structure with winding staircases.
Kalavanticha Mahal : This building was used as Rang Mahal by the Bahmani Sultanate. It is situated in east part of the fort.
Ambarkhana : There are three huge Ambarkhana OR granary (namely Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati Kothis) in the fort situated in the central part of the fort.
Dharma Kothi : This was an additional granary apart from the Ambarkhana, where grains was distributed to needy people.
Sajja Kothi : This is the building where Chatrapati Shivaji had imprisoned his son Sambhaji.
Teen Darwaza : Teen Darwaza is situated in west part of the Fort and is the main entrance of the fort. It is one of the three gateways to the fort.
Wagh Darwaza : It is also one of the three gateways of the fort.
Temples and mausoleums :
Climate and weather at Panhala :
Summer season : March to May ( max temp : 28°C)
Monsoons Season : June to August (moderate rainfall occurs in rainy season)
Winters Season : November to February ( Minimum temp : 10°C, Maximum temp : 25°C)
How to reach Panhala fort :
It is recommende to stay at kolhapur. From Kolhapur, one can take taxi for Panhala fort. Apart from that state transport buses and privates buses plies on regular basis from Kolhapur to the fort. Kolhapur is well connected by air, rail and road with all major cities of India.
Map of Panhala Fort, Kolhapur, Maharashtra :
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