PANHALA FORT, PANHALA TREK
Panhala fort is a small hill-fort located in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. The battle of Pavankhind took place here in the 16th Century. This is an ideal place for people who love to visit historical places. There is not much trekking that one can do at Panhala, but it is definitely worth visiting considering its historical importance.
See below for more detailed information about Panhala.
Height: 2772 ft
Time for trekking: 1 hour
Must see place if you are visiting Kolhapur. Well connected by road and most of the structures are still intact.
How to reach: People travelling from Pune need to take the NH4 and head towards Kolhapur. Affter the Kini Phata, there is a diversion that goes to WarnaNagar and then to the village called Panhala. This can be called the base village.
From here the locals can help you with the internal roads to the fort. There is not much trekking involved. The motorable road takes you to the top of the fort and there's plenty of parking space available on the top.
What to see at Panhala: There is plenty to see at Panhala as most of the structures are still intact.
- Statue of Baji Prabhu Deshpande - He was one of the greatest warriors of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharajs army.
- Fortifications - Most of the fort walls are still intact. There is more than 7kms of tathbandi at Panhala which is a must see.
- Andhar Bavadi - This is a three storey structure on the fort also called as hidden well.
- Kalvanticha Mahal - The state of this building is not that good in these days
- Ambarkhana - This was the food storage area on the fort. Located at the centre of Panhala, these granaries enabled Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to withstand a 5 month seige by Siddhi Johar.
With constant food supply available inhouse, the army never ran out of food supplies.
- Dharma Kothi - One more granary on the fort. As the name suggests, this was a granary used to supply food to the poor and the needy.
- Teen Darwaja - The main entrance of the fort. There are persian inscriptions on this gate which signify that this was built in the early ages.
- Wagh Darwaja - Another entrance of the fort. This door was used as a trap for any intruders. Intruders would get in and could easily be neutralized in the small courtyard behind this door.
- Rajdindi Bastion
- Palace of Tarabai
Best time to visit: The best time to visit is during the monsoon season and the winter season. The weather is just perfect during the winters and a stay at some Hotel and Panhala is recommended.
Food & Accomodation: If you are travelling form a far away place, you need not worry. There are plenty of hotels and lodges around the fort where you can stay for a day or two. The hotels around Panhala are a bit expensive than the ones in Kolhapur city. So if you have your own vehicle, we would recommend that you stay at some hotel in the city itself. The fort is just 20kms from the main city and should not take much time to reach by car.
Special Advice: As soon as you get to the entrance of the fort, you'll see a lot of guides offfering help in exploring the fort. We recommend that you hire one as they know all the roads well and also explain about the history of this place.
The overall area of the fort is quite huge and you probaly won't be able to cover all the places on your own.