PANHALA FORT INFORMATION & HISTORY
The fort is located in Panhala near Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. It is also called Panhalgad. The fort is one of the largest forts in the Deccan. Most of the architect on the fort is of Bijapuri style.
The structure of the fort :
- Andhar Bavadi : This is a well in the middle of the fort which was a major source of water for the people on the fort.
- Ambarkhana : These are the three buildings called Ganga. Yamuna and Saraswathi khotis. The three buildings were build in Bijapuri architectural style with stairs on each side, numerous bays and holes on top.
- Kalavantinicha Mahal : Kalavanticha Mahal was basically the terrace room for the courtesans, which is now in ruins due to the British dismantling and effect of time.
- Teen darwaza : This main gate of the fort was the biggest door among the three doorways which was faced to the north of Andhar bavadi.
- Sajja Kothi : This is a single-storey structure looking over the deep valley below and was an imprisonment chamber for Sambhaji by the orders of his father, Shivaji.
- The great doorways : The Panhala fort had three magnificent doorways to welcome its guests and enemies with equal grandeur.
- Rajdindi Bastion : This is the secret escape way from the fort. Shivaji Maharaj escaped from this bastion while he was on Panhala fort.
The Fight between the Mughals and Maratha’s for almost 5 months and in the battle the Shivaji raje was almost on the verge of being captured. The Trusted commander of Shivaji Maharaj, baji prabhu deshpande suggested Shivaji Maharaj to escape from the fought to Vishalgad in the night while Shiva Kashid who looked just like Shivaji Maharaj with Bajiprabhu and few 300 Maratha (mawle) will fight in the valley of Pawan kind. Bajiprabhu also said Shivaji Maharaj once reached the Vishalgad fort just to fire a cannon once he reached the fort for his safety. The fort was again recaptured by Shivaji Maharaj from Adilshah in 1673. Later the fort was under the kings of Kolhapur.
Many trekkers from all over Maharashtra visit this fort. It is one of the hardest forts to trek. There is also an MTDC Resort on the fort for the people who want to stay. The fort now can be accessible by roads as the road is connected to every point on the fort.
Best time to visit
The fort is one of the major tourist attractions to visit throughout the year. Many tourists visit the fort while visiting the famous Goddess Mahalaxmi temple of Kolhapur. But the best time to visit Panhala fort is from June to January as the climate here is pleasant and beautiful.