Panhala Fort- Kolhapur, Maharashtra

Panhala Fort

Panhala Fort also known as Panhalgad and Panhalla is located in Panhala village which is located 20 km from Kolhapur City of Maharashtra State. Panhala means ” home of serpents”. As the Fort is in a zigzagged shape it is called the “home of snakes”. The Panhala Fort is situated at a height of 2772 feet. The place is calm and peaceful with breathtaking views around the fort. Both sunrise and sunset views give a beautiful panoramic view.

It was built in a strategic position where a major trade route ran within Maharashtra from Bijapur to the coasts of the Arabian Sea. This place is a combination of a historic location and a trekking spot. So it becomes a must-visit place for people who love to explore historic places as well as trekking enthusiasts.

History of Panhala Fort

panhala fort History
                                                                          Panhala Fort


Panhala Fort was built by Shilahara ruler Bhoja II between 1178 and 1209. It is said that the famous memorable statement “Kahaan Raja Bhoj, Kahan Gangu Teli” is associated with the fort. Raja Bhoja was defeated by Singhana (the most powerful Devgiri Yadavas) in about 1209-10, and the fort passed into the hands of Yadavas.

In 1489, after the establishment of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, Panhala came under Bijapur and was made more secure. They build strong walls and gateways of the fort. In 1659 after the death of Bijapur ruler Afzal Khan, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took Panhala from Bijapur. In the “Battle of Pavan Khind”, the fort went to Adil Shah.

Panhala Trek Famous For?

Panhala Fort is one of the largest forts in the Deccan, with a perimeter of 14 km and 110 lookout posts. The walls are protected for long sections by steep escarpments. Looking over the green slopes of Sahyadri, it has around 7 kilometres of fortifications along with full-proof protection by three double-walled gates which are huge in size.

  • Andhra Bhavadi: Andhra Bavadi or the Hidden Well was a three-story structure that kept the main water source of the fort hidden from the attacking enemies, where the first action was to poison the main water source of the fort.
Andhar Bhavadi, Panhala Fort
                                                                       Andhra Bhavadi


  • Ambarkhana: It was the storage area situated at the heart of the fort. These looming granaries can store up to 25000 Khandi (1 Khandi = 650 LBS).
Ambarkhana, Panhala Fort


  • Kalavanticha Mahal: Kalavanticha Mahal was basically the terrace room for the courtesans, which was ruined by the British Empire and the effect of time.
                                                                      Kalavanticha Mahal


  • Sajja Kothi: It is a building with great historical significance and was used as an imprisonment chamber for Sambhaji by the orders of his father, Shivaji.
Sajja Kothi, Panhala Fort
                                                                   Sajja Kothi


  • The Great Doorways: The Palhala Fort had three huge doors for welcoming their guests and staying safe from Enemies. The Teen Darwaza was the main entrance with lord Ganesha carving on it. The second one, Char Darwaza, was demolished during the British siege and the last one, Wagh Darwaza, used to be an illusion with a small courtyard beyond it.
The Great Doorways
                                                                 The Great Doorways


  • Rajdindi Bastion: This was used by Shivaji to escape during the battle of Pavan Khindi, it was the secret exit out of the grand fort.
Rajdindi Bastion
                                                                             Rajdindi Bastion


How to Reach Panhala Fort?

The nearest city is Kolhapur Which is 20 km away from Panhala Fort. One can reach Kolhapur by Cab or Bus, also one can also travel via train. As Kolhapur has only a domestic airport, if you are planning to travel via flight then you can come to Pune, after that, you can easily take a cab or bus service from Pune. The distance of Panhala Fort from Pune is 231 km and from Mumbai, it is 375 km. It takes around 2 hours to reach the top of the Panhala trek from its base and the level of difficulty is easy.

Also Read:

Top 5 Best Forts to Visit Near Mumbai, India in 2024

Top 10 Places to Visit in Kolhapur, India- 2024


Q1. What is special about the Panhala Fort?

Ans: It is the only fort where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Spent more than 500 days.

Q2. What is the best time to visit Panhala Fort?

Ans: October to December.

Q3. Can we take a car to Panhala Fort?

Ans: Yes.

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