Arrival In Kolhapur
The Deccan Odyssey arrives at Kolhapur Railway Station at 06.00 hrs.
Breakfast is served on board at 07.00 hrs. Thereafter, tourists board the AC
coach to visit some of the famous places in Kolhapur.
Located at a distance of 450 km from Mumbai, Kolhapur was ruled by a
Maharaja during the British rule. This Maharaja was a descendent of the
great Maratha leader, Shivaji. After independence, however, the Maharaja
acceded to the new Indian government and became a part of the Maharasthra
As for the origin of the city, there is an interesting legend associated
with it as well. It is said that the city was founded by a demon called
Kolhasur (Fox demon). His cruelty on the local people continued till the
time they were finally rescued by goddess Mahalaxmi. However, before dying,
the demon expressed a wish that the city be named after him, hence the name
Tourists have plenty to see and do in the ancient city of Kolhapur, as such
they come here in large numbers from all over the country.
» New Palace & Museum -
The New Palace was
designed by a British architect, Charles Mant, in an Indo Saracenic style.
There is a museum in the palace that houses a wonderful assemblage of the
belongings of the old Maharajas. Some of the items on display are the
clothes of the Maharaja, old hunt photos, siver peacock shaped saddles and
silver spade. However, the most noticeable aspect of the museum is the
prominent presence of the skins and body parts of wild animal. Covering the
floor and furnitures of the musuem, these are an ample proof of the
Maharajas hunting skills. Also to be seen in the museum are the guns and
sword collection of the Maharaja.
» Bhavani Mandap -
Bhavani Mandap is an important
building in Kolhapur, both from historical and religious point of view. It
is said that Goddess Tulja Bhavani stayed as guest in the city of Mahalaxmi,
her elder sister. It is also believed that the statue of Goddess Tulja
Bhavani is the same one Chhatrapati Shivaji used for his prayers. From
historical point of view, the Bhavani Mandap is important because it was a
meeting venue of numerous court officials. There is a statue of Shri Sahu
Maharaj in the hall along with a simple throne which is supposed to be the
same one used by him on his visit to Kolhapur. The throne's simplcity proves
the plain life led by the highly revered king.
» Mahalaxmi Temple -
This is the most important
temple in Kolhapur and is dedicated to Mahalaxmi, wife of Lord Vishnu. It is
believed that both of them resided in this area. The temple is counted
amongst the 108 Shakti Peetha of India and one of the six places where
people can attain salvation or have their wishes fulfilled, as per their
choice. The temple was first constructed around 700 AD and houses an idol of
Goddess Mahalaxmi that has four arms, each carrying an object of typical
symbolic significance. The crown adorning her head carries an image of
Shesnag - the serpent of Visnu. A statue of the vehicle of the Goddess,
Lion, stands right behind the idol of the Goddess. The Mahalaxmi temple
atttracts numerous devotees from all over the country.
» Shalini Palace -
Occupying the banks of the lovely
Rankala Lake, the Shalini Palace was constructed in the year 1932-34. The
place was named after Princess Shrimant Shalini Raje, and exudes a beauty
that is completely adorable. Built of black stone and Italian marble, the
palace has richly ornated doorways. With lush greeney around, the palace's
beauty is enhanced multifolds. Today, the palace has been converted into a
heritage hotel and enjoys the status of being the only palace hotel in
Back to the Deccan Odyssey
At around 11.30 hrs, tourists are boarded on the AC coach and brought back
to the Deccan Odyssey. The train departs for its next destination, Pune at
12.00 hrs. Lunch is served on board. Thereafter, tourists have plenty of
free time to do whatever they like to.
Arrival in Pune
train arrives in Pune at around 19.30 hrs. With not much time left on hand,
tourists are boarded on an AC coach and taken to the Kelakar Museum.
The cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is quiet frequently referred by
other names as well, like the 'Queen of Deccan', 'pensioner's paradise' and
'Oxford of the east.' This glorious past of the city ensures that there are
many historical place worth visiting in and around Pune. Keeping its
heritage intact, Pune has also marched ahead with times. Today, it is
counted amongst the places from educational point of view.
With around two fifth of the total land area under plants and trees, Pune
has also been declared the greenest belt in the country.
» Kelkar Museum -
Kelkar Museum reflects the
wonderful effort of one man, Shri Gangadhar Kelkar. His patiently collected
items from all over India over the period of seventy years are showcased in
this museum. The items date back to the Mughal and the Maratha period and
include paintings, nut crackers, Ganpati's guns, carved palace doors,
pottery and a number of musical instruments. However, the eyecatcher in this
museum is the Mastani Mahal, which was brought from the original settings
and re-erected here.
Back to the Deccan Odyssey
At around 21.15 hrs tourists board back into the bus and depart for the
Pune railway station. The Deccan Odyssey departs for Aurangabad at 21.45
hrs. Dinner is served on board.