Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Panhala fort is one of the unique forts in India. It is also known as Panalla which means the home of serpents. It is situated in Panhala round about 20 Kms from Kolhapur. Due to its location, it became the centre of several scrimmages in the deccan which involved Marathas, Mughals & British, The most remarkable “Battle of Pavan Khind” took place here.This place is also quite mesmerizing and apt for relaxing. What makes this place remarkable is the inner view of this fort is intricately carved and articulately designed. Visit this exquisite place to catch a glimpse of history and also experience the serenity of this beautiful place called Panhala.
Panhala fort was built between 1178 & 1209 CE by the Shilahara ruler Bhoja II We have the aphorism” Kahan Raja bhoj, Kaha Gangu Teli” is associated to this fort.
Panhala During Shivaji Maharaj:-
Chatrapati Shri Shivaji Maharaj was a great warrior. His military forces expanded the Maratha sphere of influence & capturing forts.
When Afzal Khan died in 1659, Panhala came into the hands of Maharaj. Again Adil Shah II sent his army the very next year to capture the fort but was disgruntled.
The siege continued for 5 months & Shivaji Maharaj was on the verge of being captured.
Shivaji Maharaj decided to escape with some of his soldiers along with his brawny commander Baji Prabhu Deshpande in that dead of night. Later Baji prabhu & Shiva Kashid resembling Shivaji Maharaj kept the enemy engaged giving them an impression that Shiva Kashid was actually Shivaji Maharaj then the most dreadful battle of Pavan Khind occurred which resulted in lot of destruction. It was only after 1673 Panhala fort was occupied by Shivaji Maharaj.
1) Andhar Bavadi-The Hidden Well
3) Kalavanticha Mahal(The Courtesans’ palace )
Another good infrastructure of the fort is Sajja Kothi. It is a landmark place with great deal of historical values.This place was named as Sajja Kothi after Shivaji maharaj had imprisoned his son Sambhajiraje for his rude behaviour.
Andhar Bavadi [The dark hidden well]
Andhar Bavadi is a spectacular place to visit. It has been considered of great significance & beauty. It is a three storeyed well with spiral staircases that obscure the well[water source]Recesses were created inside the wall of Well for soldiers to be stationed.
Andhar Bavadi is comprised with its own water source, small rooms & exit routes. This emergency shelter Well is not only just eye pleasuring but also the finest piece of architecture.
This is the most remnant place of the ancient times.Here you can find many aspects of nature. It is believed that Mughals have built 2 doors and the third door was built by Shivaji Maharaj.
The Teen Darwaja is the main entrance of the fort. It is one of the three double gateways of the fort.It is totally constructed by stones which contains beautiful carvings and designs on it. The outer gate has an ornate chamber. The inner gate includes finely carved motifs along with lord Ganesha. We can find Persian inscriptions as well, which gives the proof that it was built during the rule of Ibrahim Adil Shahi.
Kalavanticha Mahal, Sajji Kothi & Amberkhana are also of some great importance. This fortifications just can't be described in words.
Best Time To visit
One can experience the ring of forts during rainy and winter seasons. This is also probably the most romantic season to visit Panhala, as the magical raindrops falls over the ghat.