Maratha New Palace Kolhapur

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1. In the heart of Kolhapur is the new Maratha Palace. Shivaji Maharaj’s second son Rajaram settled down in Kolhapur, so there were 2 seats of Maratha power – Satara and Kolhapur. You see side view of palace. It was constructed during 1877-1884. Today it is the residence of Shreemant Sahu Maharaj.

2. Minutes away from Mahalaxmi Mandir is this bust of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Shivaji Chowk). On its right are numerous shops that sell the world famous Kolhapuri chappal.

3. This is the entrance to the old Maratha Palace. I think it is called Bhavani Mandap. As you enter on right is Mahalaxmi Mandir. A building inside the palace houses the shrine of Tulaja Bhavani, whose picture you can see in the album Temples of Kolhapur.

4. Statue of Queen Tararani. “Kolhapur was the seat of Rani Tarabai, the queen and widow of Chatrapati Rajaram Maharaj n their son Shivaji II. After her failure to check the ascension of Chatrapati Shahu on the Maratha throne, she retired to the principality of Kolhapur, from where she ruled along with Shivaji II, whereas her nephew, Shahu (son of Sambhaji the step-brother of Rajaram and the prior Chatrapati), ruled the greater Maratha dominions from Satara.”

5. Statue of Shri Shahu III, Chhatrapati, Maharaja of Kolhapur. Unveiled on 12 April 1927.

6. The bust is of Chhatrapati Shahaji Maharaj inside palace complex. The palace is about a 15 minute drive from Mahalaxmi Mandir. Imposing gates. As I entered on right is a huge pond, zoo and school for toddlers. Area is very green.

7. Front view of palace. When I saw reminded me of the Lakshmi Vilas Palace Baroda, although it is smaller. It is built in black polished stone, has a beautiful garden, fountain and wrestling ground.

8. Side view of entrance, has canons on either side plus impressive clock tower. The 45m high clock tower is “capped with an octagonal domed pavilion.” You cannot walk around the palace, see from a distance and take entry to museum.

9. Angular view. The whole building is eight-angled and has a tower in the centre. It was very cloudy that day and I put camera pic on colour mode, so pics are a bit browner than the palace actually is.

10. Camera inside the museum is not allowed. Very impressive Durbar Hall – two storeyed. This pic is courtesy and copyright Kolhapur.com. Museum shows “furnished apartments, its corridors are crammed with arms, haudahs, paintings and photographs.”

11. Close up of clock. May palaces have huge clocks, wonder why. Clock on tower was fixed in 1877.

12. Front corner view of palace. “The principal south facade presents a double-storeyed range, with Neo-Mughal lobed arches beneath and temple-like columns and brackets above. This scheme is interrupted by trefoil arches capped with curving cornices and small domes. The same elements cap the octagonal corner towers.”

13. Close up of decorative styling above windows. What is in inverted commas is taken from https://kolhapur.gov.in/en/tourist-place/new-palace/

14. Side view i.e. facing what was earlier a polo ground.

15. Close-up of the upper portions of the palace.

16. Close-up of current entrance. I visited Kolhapuri Chappal shops called Shivaji Market. Even though I did not buy but based on what I saw & owner interaction suggest visit Kanerkar Footwear 0231-2547005, Raj Kamal 91 98509-49494 (rajkamrpowar9494@gmail.com), Vaibhav Footwear 91 97668 80000.

17. Close-up of decoration above entrance porch. Reminded me of the Gaikwad Palace Baroda where design is so similar.

18. Statue is of Aaisaheb Maharaj or Ranisaheb Laxmibai. She was the Queen of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. To read about kings of Kolhapur from 1700 onwards https://www.historyfiles.co.uk/FeaturesFarEast/India_Modern_Marathas13.htm

19. A slightly long drive took me to Shalini Palace i.e. on the banks of the Rankala Lake. It is closed now, was probably a summer palace.

20. Rankala Lake is huge, has boating. Be it Kolhapur or Bhuj the then Maharaja’s made huge lakes close to their palace complex. Udaipur, of course has seven lakes in and around the city.

21. Outside Shalini Palace is a small garden. Met these college girls there. Visit the D’Mart store close to the lake, lots of household stuff to buy.

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