By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2020

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1. U see Bajiprabhu Deshpande. While breaking siege of Panhalgad soldiers killed Shiva Kashid, a dummy of Shivaji. To reach Vishalgad was difficult so Raje decided to fight back in Ghodkind. Bajiprabhu told Shivaji go to Vishalgarh. When enemy soldiers reached Ghodkind, Prabhu brothers with 200-300 soldiers detained them with great effort. He took his last breath only after hearing gun fires, the sign of Shivaji safe reach.

2. Jyotiba Mandir famous as ‘Dakshin Kashi’. “It is told that Shri Mahalaxmi after defeating the giant Kolasur, borrowed ‘Krodha’ anger from Rishi Jamdagni. After the battle she placed it here in name of Jyotiba. Ravaji built a small temple here. Present temple built in 1730 by Ranojirao Shinde” of the Gwalior Scindia family. Purple colour powder used.

3. Deepsthambs in temple. “The attractive 4 handed statue of Kedarnath has an Amritpatra, a damaru, sword and trishul and Sheshnag beneath feet. Temple managed by the Gurav community. There are 12 Jyotirlangas established by Shri Jyotiba. Temple at a height, nice uphill drive. It is 10 kms from Panhalgadh.

4. U see Shiva Kasid who sacrificed his life to save Shivaji. In March 1660, Siddhi Jourhar sieged Panhala with infantry of 35k, cavalry of 20k. Aurangzeb send maternal uncle Shaista Khan with cavalry of 78k, artillery carried by camels etc. When monsoons set in Jouhar thought Shivaji would surrender since fodder would be finishing. Shivaji had 3-4 soldiers. Situation tense. Shivaji sent letter of surrender to Jouhar. But, Shivaji set out for Vishalgad. One palanquin had Shivaji, another Kashid. Shivaji crossed some distance breaking the siege, they caught palanquin with Kashid & took to Jouhar. Knowing they were fooled stabbed Kashid to death. By then Shivaji was safe, out of reach.

5. Teen Darwaza (gateway to West). This gate opened to Konkan region. It has 3 huge doors, hence name. Built in black stone (basalt). Left entrance. Right in wall openings are where canons were placed to attack. There is a Lord Hanuman carved in huge stone close by, placed by Samarth Ramdas.

6. This is the entrance. It is 3 storied. On upper side of door 2 tigers having wings are carved ie called ‘Panchakshari’ (centre of pic). Inscription on the bastion outside the door tells that it was built by Subhedar Abu-Ak-Sauid. Missed seeing well in the open known as ‘Vishnutirth’, water for soldiers.

7. I reached fort close to sunset. This is Dutondi Buruj. Works as guard for any fort. Since can be reached by steps on both sides, it is called Dutondi (having 2 ways). An area of about 25-30 miles can be kept under watch from here. There is a dense forest at the lower levels outside the bastion.

8. View from Dutondi Buruj. Dense forests. Left of pic is where scenes of movie Padmawat were shot. There is a very good hotel nearby. Panhalagadh is hardly like other forts, enroute and on fort are numerous hotels and private homes. Loved the place.

9. Ambarkhana. Built by Raja Bhoj in 1052 it has 3 granaries called Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati. About 25k Khandi (1khandi=20 mounds) of rice was stored here. Strong enough not be destroyed by cannons. They have air holes on their tops.

10. Inside the granary. Close by was an underground store-house for armoury and a mint of silver coins. Soldiers, elephants, horses fed on these granaries during 4 month siege by Siddi Johar. When they started becoming empty, Shivaji decides to escape and reach Vishalgad.

11. I reached about 5.15 pm. By the time we saw the fort it was dark. Saw these bikes and bus, loved them. Day started at 7 am, first went to the wow Kopeshwar Temple at Khidrapur, 60 kms from Kolhapur and then here.

12. Just opposite Tararani Palace is this ShivMandir. (The temple of Shivajiraje). Temple built by Chh. Shahuraje in 1913. It is a tribute to Shivajiraje who created ‘Swarajya’ (Self-rule) out of nothing. Shiva Jayanti is a great occasion for the devotees of Shivajiraje. Shivjyot is carried in procession from here to all over Maharastra.

13. Chhatrapati Tararani Palace. Tararani founder of the state of Kolhapur built this palace in 1708. She was the wife of Rajaram and daughter-in-law of Shivajiraje. She ruled for about 74 years up to 1782 from here. A statue of Shri Ganesh and 22 Padukas are carved here. On right is Sathmari, the place where men fought with intoxicated elephants.

14. Sajja Kothi. Maksood Akka built this in 1008. It rises to 72 feet. Terrace on top is called ‘Sajja’ from where get a view of whole of Panhalgad and other areas. When Shivajiraje was besieged in 1660 by Jouhar, he set out from this building at night of 12/7/1660. Guide said to your right is Lata Mangeshwar home.

15. Every fort has numerous waterbodies like this, Panhalgad is no different. Left is temple. All historical matter in captions taken from book ‘Glorious Panhalgad-History and Tourist Places’. Written by Ramesh Patil 91 99707 05070. Published by Swrajya Prakashan, Panhala. Credits and copyright theirs.

16. Sambhaji Mandir in memory of Sambhajiraje (1714-1760). He was son of Rajaram, son of Shivajiraje. His statue is placed on a throne made of ‘Panchadhatu’ (a combination of 5 metails ie gold, silver, copper, brass and tin). His wife brought his bones here and got temple built as his subjects loved him very much and wanted to see atleast a memorial of him. Panhalgad is great spend two days, lots of hotels with great view.

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