Kolhapur, also known as Kollapuram, is a city in Maharashtra and one of the most popular destinations in India. The city is known for its religious and cultural significance, as it is the home of the Mahalakshmi Temple, one of the 51 Shakti Peethas (sacred sites of Goddess), Bhavani Mandap and famous temple in Kolhapur, visit during Kolhapur Sightseeing.
The city is also known for its rich history and heritage, as it was the capital of the Maratha kingdom of Kolhapur from 1700 to 1949. The city has several monuments and landmarks that reflect its royal and historical glory. One of the most prominent and impressive among them is the Bhavani Mandap.
Location of Bhavani Mandap
The Bhavani Mandap is located in the heart of the city, near the Mahalakshmi Temple. It is easily accessible by public transport, such as buses, auto-rickshaws, and taxis. The nearest railway station is Kolhapur Railway Station, which is about 3 km away from the mandap. The nearest airport is Kolhapur Airport, which is about 10 km away from the mandap.
Timing/Entry Fees Bhavani Mandap
The mandap is open to visitors from 9 am to 6 pm on all days of the week. The entry fee for Indian nationals is Rs. 10 per person, while for foreign nationals it is Rs. 50 per person. The fee includes a guide service that provides information about the history and architecture of the mandap.
How to Reach Bhavani Mandap
The mandap can be reached by various modes of transport from different parts of the city. Here are some of the options:
- By Bus: There are several buses that ply to and from the mandap from various bus stops in the city. Some of the bus numbers are 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G, 1H, and 1J.
- By Auto-Rickshaw/Taxi: Auto-rickshaws and taxis are easily available in the city and can be hired to reach the mandap. The fare may vary depending on the distance and traffic conditions.
- By Car: The mandap has a parking facility for visitors who come by their own vehicles. The parking fee is Rs. 20 for two-wheelers and Rs. 40 for four-wheelers.
Things to Do/Must See Bhavani Mandap
The mandap is a majestic and magnificent structure that showcases the splendor and elegance of Maratha architecture. It is one of the oldest and largest buildings in Kolhapur and one of the most important historical monuments in Maharashtra. The mandap was built by Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire, in 1675 as a palace for his mother Rajmata Jijabai. The mandap has several rooms, halls, courtyards, galleries, and museums that display various artifacts and paintings belonging to the royal family.
Some of the things to do and must see in the mandap are:
- Admire the architecture and design of the mandap, which has a huge dome that rises to a height of 80 feet. The dome has a lotus-shaped finial that symbolizes prosperity and purity. The facade of the mandap has three arches with carved pillars that support a balcony with wooden railings. The interior of the mandap has a high ceiling with wooden beams and chandeliers, a marble floor with geometric patterns, and a wooden staircase with carved balusters.
- Explore the history and significance of the mandap through its various rooms and halls that are named after different members of the royal family. Some of them are:
- Jijamata Hall: This hall was used as a living room by Rajmata Jijabai, Shivaji’s mother. It has a portrait of Jijabai on one wall and a statue of Shivaji on another wall.
- Shahu Hall: This hall was used as a throne room by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, Shivaji’s grandson and successor. It has a throne made of silver and gold with an umbrella made of pearls.
- Tarabai Hall: This hall was used as a meeting room by Maharani Tarabai, Shivaji’s daughter-in-law and regent. It has a portrait of Tarabai on one wall and a statue of Shahu on another wall.
- Rajaram Hall: This hall was used as a dining room by Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj, Shivaji’s younger son and successor. It has a table made of teak wood with silver plates and cups.
- Sambhaji Hall: This hall was used as a bedroom by Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, Shivaji’s elder son and successor. It has a bed made of sandalwood with silk sheets and pillows.
- Visit the museums and galleries in the mandap that display various artifacts and paintings that depict the history and culture of Kolhapur and Maharashtra. Some of them are:
- Kolhapur Darbar Museum: This museum showcases the royal costumes, jewelry, weapons, coins, stamps, and documents of the Kolhapur royal family.
- Shivaji Maharaj Museum: This museum showcases the personal belongings, portraits, statues, and paintings of Shivaji Maharaj and his family.
- Maratha Art Gallery: This gallery showcases the paintings, sculptures, and handicrafts of various Maratha artists and craftsmen.
- Mahalakshmi Art Gallery: This gallery showcases the paintings, sculptures, and idols of Goddess Mahalakshmi and other Hindu deities.
Significance of Bhavani Mandap
The mandap is not only a historical and architectural marvel, but also a cultural and social hub of the city. The mandap hosts various events and functions throughout the year, such as cultural programs, exhibitions, workshops, seminars, and festivals. Some of the famous and grand among them are the Ganesh Chaturthi, which is celebrated every year in August or September. The festival attracts thousands of devotees and pilgrims from different parts of the country and the world, who come to worship Lord Ganesh (the elephant-headed god) and seek his blessings. The festival culminates with a spectacular immersion procession that carries the idol of Ganesh through the streets of Kolhapur.
Q: How old is Bhavani Mandap?
A: The mandap was built by Shivaji Maharaj in 1675, but its history dates back to the 9th century, when it was a temple dedicated to Goddess Bhavani (another name for Mahalakshmi).
Q: Why is Bhavani Mandap named after Goddess Bhavani?
A: The mandap is named after Goddess Bhavani because she is believed to be the patron deity and protector of Kolhapur and Maharashtra. Shivaji Maharaj was a devout follower of Bhavani and considered her as his mother and guide.
Q: What are the timings of the guide service in Bhavani Mandap?
A: The guide service is available in the mandap from 9 am to 6 pm on all days of the week. The guide service provides information about the history and architecture of the mandap in various languages, such as Marathi, Hindi, English, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali, Urdu, Arabic, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean.
The Bhavani Mandap is a must-visit attraction for anyone who wants to experience the royal and historical monument in Kolhapur. The mandap offers a glimpse into the history and heritage of Maratha Empire in India, as well as the beauty and diversity of Maratha architecture. The mandap is a place where history meets culture, where tradition meets innovation, and where devotion meets celebration. The mandap is a place where you can discover the past, enjoy the present, and imagine the future.👑