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), Laxmi Vilas Palace famous tourist attraction in Kolhapur, visit during Kolhapur local 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 grand and glorious among them is the Laxmi Vilas Palace.
Location of Laxmi Vilas Palace
The Laxmi Vilas Palace is located in the Phulewadi area of the city, near the Rankala Lake. 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 5 km away from the palace. The nearest airport is Kolhapur Airport, which is about 12 km away from the palace.
Timing/Entry Fees Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace is open to visitors from 10 am to 5 pm on all days of the week except Mondays. The entry fee for Indian nationals is Rs. 20 per person, while for foreign nationals it is Rs. 100 per person. The fee includes a guide service that provides information about the history and architecture of the palace.
How to Reach Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace 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 palace from various bus stops in the city. Some of the bus numbers are 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E, 3F, 3G, 3H, and 3J.
- By Auto-Rickshaw/Taxi: Auto-rickshaws and taxis are easily available in the city and can be hired to reach the palace. The fare may vary depending on the distance and traffic conditions.
- By Car: The palace has a parking facility for visitors who come by their own vehicles. The parking fee is Rs. 30 for two-wheelers and Rs. 60 for four-wheelers.
Things to Do/Must See Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace is a grand and glorious structure that showcases the splendor and elegance of Indo-Saracenic architecture. It is one of the largest and most luxurious palaces in India and one of the most important historical monuments in Maharashtra. The palace was built by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, Shivaji’s grandson and successor, in 1884 as his official residence. The palace covers an area of about 40 acres and has several rooms, halls, courtyards, gardens, and museums that display various artifacts and paintings belonging to the royal family.
Some of the things to do and must see in the palace are:
- Admire the architecture and design of the palace, which has a huge dome that rises to a height of 120 feet. The dome has a lotus-shaped finial that symbolizes prosperity and purity. The facade of the palace has three arches with stained glass windows that depict scenes from Hindu mythology. The interior of the palace 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 palace through its various rooms and halls that are named after different members of the royal family. Some of them are:
- Durbar Hall: This hall was used as a throne room by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj for holding public meetings and ceremonies. It has a throne made of silver and gold with an umbrella made of pearls.
- Jijamata Hall: This hall was used as a living room by Rajmata Jijabai, Shivaji’s mother and Shahu’s grandmother. It has a portrait of Jijabai on one wall and a statue of Shivaji on another wall.
- 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 palace 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 Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace is not only a historical and architectural marvel, but also a cultural and social hub of the city. The palace 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 Dasara Festival, which is celebrated every year in October or November. The festival attracts thousands of devotees and pilgrims from different parts of the country and the world, who come to worship Goddess Mahalakshmi and seek her blessings. The festival culminates with a spectacular procession that carries the idol of Mahalakshmi through the streets of Kolhapur.
Q: How old is Laxmi Vilas Palace?
A: The palace was built by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj in 1884, but its history dates back to the 18th century, when it was a fort built by Sambhaji Maharaj.
Q: Why is Laxmi Vilas Palace named after Goddess Laxmi?
A: The palace is named after Goddess Laxmi because she is believed to be the patron deity and protector of Kolhapur and Maharashtra. Shahu Maharaj was a devout follower of Laxmi and considered her as his mother and guide.
Q: What are the timings of the guide service in the palace?
A: The guide service is available in the palace from 10 am to 5 pm on all days of the week except Mondays. The guide service provides information about the history and architecture of the palace 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 Laxmi Vilas Palace is a must-visit attraction for anyone who wants to experience the grand and glorious palace in Kolhapur. The palace offers a glimpse into the history and heritage of Maratha Empire in India, as well as the beauty and diversity of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The palace is a place where history meets culture, where tradition meets innovation, and where devotion meets celebration. The palace is a place where you can discover the past, enjoy the present, and imagine the future.👑