Vishal gad

Vishal gad, Kolhapur: A Historical and Cultural Destination

If you are looking for a place to visit that combines history, culture, and nature, you might want to consider Vishal gad, a fort located in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Vishal gad, also known as Khelna or Khilna, is one of the oldest and largest forts in India. Vishal gad is famous fort in Kolhapur, visit during One day trip. It was built by the Shilahara dynasty in the 10th century and later became the capital of the Maratha Empire under Shivaji Maharaj. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction in Kolhapur. Here is everything you need to know about the fort, Kolhapur.

Location of Vishal gad

Vishal gad

The Fort is situated on a hilltop at an altitude of 1,120 meters above sea level. It covers an area of about 40 square kilometers and has seven gates and 36 bastions. It is surrounded by dense forests and valleys and offers a panoramic view of the Sahyadri mountain range. Vishal gad is about 76 kilometers away from Kolhapur city and 288 kilometers from Pune.

Timing/Entry Fees Vishal gad

Vishal gad is open to visitors every day from 9 am to 6 pm. The entry fee is Rs. 20 per person for Indians and Rs. 200 per person for foreigners. There is also a parking fee of Rs. 10 for two-wheelers and Rs. 20 for four-wheelers. You can also hire a guide for Rs. 300 to learn more about the history and significance of the fort.

How to Reach Vishal gad

Vishal gad

You can reach Vishal gad by road, rail, or air. The nearest railway station is Kolhapur, which is well connected to major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc. From there, you can take a bus or a taxi to Vishal gad, which will take about two hours. The nearest airport is Pune, which has domestic and international flights. From there, you can take a cab or a bus to the fort, which will take about five hours.

Things to Do/See Vishal gad

Vishal gad

Vishal gad has many attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Some of the things to do and see at the Fort are:

  • Explore the fort: You can walk around the fort and admire its architecture, ramparts, cannons, temples, palaces, water tanks, etc. You can also visit the museum inside the fort, which displays weapons, coins, paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts related to the Maratha history and culture.
  • Visit the Samadhi of Shivaji Maharaj: You can pay your respects to the great warrior king Shivaji Maharaj at his Samadhi or tomb, which is located inside the fort. The Samadhi is made of black stone and has a statue of Shivaji Maharaj in his royal attire. It is also decorated with flowers and lamps every day.
  • Enjoy the nature: You can enjoy the scenic beauty of Vishal gad by trekking, camping, birdwatching, or photography. You can also visit the nearby waterfalls like Panshet and Nangartas during the monsoon season.
  • Experience the culture: You can experience the local culture of Vishal gad by attending festivals like Shiv Jayanti (the birth anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj) and Dussehra (the victory of good over evil) that are celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor at the fort. You can also taste the delicious cuisine of Kolhapur like misal pav, kolhapuri chicken, pandhara rassa, etc.

Significance of Vishal gad

Vishal gad

Vishal gad is not only a tourist destination but also a symbol of pride and glory for the Maratha people. It was here that Shivaji Maharaj established his independent kingdom after defeating the Mughals and other invaders. It was also here that he breathed his last in 1680. Vishal gad witnessed many battles and sieges during its history and remained unconquered till the end. It was also a center of learning and culture during the Maratha rule. The fort is considered as one of the most important forts in India and a testimony to the bravery and valor of Shivaji Maharaj and his followers.

FAQ’s

Q: How long does it take to explore Vishal gad?

A: It depends on your interest and pace, but generally it takes about three to four hours to explore The Fort.

Q: Is there any accommodation available near Vishal gad?

A: Yes, there are some hotels and resorts near the fort that offer comfortable stay and amenities. Some of them are Hotel Rajat Executive (3 km), Hotel Sai International (4 km), Hotel Hill Top (5 km), etc.

Q: What are some other places to visit near Vishal gad?

A: Some other places to visit near The fort are Jyotiba Temple (14 km), Panhala Fort (20 km), Rankala Lake (25 km), Mahalaxmi Temple (28 km), etc.

Conclusion

Vishal gad is a must-visit place for anyone who loves history, culture, and nature. It offers a unique experience of exploring a majestic fort that has witnessed many events and stories that shaped the history of India. It also offers a chance to learn more about Shivaji Maharaj and his legacy that inspires millions of people today. So if you are planning a trip to Kolhapur or nearby areas, don’t miss out on visiting The Fort.

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