Work is not always bad, and especially if you are one of those who travel along with work, it is even better. Over the 5 years of my corporate life, I have visited some good places and ensured I get a glimpse and feel of the place before I leave.
So my recent work trip was to Kolhapur, I had heard a lot about the Mahalaxmi temple and wanted to visit it from some years, so on the second day of my visit I got up at 7.00 am and took an auto to the temple.
Some history about Kolhapur, once upon a time, there lived a demon called Kollasura. He tormented the local people who prayed for deliverance from his evil influence to Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and protection. Soon the Goddess herself came and conquered him and that’s how this place came to be called Kolhapur.
The temple is with stone carvings of women and gods and goddess, beautiful charming place; many small temples surround the premise of other gods.
Near to the temple premise is the Chappal lane, to buy Kolhapur chappals, now a days we see these chappals in Mumbai stalls too, but I still picked up 3 pairs as the leather seemed more genuine, but don’t forget to bargain (they may agree to give you in quarter of the price they quoted). Kolhapur is also very famous for costume jewellery, termed Kolhapur saz, one can get loads of jewellery made of silver dipped in gold, at affordable prices, available around the temple
The next stop was the “New Palace”, the architecture of the palace is a combination of Jain and Hindu influences from Gujarat and Rajasthan, and local Rajwada style. There is a museum called Shahaji Chhatrapati Museum at New Palace, I would not see any of these possessions as the timings of the museum and my office clashed. But I must tell you an interesting part of this campus, it as a beautiful pond and has many reindeers, that is housed by the Maharaja till date, beautiful birds, peacocks ducks. Quiet a site to watch especially with such a close proximity.
Food in Kolhapur is supposed to be very spicy, but the foods I had was mush bearable probably tamed down for us who are not from this area. Fish and mutton dishes are very popular along with a thali you will also be served pandhara rasa (white liquid like soup) and tamdha rasa (red spicy liquid ) which is a peculiarity here. If you are a fan of cooking you get nice readymade masala’s in many shops near laxmipuri vegetable market.
I had the opportunity to drive from Kolhapur and head to Sangli, kurunwadi and icharlkaranji rural rich areas, with vast fields of jowar, sugarcane, etc.. lot of greenery, big enormous bungalows.
It was a good productive 3 days travel & work wise too, yes I did work too ;).
Maybe next time when you are planning a place in Maharashtra you can give this place a try, less crowd more to see. Every evening at 8.30 pm Mahalaxmi train leaves from Mumbai to Kolhapur and similar time leaves for Kolhapur to Mumbai which reaches the next morning at 7.30.
Awaiting my next trip…