Kolhapur is a city that falls in the southernmost part of Maharashtra. It serves as the headquarters of the district of the same name and stands situated on the embankment of the Panchganga River. Also known by the name of 'Dakshin Kashi', the city is regarded as the seat of Goddess Mahalaxmi. Infact, the Mahalakshmi Temple sited in Kohlapur is one of the Shaktipeeths mentioned in Indian mythology. The city has been witness to a royal past and has been under the rule of a number of empires in the medieval times.
These include the Silaharas, the Yadavas, the Rashtrakutas as well as
the Chalukyas. Today, Kolhapur has come a long way and found its place
on the travel and tourism map of India. The credit for the designing as
well as foundation of the modern Kolhapur goes to Chhatrapati Shahu
Maharaja. He had a major role in leading the city on the path of
development and progress. Being abundant in natural resources like
water, soil, natural vegetation, animal wealth and minerals, it is today
amongst the most advanced cities in Maharashtra.
Kohlapur is famous not only in India, but throughout the world, for its
Kolhapuri chappals (slippers). Apart from that, the city is also quite
known for its food, headwear, silver jewelry, wrestling, jaggery, etc.
As per the legend associated with Kolhapur, the city was named after a
demon killed by Goddess Mahalakshmi, to rid the local people for his
tyranny. Majority of the people living here are Marathas, with small
populations of Gujaratis, Marwadis, Jains, Lingayats and Sindhis making
up the minority.