23 December 2007
I was thinking about the places to go during Christmas vacation. My wife would not be able to accompany me this time, as we have a two month old kid. My Mother joins me and we decide to go for Ajanta and Ellora. Aurangabad is a base point to see these places. But the logistics of reaching that place from Bangalore is painful. There is no direct train from Bangalore to Aurangabad. The nearest place is Ahmednagar, and from there we need to take a bus. Since this was my first visit to Maharashtra, I did not want to take any risk and decide to take an organized tour and went with Nirmala travels from Hubli. It was a seven day trip.
Kolhapur is a major town in Maharashtra. It is just 12 kms from Karnataka border. There are two main places to visit in Kolhapur, Mahalakshmi Mandir and Chhatrapati Sahu Palace.
Our first stop in Kolhapur was Mahalakshmi Mandir. The temple is quite old and is said to be worshiped by Maratha rulers. The Temple was quite crowded and the waiting time for darshan was 3 hours. While few people stood in the queue, I went with the trip organizer for a quick darshan to have a glimpse of the God from a far distance. Then, I just roamed around the temple till others came back from darshan and Pooja.
After lunch, we went for Chhatrapati Sahu Maharaj Palace now converted into a museum. It has collections of royal family. The clock tower and the Durbar hall are in style. I could not capture the durbar hall as photography was not allowed inside the palace. There is also a lake and a small zoo next to the palace.
We then left Kolhapur at 5PM and proceeded to Karad for stay.
Hubli – Kolhapur: 200kms. The journey is on NH4 and the road is one of the best in India.
Kolhapur – Karad: 70kms on NH4.