Panhala fort is 18 km northwest to Kolhapur. Although it has legendary connection with god Parashurama, the fort was probably founded by King Raja Bhoja in the late twelfth century. It covers a vast area, with massive perimeter walls over 7 km in length and a steep slope beneath. Nevertheless, Panhala could not reasonably be described as impregnable. Over the years it has fallen to the Devagiri Yadavas, various Maratha chieftains and, in 1489, the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur army, who erected the ramparts that still stand. Shivaji took Panhala in 1659, only just managing to escape with his life a year later when it was retaken by the Bijapur army. According to tradition, he was saved because one of his lieutenants posed as the leader and was killed, allowing Shivaji to make a quick exit, and regain it later. After this, the fort fell to the Moghul Aurangzeb (1700), became Maratha state capital under Tarabai until 1782, and went to the British in 1827.
How to reach there:
Regular buses run between Kolhapur and Panhala fort.
What to see:
The Teen Darwaza "three door" gate meant successive doors could only be approached at an awkward angle, trapping troops in the inner courtyard and making it impossible to charge.
A well in the corner was used to send word to allies; lemons with incised message were dropped into the water, and would float to a lake outside.