History of Kolhapur
The city of Kolhapur has really grown out of a clump of original seven small villages i.e. Brahmapuri, Uttareshwar (Lagmapur), Khol-Khandoba (Kesapur), Rankala, Padmala, Ravaneshwar and Laximiwadi that were settled nearly 2000 years ago.
The first three of these were situated on the southern bank of the river. While remaining three were located near lakes of the same names. Other villages were razed to the ground in an earthquake that rocked the area early in the 9th century.
The city of Kolhapur was founded about 2200 years back on the right bank of river Panchaganga. Therefore, it is one of the oldest urban centers of Maharashtra as well as India. Kolhapur or Hippocura as it was then called was the western capital of Andhras.
The period 325 BC to 1306 AD is known as Ancient Hindu period. The first King of this dynasty was Krishnaraja
The Andhra period was succeeded by the Chalukyas period (500 AD to 750 AD). This period is represented by a large number of inscriptions. Under these rulers more than half a dozen temples were built.
In about 634 AD, the King Karnadeva of Chalukya Dynasty had begun the construction of Mahalaxmi temple but he could not complete it during his lifet ime. Later on Chalukya lost Kolhapur to invaders. Nearly four century later, Shilahara and Chalukya came together and King Gandharadivya of Shilahar Dynasty finished the construction of temple and dedicated in to the Godess Mahalaxmi in about 9th century.
The Greatest Of The Dynasty
In Shilaharas power (975 AD to 1210 AD) The greatest of the dynasty was Bhoja II (1178-1209 AD). Who built six forts i.e. Bavada, Bhudhargad, Vishalgad, Panhala, Pawangad and Samangad.
Nearly 1360 Jain Bustis were built in the city. Rankala and other tanks were dug and built.
1307 to 1658 AD is knows as the muslim perod. Then the Kolhapur region was the jagir of Bijapur court. On 28th November 1659 After killing Afzel Khan at Pratapgad, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj dashed southwards and took possession of Panhala and Pavangad, that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire (1659 to 1837 AD).
After the death of Shivaji Maharaj in 1680, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj become the King of Panhala. He was the second ruler of the Maratha kingdom. The Moghal Prince marched up to Kolhapur in 1683, but it was unsuccessful due to Hambirao Mohite. Sambhaji stayed in Panhala in order to keep close watch on Mughal enemies, which were engaged war with Bijapur and Golkonda.
Founder of Kolhapur Maharani Tarabai
Maharani Tarabai lead the Marathas in the 27 year war with Mughals after death of her husband Rajaram Chhatrapati (Younger son of Shivaji Maharaj)
The state of Kolhapur was established by Rani Tarabai in 1707 because of the succession dispute over the Maratha kingship. The role of Tarabai who was good administrator, was very important for this region.
After the release of Shahu, (the son of Chhatrapati Sambhaji) by the Mughals, he assembled large force and defeated Tarabai’s armies at Khed, near Ratnagiri in 1708. And established himself at Satara, forcing her to retire with her son to Kolhapur. By 1710 two separate principalities had become an established fact.
The history of this ancient city, sacred alike to the Hindu, the Jain and the Buddhist can be divided into six periods. The first Maurya period, the second Andhra period, the third Chalukya-Rastrakuta period, the forth Sialhar-Yadav, fifth the Bahamani-Bijapur and sixth period of Maratha. The first four periods cover the early years of Hindu Supremacy up to 1306 AD. The Bahamani-Bijapur or Mohomedan period lasted from 1306 to 1658 AD and the Maratha period was in between 1659 to 1837 AD (Sabanis, 1928).