Kolhapur is a city situated in the southwest part of the state of Maharashtra, India. Kolhapur serves as the headquarters of the Kolhapur district. Before Independence, it was a 19 gun zalute princely state ruled by the Bhosale Chhatrapatis of the Maratha Empire. Kolhapur assumes a place amongst the cities having highest per capita income in the country and it's one of the fastest growing cities in Maharashtra. Kolhapur is known as 'dakshin (south) kashi', 'historical capital of maharashtra state', 'door of konkan' as well as 'city of wrestlers ' and 'city of arts'. It is also known as a 'city of palaces and temples'. Kolhapur is situated on the banks of the river Panchganga and is the location of the Temple of Mahalakshmi, a Hindu goddess.
According to Hindu mythology, Kolhapura was settled by Kolhasura, a demon who was later killed by Mahalakshmi to relieve the local populace. However, honouring the demon's dying wish, the city was named after him. Kolhapur finds mentions in Devi Gita, the final and most important chapter of the Srimad Devi Bhagawatam, as one the important places of Shakti "Kollamma" worship, "Devi spoke:..."O King of Mountains! Still I am now telling something out of My affection to My Bhaktas. Hear. There is a great place of pilgrimage named Kollapura in the southern country. Here the Devi Laksmi always dwells...."
During 940–1212 CE, it was the capital of the Shilahara dynasty of Kolhapur. An inscription at Teradal mentions that king Gonka was healed from snakebite by a Jain monk and Gonka built a temple of Lord Neminath. Many Jain temples in this region build in the next few centuries are called Gonka-Jinalya after him. During the reign of Bhoja I, a dynamic Acharya Maghanandi helped establish an institute at Rupanarayana-Basadi. Several kings and nobles of the dynasty were disciples of Maghanandi. Maghanandi is often called Siddhanta-chakravarti i.e. the great master of the scriptures, Gandaraditya I was his disciple. He is sometimes called "Kolapuriya" or walyaa to distinguish him from many other Acharyas with the name Maghanandi.
Kolhapur was the site of intense confrontation between the Western Chalukyas and the Chola kings Rajadhiraja Chola and his younger brother Rajendra Chola II. Following the Battle of Koppam in 1052, Rajendra Chola II marched on to Kolhapur and erected a jayastambha or victory pillar in the city.
The Kopeshwar (Shiva) Temple, located in Kolhapur district, was built by Shilahara King Gandaraditya, Vijayaditya and Bhoj-II between 1109 and 1178 AD. Kolhapur, historically had a major influence and connections with the prevalent kingdoms of Greece/Rome.
Kolhapur as a princely state