Historical | Adventure / Trekking
India | Maharashtra | Kolhapur
#8 of 27 Places to Visit in Kolhapur
Distance (From Kolhapur): 80 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 4 Hours/Half Day
Place Location: At Vishalgad Village
Transportation Options: + Walk/Trek
Travel Tips: None
At a distance of 80 km from Kolhapur, and 89 km from Ratnagiri, Vishalgad Fort is an ancient fort situated at Vishalgad village in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. It is one of the historical forts in Maharashtra, and among the best places to visit near Kolhapur.
Also called Khelna or Khilna by the locals, Vishalgad Fort was one of the important forts of the Maratha empire. According to history, Vishalgad Fort was built in the year 1058 by Shilahara king Marsinh and was initially known as Khilgil. In 1209, the then king of Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri defeated Shilaharas and captured the fort. In 1309, Allauddin Khilji defeated King Ramchandra of the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri and soon the fort was attached to the Khilji dynasty. Later, the fort was under the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire, and then the Adishlahi dynasty. In 1659, Shivaji captured the fort from Adilshah and renamed the fort 'Vishalgad' which means grand or giant fort.
In July 1660, the fort witnessed Shivaji's escape from the Adilshahi blockade around Fort Panhala and the Battle of Pawan Khind. After Shivaji's death, Chhatrapati Sambhaji would spend most of his time on the fort. He took initiative in the renovation and reconstruction of some parts of the fortresses and gates of the fort. During the times of the Maratha Empire, Vishalgad was made the capital of a large region consisting of ninety towns and villages in Kolhapur and Ratnagiri districts. In 1844, as a result of mutiny by the Killedars, the British army demolished the entire fort.
Situated at an altitude of 3500 feet, the fort covers an area of 1,130m. A famous Dargah of Hazrat Sayed Malik Rehan Meera Saheb, which is visited by thousands of tourists, is located in the fort. There are temples of Amruteshwar & Shri Narsimha inside the fort. There is a Samadhi built in the memory of Baji Prabhu Deshpande & Phulaji Deshpande. In the monsoon, heavy rainfall gives rise to many splashing waterfalls in this region. The fort underwent restoration work recently in which the fortification walls and the entrance arch has been fixed.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM