Raja Bhoja founded Panhala fort in the late 12th century. This fort is located 18 km northwest of Kolhapur. It has connection with God Parashurama as well. Panhala fort, which carries a rich heritage, is the largest of all the Deccan forts. This is the only fort where the great ruler, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is believed to have spent more than 500 days. It was built between the 1178-1209 AD. The fort covers a vast area having huge boundary walls of over 7 km in length and a steep slope beneath. Three magnificent double-walled gates protect the entrance of the fort. There is a large amberkhana (granary) inside the fort, which has the capacity of containing 25,000 khandis of grains. Shilahara dynasty, Yadava and Bahamani kingdoms, Shivaji, Devagiri Yadavas, Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur army, Mughal Aurangzeb (1700) became the controllers of the fort from time to time. It became Maratha state capital under Tarabai upto 1782, and then British conquered it in 1827. Sajja Kothi - where Sambhaji was imprisoned, Ambabaji Temple - where Shivaji used to seek blessings before venturing on expeditions, Pavankhind - where Baji Prabhu laid down his life to cover Shivaji's escape, Someshwar Temple are also worth to visit. This place is an ideal for trekking as well. The nearest railway station is at Kolhapur, 18 km away. It is only 428 km from Mumbai.
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