Vishalgad

Old Name :- Khelanaa
Location :- Sahyadri Range, Kolhapur Dist.
Base Village :- Gajapur.
Height :- 728 mtr. above sea level.

Brief History :-
The fort was constructed by the Shilahara king ‘Narsinha’ in 1058 A.C. Initially, he named it as ‘Khilgil’. In 1209, then king of Yadavas of Devagiri defeated Shilahara and captured the fort. In 1309, Allauddin Khilji defeated king Ramchandra of the Yadavas of Devagiri and soon the fort was attached to the Khlji Dynasty. In August 1347, the Mughal chief of the western India Hasan Gangu Bahamani became independent as a result of which the fort became a part of Bahamani Sultanat.
During the 1354 to 1433, the fort was under the rule of Vijaynagar Empire. After the fall of Vijaynagar Empire it was captured by a local Maratha king Shankarrao More. Therefore, the Bahamani Sultan sent troops from Bidar Sultant under the Generalship of Mahmood Gawan, his then Prime Minister, to re-capture it. Gawan’s officer Karnasinh Bhosale and his son Bhimsinha captured the fort with the help of ( Ghorpad ) Giant monitor lizard, Thenceforth, Bhimsinha was conferred with the title Ghorpade. In 1489, Yusuf Adil Shah separated himself from the Bahamani kingdom along with the area under his command and founded his independent sultanat at Bijapur. In 1659, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured the fort.
IN July 1660, the fort witnessed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Great escaped from the Adilshahi blockade around fort of Panhala and Battle of PavanKhind. Baji Prabhu Deshpande, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja’s experienced General and Rango Narayan Orpe, the young officer on the fort , defeated Adilshahi troops at Pavankhind and going to death respectively.
After Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja’s death, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj would spend most of his times on the fort. He took initiative in renovation and reconstruction of some parts of the fortresses and gates of the fort. In 1689, Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj fled to fort Gingee in Karnataka(now Tamil Nadu) from fort Panhala and thus ‘Vishalgad’ became an un-official capital of the Maratha Empire. Ramchandrapant Amatya from Vishalgad and Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj from Gingee made several moves and defeated Aurangzeb with the help of Santaji, Dhanaji, Parshuram pant Pratinidhi, Shankaraji Narayan Sacheev and Himmatbahadur Chavan.
In 1844, as a result of mutiny by the fort officers, British army demolished the entire fort and dismissed the officers there.
The fort is 76 km North-West of Kolhapur, 60 km north-west of Panhala Fort and 18 kilometers south of Kolhapur-Ratnagiri road. It is situated on the hills that divide the region into two parts viz Amba ghat and Anaskura ghat. Since it is placed on the border of the hilly portion of Sahyadri ranges and the Konkan region, it got great political significance in the historical times. It was regarded as a Watch-tower for both regions.


What to See :
• Amruteshwar Temple
• Shri Nrusinha Temple
• Takmak Tok
• Sati’s Vrindavan
• The Dargah or tomb of Hazrat Malik Raihan. Thousands of Devotees visit the Dargah every year.
• Samadhis built in the memory of Baji Prabhu Deshpande and Phulaji Prabhu Deshpande, who laid down their lives to protect Chh. Shivaji Maharaj from the clutches of Siddhi Johhar while escaping from fort Panhala to Vishalgad.


Where to Stay:
Many houses are available to stay for daily rent basis. Accommodation is middle and low level.
 
 

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