Panhalla, Panalla, or Panhalgad are other names for Panhala Fort, one of Maharashtra’s officially designated forts. “The house of the serpents” is what the phrase actually means. The base of this fort is located in Panhala, Maharashtra, India, 20 kilometres to the northwest.
The fort speaks of Shivaji Maharaj’s illustrious rule as well as the region’s long Indian history. The fort is positioned to aid in maintaining watch over the pass in the Sahyadri mountain ranges. One of the primary commerce routes from Bijapur to the coastal regions passes over this pass.
Owing to its strategic location, the fort has seen several battles and conflicts throughout the years between the Marathas, the Mughals, and the East India Company. This is the well-known fort where Tarabai, the illustrator, spent her early years.
A significant portion of the fort’s interior has remained mostly unchanged since its construction. When on a Maharashtra trip, the fort is a must-see destination and a fantastic tourist attraction.
History of Panhala Fort
Between 1178 and 1209 CE, work on the Panhala fort was done. It is one of the fifteen forts, along with the forts of Vishalgad, Bavda, Satara, and Bhudargad, all built by Shilahara under Bhoja II’s rule. Between 1191 and 1192 CE, Panhala was ruled by Bhoja II, as evidenced by copper plates. The most powerful Devagiri Yavada ruler, Singhana, defeated Raja Bhoja in the years 1209–10 . The Yavadas soon took possession of the fort.
Afterwards, the fort was handed down to other kings. After Afzal Khan, the commander of Bijapur, passed away in 1659, Shivaji Maharaj finally seized control of Panhala. Adil Shah II dispatched his army to Panhala in 1660 in order to seize the fort and remove Shivaji Maharaj from it. A bloody struggle ensued. Shivaji’s supplies had finally run out and he was in danger of being taken by the enemy. Shivaji had to escape as a result. But Shivaji Maharaj took over the fort permanently in 1673.
How to reach
There are several Maharashtrian cities from which one may reach the fort of Panhala. The fort is located 450 km from Nasik and 200 miles from Pune. Panhala Fort is also reachable by bus from Kolhapur.
The closest airport, located 25 kilometres from the fort at Kolhapur, is where someone can fly if they so desire. The distance is 420 kilometres as well for Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The closest train station is located 27 kilometres away in Kolhapur.
Every weekday, the fort is open for business. It is recommended that guests visit the fort during the day. This will guarantee that they have a clear view of the area and that they can manoeuvre around it safely. If you are on a weekend trip with your family, this is one of the best tourist destinations.
Activities to do in and around
Within the fort are several locations to explore. The inside features of the fortification and bastions, the secret well known as the Andhar Bavadi, the Kalavanticha Mahal, which once housed the ladies, Ambarkhana, or the central granary, Dharma Kothi, which is an additional granary in addition to Ambarkhana, and Sajja Kothi are a few of the well-liked tourist destinations. Visits to the Rajdindi bastion, which serves as a secret escape from the fort in an emergency, Teen Darwaza, Wagh Darwaza, and the templates constructed in Mahakali’s honour are also available.
Entering this fort doesn’t cost any money.
The best time to visit
The Panhala Fort has no set optimal time to visit. For obvious reasons related to convenience, however, a visit to the fort should be avoided during the rainy season. The fort is probably best visited in the winter.