Location : About 19 km from Kolhapur.
Altitude : 850 m
Panhala Fort is situated approximately at about 19 km from the beautiful city of Kolhapur in Maharashtra. This fort is considered to be one of the largest and one of the most magnificent forts present in the Deccan region. This fort is also well known for its significance. The fort is situated at an altitude of about 850 m above the sea level. The size of the fort is absolutely enormous and the sheer surroundings are massive. The circumference of its area of cover alone is about 7.25 km. this type of structure provides the perfect source of protection for the Panhala Fort. Almost half of the length of the fort comprises of natural scarp that has been duly reinforced and strengthened with the help of a parapet wall that covers its area. The other half of this enormous fort has been covered with the help of a massive stone wall, comprising of hard and impenetrable stone.
The inside wall of this great fort has also been reinforced and strengthen to a great extent with the aid of fortresses. The Panhala Fort initially comprised of three gates that were huge and double walled. But over the sands of time only two gates remain today. The inner surroundings of the fort comprises of some magnificent buildings which though ruined, still comprise of their magnificent splendour. The other attractions placed within the fort include the Teen Darwaza, which still remains as an impressive structure. The other buildings include the three massive granaries, which are placed within the boundaries of the fort of which, Ganga Kothi is the largest, based on an expanse of about 950 sq m, and comprises of a height of 10.7 m.
Many other impressive buildings are also placed within the fort, which includes the Sajja Kothi in which the great king Sivaji placed his way ward son, Sambaji. The inner campus also comprises of the Ramachandra Amatya Samadhi, who was the author of Ajnapatra, which was an important work of statecraft. The Panhala Fort was also the capital of Shilahara King Boja II. After the king, it fell into the hands of the Yadhava and Bahamani kings. By the year 1489 the Adil Shahi dynasty took over the great fort.
The fort was then taken over by the great ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji, who defeated the Shahis. In fact, it was for this very Panhala fort that Shivaji escaped to Vishalgad when he was attacked by Siddi Johar. The forts heritage continued as it shifted from the Maratha rule to the Moghuls, the fort remained under the state of Kolhapur till India received her independence. Anyone who visits the state of Maharashtra must make it a point to visit this magnificent Panhala Fort.