Bhavani Mandap

It is the glory of the city. Being the biggest & oldest building, it has historical importance. When Kolhapur became self-governed, this place was built. It has fine and sound construction with 14 squares. In about 1813, the Muslim knight Sadakhan invaded the palace and a part of it was burnt. After repair, 7 squares survived. At the center there is the temple of Kulswamini Tulja Bhavani. History tells that Shambhu alias Abasaheb Maharaj was killed in this very Mandap. Near by stands a body-built statue to commemorate Shahu Maharaj. As a memory of his hunting a stuffed tiger and buffalo are kept. Tomb to right with coloured fishes and a tiny temple of Lord Shiva, all appears to be history incarnate! Opposite to the temple is a grand hall-pendal which was erected in 1918 A.D when Shreemant Akkasaheb Maharaj, daughter of Shahu Maharaj was married. Further, during 1926-30 Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj gave a new form to it. Taking away original wooden arches, the hall was made tall and splendid. Within the compound walls of the Mandap, Motibag Gymnasium, Rajwada Police Station, Maharashtra Battalion are working on a splendid entrance gate.

The Blackstone built Vittal Temple complex is situated half km south of Bhavani Mandap Beautifully stone carved Temple is built in Hemadpanthi Style. The carving style indicates that this complex is built prior to that of Mahalaxmi Temple complex.

Kolhapur's King Rajaram II, who ruled from 1866 to 1870 A.D. was of modern views. He wanted to provide facilities like educational and medical to the people Kolhapur state. As a first step he wanted start a Highschool. He appointed Major Charles Mant, the British Royal Engineer, as architect. But before the work started Rajaram died at Florence, Italy, while on Europe tour. Mant has first built His cenotaph on the banks of river Arno, Italy. He built this school building in1879. He used the useful scientific Roman Neolithic style, together with native style. This mixed style was named as 'Indo-Daracenic' style. Thus this building is one of the most early building of 'Indo-Saracenic' style. This beautifully built blackstone building is one of the best building of such type.

This is the second creation of Charles Mant in Kolhapur. In this beautifully built Niogothic blackstone building Mant has used native style dome for porch. This is the first step to what is called 'Indo-Saracenic' style.