Rankala Lake is an important place in Kolhapur
with historical and cultural significance. It is a constant inspiration to cinema shooting, writers and artists. Kolhapur citizens have a great affinity with this lake. There is a Shalini palace and Shantakiran studio where one can witness the cinema shooting with prior permission. The lake is large and spacious.
The main reason Rankala builded was to storage of water and then supply it to farms and city. Water supply lines are still exists, though they are no more in use.
There is temple of Rank Bhairav at the center of the lake. The name Rankala to the lake is also derived from this god. There are two ghats for the lake, one Rajghat
and other Marathghat. There is a Rankala tower on the Rajghat called SandhyaMath. In front of it is Shalini palace. Rankala choupati is very famous and attractive to citizens and tourists. In the pleasent evening atmosphere, this choupaty gets crouded with tourists and citizens. Tourists enjoy boating, children park, horse riding and stalls of eatables.
This lake was constructed by Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur
. It is surrounded by chowpati, other gardens and pathway.Prior to the 8th century this historical place was just a stone quarry. In the earthquake which took place sometime in 9th century some natural structural change took place in the quarry. Water started accumulating in this quarry due to opening of an underground source. This accumulated water is today’s famous Rankala Lake.
Rankala is very close to Mahalakshmi Temple