Kolhapur one of the few ancient cities of India, long before Christ, it had established its commercial links with the Roman Empire. The copper coins and brass models found in the excavations on the banks of the river Panchaganga testify to the ancient contacts with the west. The idol of Poseidon Greek Sea God found here, is supposed to be one the precious antiques of the world. Even Ptolemy, the famous Roman historian, has mentioned Kolhapur as a leading centre of the trade and commerce. Situated on the banks of river Panchaganga, Kolhapur – also known as Karveer surrounded by hillocks of the Sahyadri ranges. According to myths, there lived an invincible demon known as ‘Kolasur’ after whom the city named. The Goddess Mahalaxmi finally vanquished him. Another myth recounts that the city was named after the ‘Kolla, Goddess of the aborigines….’Karveer’ – the other name of this glorious city, has its origins in the Puranas, which narrate a story about the city, engulfed by a great flood. The Goddess Mahalaxmi saved it by using the ‘Kur’ and ‘mace’. Hence, it came to known as ‘Karveer’. The ‘Padmapurana’ and ‘Skandapurana’ speak of Kolhapur as ‘Dakshin Kashi’. Some verses in the Puranas suggest poetically that the city is spiritually vibrant. God Shiva dwells here in the form of water, God Vishnu in the form of rocks, Goddess in the form of the tree and sees in the form of sand. Ruled by great dynasties like the Chalukyas, the Shilahara and the Rashtrakuta – Kolhapur, with a rich legacy of an aristocracy, graciousness arts and culture down the ages has today emerged as a city with a multifaceted persona and colourful mythological and historical past.
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