Shree Chhatrapati Shahu MuseumThe Chhatrapati Shahu museum in Kolhapur was constructed during the period 1877 - 1884. It was designed by British architect 'Charles Mant' and was built according to an architectural style that had a fusion of Jain and Hindu influences from Gujarat and Rajasthan, along with a touch of the local Rajwada style. In present times, a major portion of the palace i.e. the first floor is still being used as the residence by the current Maharaja of Kolhapur and on the other hand, the ground floor has been converted into a museum, which is known as the Chhatrapati Shahu Museum.
Chhatrapati Shahu museum is a major attraction for the tourists visiting Kolhapur, built with black polished stone, a beautiful sprawling garden, fountain and a wrestling ground within its complex. The whole structure of the palace is eight angled and has a tower in the middle with a clock fixed way back in 1877 and there are smaller towers at separate distance. The unique feature of this museum is that every glass is painted with the events based on Shivaji's life.
Indoors of the Chhatrapati Shahu museum
Some of the priceless collections you will see:
- An impressive collection of costumes, jewellery, embroidered items belonging to the royal family.
- Silver elephant saddles.
- Items used personally by Maharaja Shahaji Chhatrapati like guns, clothes etc.
- A section of the palace houses rare paintings and weaponry.
- Stuffed wild animals and exotic birds is a major attraction with children.
- A collection of old coins and furniture.
- The history and family tree of the Bhosale’s on certain section of the walls.
- A letter from the British Viceroy and Governor General of India.
Some bizarre, but rare collection includes:
- Walking sticks made from leopard, tiger vertebrae.
- Ashtrays fashioned out of tiger skulls and rhino feet.
- Ostrich foot Candle-holders.
Finally, you will see a well maintained, fabulous ornate Durbar hall, where the erstwhile rulers held court sessions.
Outdoors, the palace has lush green parks surrounding it and spending time here in solitude is quite rejuvenating, In front of the palace there is a beautiful picturesque lake and around the lake you will catch a glimpse of some wildlife like Spotted deers, Sambar, Peacock, different species of birds etc. which are kept in an open zoo within the palatial complex.
So, if you're a lover of historical sites, this one is a must visit.
How to Reach Shahu Museum from prominent places
Distance from railway station / S.T bus stand (CBS) about 2 to 3 km.
Distance from Rankala stand (Gangavesh) about 3 km.
From other nearby places :
Distance from Mahalaxmi Ambabai Mandir is about 3 to 4 km.
Distance from Rankala is about 3 to 4 km.
Distance from Shalini Palace is about 3 to 4 km.
Visiting time : (Tuesday to Sunday) 9:30 a.m to 1:00 p.m and 2:30 to 6.00 p.m Closed on : Monday.
Photography : Photography of any kind is strictly prohibited in the museum complex.
Best season to visit : The Chhatrapati Shahu museum can be visited anytime during the year but the winter season which prevails from November to February is the best time to visit as the weather is pleasant and the temperature in this season lies between 14 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Best time to visit : Morning , Afternoon , Evening.
Time required for exploring the museum : 1 to 2 hours.
Entry Fee :
Individual Indian national adult : Rs 18 /-
Children : Rs 6 /-
Individual foreigner adult : Rs 30 /-
(Please note : Rates are subject to change).
Other things to carry : Light snacks and water.
Safety and Helpline : Police Control Room – 100 / 2662433, Panchaganga Hospital – 102 / 2525768.