Kolhapur is the last of the traces of the Maratha ruler, Shivaji and it is bestowed with oldest Indian civilization. Kolhapur is graced by its rich culture that has evolved over the years dating back to 17th century. Its history is coloured with the deeds and tells of many rulers and kings, who have time and again established their authority over this land. It has gone through many regimes and has seen the rise and fall of many kingdoms. Of all, the most notable were the rule of 28 years of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, who came to power in 1894 thereby ushering a new phase of socio-cultural and economic changes and adaptations. The reign of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj is an important chapter not only in the history of Kolhapur but of Maharashtra as a whole. Under his leadership, a number of progressive revolutionary reforms and movements were introduced that resulted in major socio-economic transformations. Kolhapur has greatly evolved over the time and presently holds the status of one of the most developed III tier cities of India. The IT and BPO sector has also flourished significantly, thus making Kolhapur the new and bestdestination. It's strategically important location at the “golden quadrangle expressway” has further added to its glory.
Its geographical closeness to other important tourist places like Bangalore, Mumbai, and Pune has made it a favourite tourist destination.
Tourism in Kohlapur is marked with diverse colours drawing its source from spirituality, culture, history and nature. There are many popular places in Kolhapur that forms a core part of Kolhapur travel guide. Tourism places to visit in Kolhapur include temples, shrines, forts, palatial buildings, garden, and lakes. To name some of the important and most visited sightseeing places of Kolhapur are the Shri Mahalakshmi Temple, Narsobawadi in Shirol taluka, Koppeshwar Mandir in Khidrapur, Jyotiba Temple Audumbar, Shri Bahubali Sanctuary, the Radhanagari Dam, Rankala Lake. Some of the other important tourist attractions that lie in close proximity to Kolhapur are Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Pune, Mahabaleshwar, Solapur. The city has a rich cultural background and art, drama, music find an integral part of its culture. Lavani and Tamasha are popular forms of folk of this city.