Sunday, June 13, 2010

Panhala - A Fortified Hillstation

Puneritraveller, our very own pune travel guide is about to turn two years old and after having received ample amount of feed backs and suggestions regarding the website, which almost always revolved around the lines of good repository of information regarding tourist places around pune but lacks information about hotels and resorts there; which we apparently agreed to, we decided to change that!
We decided to revisit the places and this time around to include hotels and resorts in the places and also provide options to book hotels in the places listed in the website. But obviously it could not be done overnight but it had to start somewhere so we decided to visit Panhala - The quaint hill station this time we changed the name of the article to a fortified town!!

It was the first trip out of town for our new bike - who we have named "Rex", and the ride on NH4 was ideal to test the performance of the bike. The speedometer hovered around 110 km/hr and it was amazingly steady.  The roads from Kolhapur to Panhala also was good unlike the roads to most of the forts near Pune.
Panhala - at about 25 km from Kolhapur is a small hill station fortified by the various dynasties which ruled the land. Now remnants of the fort can be seen around the circumference of the town. The only structure well maintained of the earlier fortifications is the amberkhana which used to be the granaries used for storage of grains for the troops. The names of these granaries, Ganga jamuna and saraswati got me thinking on the origin of the names and who gave it to these granaries. Shivaji? I am not sure!!

Sajja kothi on the eastern side is another prominent spot. The view of the plains from the kothi is quite nice and there also is a PWD guest house in the premises. Like most of the government facilities as far as the location is concerned nobode can beat them however the service makes you feel that the resorts in the area pay the care takers to give bad service!
The fort on the northern side also offer some panoramic view. The ruins of teen darwaja the erstwhile entrance to the town is also a structure  is also notable landmark.
The weather here is very pleasant in the early mornings and evenings and bearable during afternoons. The best season to visit panhala as mentioned by the hoteliers here is something i failed to agree with. If you would ask me when i would like to visit Panhala i wouldn't think twice before saying during monsoons but the resort guys seemed to think otherwise. Probably according to them season is when most people visited the place rather than the best time to see the place at its natural best.
Panhala is not a conventional hillstation so if you expect one you might just be disappointed. Its a small town with a charm of posterity. A place you would associate with a small break and getaway, where you would just laze around taking morning walks and may be a walk to the bhelpuri wallah in the evening after watching a serene sunset.
We would give Panhala a rating of 3 stars as a weekend destination from Pune