Arts, aristocracy and graciousness. A legacy of valour combined with a culture steeped in spiritualism, education and modernism. Kolhapur with its myriad images emerges as a city with a multi-faceted persona and a rich cultural, historical and mythical past. Ancient texts such as the Padmapurana and the Skandapurana speak in glowing terms of Karveer or Dakshin Kashi which is, in fact modern-day Kolhapur on the banks of river Panchaganga nestling among the Sahyadri ranges.
A journey through the past reveals that Kolhapur has lived through the regimes of various rulers from the mythical past to the modern age. The Hindu era lasted till 1347, followed by the Muslim rule which was from 1347-1700. The magnificent temples of Kolhapur were built during the glorious periods of the Satavahana kings and the Shilaharas. The Marathas controlled this area from 1700 to 1849. In 1849, the British took over and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj was installed as the ruler of Kolhapur.
Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj's reign lent a progressive spirit to the city and he extended his patronage to theatre, films, music, painting, sculpture, wrestling and crafts. As result, the city has a rich cultural ethos. In 1945, archaeological excavations close to a hill named Brahmagiri on the banks of the river Panchaganga revealed the existence of an ancient town dating back to the Roman times. Today, Kolhapur combines its artistic past with a dynamic present and is a modern, industrial city.