The week-long Kolhapur Tourism Festival organized by the state government from September 26 to highlight the district on the tourism map by bringing its historical, cultural, religious and culinary heritage to tourists will come to an end Sunday.
District Guardian Minister Satej Patil said the plan was to serve tourists in any way possible. The official opening of the festival took place on Monday on the occasion of World Tourism Day. The festival logo and a website dedicated to tourist sites in the district were also unveiled during the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, Patil said the festival was meant to showcase the diversity and richness of Kolhapur.
“Kolhapur is a naturally rich district with everything from agriculture, irrigation, wildlife, historical sites to cuisine to offer. We have at heart the legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Sambhaji Maharaj, Maharani Tararani, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. The structures and cultural assets associated with them are meticulously preserved. We have the sacred temple of Mata Ambabai and the caves of Khidrapur which boast of an architectural wonder. Kolhapur has Panhalgad, Rangana and Vishalgad, the three forts from the Shivaji era that attract tourists. In addition, we have industrial projects and agro-food processing units for those interested in agrarian tourism, ”said Patil, who is also the state’s Minister of Interior and Informatics.
The festival started on September 26, which Kolhapur observes as the Punar-Pranpratisthapana Divas (Idol Relocation Day) of the deity Ambabai. The worshipers of Ambabai had hidden the idol for protection during the Mughal reign. He was reinstalled in the temple on September 26, 1712 by Sindhoji Hindurao Ghorpade.
The week-long festival also includes an exhibition of sculptures and paintings, a cycling rally, fort, village and forest trails, water tourism, an off-road rally, a heritage walk and activities of adventure so that tourists with various interests can visit Kolhapur.
The district administration also undertook a cleanliness campaign and organized competitions such as speaking, drawing, photography, essay, videography for students in addition to online tourism development lectures.
“We have all the facilities, from the airport, train connectivity to national and national highways. With the help of social and mainstream media, we’ve gone out of our way to reach out to people. We have also made films to disseminate information on tourist sites and have made all information available on the website for immediate reference, ”said Patil.
He pointed out that Kolhapur is known for its chappal industry, silver industry in Hupari and jaggery processing units, all of which will benefit from tourism. The minister said the district’s connectivity with Konkan and Goa is an added advantage.
Patil pointed out that the festival is celebrated by adhering to all Covid-19 standards. The district administration also consulted with various experts and veterans to ensure the festival’s success.
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