Updated: October 1, 2021 5:30:05 pm
The week-long Kolhapur Tourism Festival organised by the state government from September 26 to highlight the district on the tourism map by taking its historical, cultural, religious and culinary legacy to tourists will come to a close Sunday.
District Guardian Minister Satej Patil said the plan is to serve tourists in every possible way. The formal inauguration of the festival was held Monday on the occasion of World Tourism Day. The festival logo and a website dedicated to tourist spots in the district were also unveiled during the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, Patil had 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 hold the legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Sambhaji Maharaj, Maharani Tararani, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj to our heart. Structures and cultural belongings related to them are preserved meticulously. We have the holy temple of Mata Ambabai and Khidrapur caves which boast of architectural marvel. Kolhapur has Panhalgad, Rangana and Vishalgad, the three Shivaji-era forts which attract tourists. Besides, we have industrial projects and agri-processing units for those interested in agrarian tourism,” said Patil, who is also the state’s Minister for Home and IT.
The festival began on September 26, which Kolhapur observes as the Punar-Pranpratisthapana Divas (day of re-installation of the idol) of the deity Ambabai. Worshippers of Ambabai had hidden the idol for protection during the Mughal reign. It was re-installed in the temple on September 26, 1712 by Sindhoji Hindurao Ghorpade.
The week-long festival also includes an exhibition of sculptures and paintings, bike rally, fort, village and forest trails, water tourism, off-road rally, heritage walk and adventure activities so that tourists with diverse interests can visit Kolhapur.
The district administration has also undertaken a cleanliness drive and has organised competitions such as elocution, drawing, photography, essay, videography for students besides online lectures on tourism development.
“We have all facilities, from airport, train connectivity to national and state highways. With the help of social and mainstream media, we have left no stone unturned in reaching out to the people. We have also made films to disseminate information on tourist spots and have made every information available on the website for ready reference,” Patil said.
He pointed out that Kolhapur is known for its chappal industry, silver industry at Hupari and jaggery processing units, which will all benefit from tourism. The minister said the district’s connectivity with the Konkan and Goa is an added advantage.
Patil highlighted that the festival is being celebrated by adhering to all Covid-19 norms. The district administration has also consulted various experts and veterans to ensure the festival is a success.
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