Back from an exciting trip to Kolhapur (largely), Miraj, Sangli and many more. What an experience!
I have been to Kolhapur a million times before but only for the second time with DH and for the first with dear son. So this was almost like taking them to a place I have grown up during my summer vacation and giving them the experience.
We started our day 1 which apparently was a sunday with a visit to the Mahalaxmi temple. The temple was fortunately not crowded at all and the weather GOD was also very kind. In about 20 minutes we were out of the temple after the customary rituals. Once out my eyes were hunting for the prasad to carry back. We bought our pack of goodies the Ambabai devi's pedha.
Next we hopped back to our hotel with both me and my sister (yes she came along too!) eager to try some authentic Kolhapuri food. DH ordered for a Kolhapuri Vegetarian Thali. I opted for a mutton thali and sister asked for all tandoor starters.
The food was amazing with the variety of things we managed to finish only half of the quantity. Vegetarian thali had Paneer Kolhapuri, Usal, Dal fry, Batata bhaji, Chapati, Jeera rice, salad, papad.
Now for the mutton thali, it had mutton kheema, mutton suka, pandhara rassa, tambda rassa, egg masala, lachcha parathas, jeera rice, dahi kanda(raita/salad) uff yes, all of this.
This was delicious. A tad bit oily which is the reason why we could not eat all of what was served.
After a heavy meal we went into a slumber for hours and woke up to visit the Rankala (river side). At the rankala we had the famous Kolhapuri bhel which is different from the regular mumbai bhel that we normally have. It was a little sweet for our pallete which is surprising considering that we were warned about the hotness.
Back at hotel we ordered light food ,dal and chawal and called it a day.
Next day we visited the kanheri math, about which I can write pages,. It was a welcome change in the interiors of maharashtra to have a tourist spot. Basically a trust that has re-created the old world charm of caves and small villages. At a meagre charge of 40 INR per head for adults you can spend more than couple of hours observing the stoneage.
Outside the math we ate the jhunka bhakri with kharda/thecha. It set our taste buds rolling and asking for more. Our next stop was at Shahu Palace museum which is still inhabitated by the 5th generation of Chhatrapathi Shahu Maharaj (Of Shivaji clan). The museum on the ground floor was as expected.
The food outside the palace sreved at the museum canteen was wonderfully light and tasty. A simple vegetarian meal of 2 vegetables, one lentil broth , warm chapathi's and rice all for 50 INR.
Over the days, we tasted a lot of food,especially the akhkha masoor which was a culinary delight for most of travellers like us.
I have carried back with me some kolhapuri jaggery (gul), Hindustan bakery cookies (mango and dry fruits) and lots of fond memories.
There is so much more to explore and taste that I know already that I am visiting you again some time soon.