Cinema and Kolhapur

    Indian cinema has known as Bollywood, in the world. It is one of the largest employment industries of India. Kolhapur is the birthplace of Indian cinema. Mr. Dhundiraj or Dadasaheb Phalake produced first film of Indian cinema named ‘Raja Harishchandra’ based on pauranic classical literature in 1913. Along with cinema drama, folk music popularly known as Lavani, Tamasha also flourished in Kolhapur due to patronage offered by the kings and Chhatrapaties of Kolhapur. They also promoted fine arts, painting, and music with the same love and affection.

Wrestling and Kolhapur

    Kolhapur has grown up and will always retain the memories of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj and his stalwart work in various fields of the society. He ruled Kolhapur between 1894 -1922. As you all know, that India was ruled by British army for 150 years but Kolhapur maintained its identity till independence of India. Kolhapur has a tradition of producing world class wrestlers. During the unsteady political condition between 30s and 40s, many wrestles from Punjab and India-Pakistan border came to Kolhapur for their survival, and city helped them for the same. Wrestler are born in Kolhapur, fed on a diet of robust Maratha food and trained diligently in gymnasiums, then converted into champions.

Dudh katta and Kolhapur

    One more peculiarity of the city is ‘Dudhkatta’ which is perhaps traceable only in Kolhapur and nowhere in the world. Evening in the city’s municipal square, milkmen lead their buffaloes out and sit with them beneath the street lights. And citizens stroll up and ask for milk. The buffalo is milked then and there. Some years back milkmen used to travel along with these cows and buffaloes from door to door providing fresh milk to the residents. One more reason is also that the wrestlers needed energy to maintain them which was gained by drinking the fresh milk every day. Today Kolhapur is a leading city in dairy development programs.

Sweet and Kolhapur

    Nature has gifted Kolhapur with all its lavishness. Fertile land produces agricultural products to its maximum yield capacity. Kolhapur is known for sugarcane with highest level of sweetness. Sugarcane fields and jaggery factories… that what’s Kolhapur is famous for. There are 12 sugarcane factories along in Kolhapur district, which all are run on the co-operative basis. Jaggery making process is as quaint as it is old and traditional. Village in Kolhapur are dotted with ‘Gurhals’ where sugarcane is turned into Jaggery and the sight of smoking chimneys amidst all sugarcane crop is not uncommon. The only machines used is a small electrically run sugarcane crushers. Kolhapur is also famous for its sugarcane juice. Small stalls stands everywhere in city.

Jewellery and Kolhapur

    Richness in turn promoted production of Jewellery and Kolhapur is a flourishing Centre of trade in silver Jewellery. Hupri, just twelve km’s away from the main town, famous for Jewellery items is worth seeing. It is a man-made handicraft industry preserving traditional art. Other ornaments Jewellery known are Kolhapuri Saaj, Thusshi, Bangles, Mohanmal etc. – a pride collection of Indian women.

Chappals and Kolhapur

    Kolhapuri footwear known as “Kolhapuri Chappals” it is a major product of India’s export industry. Chappals tested and proven over 400 years, have evolved from the basis footwear, a simple wooden base and toe similar to that worn by sadhus. The Chappals making process is a time consuming one and it can take one skilled worker from three hours to up to one day to make a pair. The entire process is still done by with the procedure starting with the tanning stage that lasts 21 days. Colors vary even still traditional shades of beige and brown and red and black to gold and silver. Chappals also vary in weight from 25 grams a pair to rather bulky 1 kg. Its traditional art is not only well preserved but flourishing competing Bata, Reebok, etc.

Cuisines and Kolhapur

    Kolhapur is foodie’s paradise. Misal, the sumptuous and filling breakfast dish tastes like nowhere else in the country. Traditionally a mixture of boiled matki beans, potatoes, farsan, sev and kat, a spicy soup like gravy made with garam masala, onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and dry and wet coconut. Kolhapur is also known for non-vegetarian meal, Tambda and Pandhara Rassa, dry and fried mutton, mutton pickle and mutton dum biryani. Even though eaten in the restaurants it’s Maratha household flavor can be experienced. Vegetarian meal comprises of pithala and bhakari, leafy and sprouted Marathi style proves that the Goddess Annapurna (Goddess of meal) has flavored Kolhapurians.

India is a land of exquisite customs and age old traditions that traces their origin to ancient times.