Kolhapur pronunciation is a city situated in the southwest corner of Maharashtra, India. The population of Kolhapur is 5,61,841 as per the 2011 census.Kolhapur also serves as the headquarters of the Kolhapur district. As is the case in most of the cities in Maharashtra, the main language spoken in Kolhapur is Marathi. Kolhapur is situated on the banks of the river Panchganga and is the location of the Temple of Mahalakshmi, a Hindu goddess.
According to Hindu mythology, Kolhapur was settled by Kolhasur, a demon who was later killed by Mahalakshmi to relieve the local populace. However, honouring the demon's dying wish, the city was named after him. Kolhapur finds mentions in Devi Gita, the final and most important chapter of the Srimad Devi Bhagawatam, as one the important places of Shakti worship, "Devi spoke:..."O King of Mountains! Still I am now telling something out of My affection to My Bhaktas. Hear. There is a great place of pilgrimage named Kolhapura in the southern country. Here the Devi Laksmi always dwells...."Kolhapur was a major and popular Buddhist destination during 6th century BC.[citation needed.
It is said that famous Rashtrakuta king Amoghavarsha Nrupathunga I (800–878 CE) deeply cared for his subjects and once when a calamity threatened to harm them, he offered his finger as a sacrifice to the goddess Mahalakshmi of Kolhapur.
During 940-1212 CE, it was the capital of the Shilahara dynasty of Kolhapur. An inscription at Teradal mentions that king Gonka was healed from snakebite by a Jain monk and Gonka built a temple of Lord Neminath. Many Jain temples in this region build in the next few centuries are called Gonka-Jinalya after him. During the reign of Bhoja I, a dynamic Acharya Maghanandi helped establish an institute at Rupanarayana-Basadi. Several kings and nobles of the dynasty were disciples of Maghanandi. Maghanandi is often called Siddhanta-chakravarti i.e. the great master of the scriptures, Gandaraditya I was his disciple. He is sometimes called "Kolapuriya" or walyaa to distinguish him from many other Acharyas with the name Maghanandi.
Kolhapur was the site of intense confrontation between the Western Chalukyas and the Chola kings Rajadhiraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola II. Following the Battle of Koppam in 1052, Rajendra Chola II marched on to Kolhapur and erected a jayastambha or victory pillar in the city.
The Kopeshwar (Shiva) Temple, located in Kolhapur district, was built by Shilahara King Gandaraditya, Vijayaditya and Bhoj-II between 1109 and 1178 AD. It is nearly capital in time of Queen Tararani who is daughter in law of Chh. Shivaji Maharaj. Kolhapur, historically had a major influence and connections with the prevalent kingdoms of Greece/Rome, the availability of bust of Poseidon, the Greek god of sea at one of the excavated site of Kolhapur shows the relations of trade and co-operation shared with both kingdoms.