Location: 120-km Away From Pune, At The Feet Of The Sahyadri Ranges, Maharahstra
Main Attractions: Ajinkyatara Fort, Pratapgad Fort, Yavteshwar, Natraj Mandir
Best Time To Visit: October And March
Satara is one of the oldest cities of Maharashtra situated at the feet of the Sahyadri range; it has a glorious and ever inspiring past history, which dates back to 200 BC. Satara is also a district headquarter. Nira River and the Taluka’s of Bhor and Phaltan bound it on the north, on the east by Solapur (also spelt as Sholapur), on the south by the lands of Single and on the west by the Sahyadris
An Ancient Center Of Cultural Heritage The city has several mythological, historical, cultural and even political references. Eminent historians, well-known authors, poets and great political leaders made this city famous from time to time. One of the poets described and compared it with Capital City of Delhi. It is also famous as two great rivers namely the Krishna and Veena originated from Mahabaleshwar meet together at Kshetra Mahuli. The confluence at Mahuli has several stories reminiscence ancient History.
This city is ornate with nature's blessings, a calm and quiet place not only for peaceful living but also for doing great devotional works for mankind. It was regarded as the celestial abode of great seven sages on the hill fort of 'Ajinkyatara', which was known as 'Fort of Sapta-Rishi' (Seven Sages).
There are no inscriptions as to who held Satara but it seems probable that the Andhrabhritya or Shatakarni kings (BC 90-AD 300) held Satara till the 3rd or 4th century after Christ. For 900 years, which ended in the early 14th century with the Muslims overthrowing of the Devgiri Yadavs, no other historical information regarding Satara is available.
Ajinkyatara Fort: The Ajinkyatara Fort is in the heart of Satara City. It is located on the huge Ajinkyatara Mountain and is 3,300 feet high and so the tourists can have a wonderful view of the city from here. The walls of the fort are 4m high. Many water tanks are there on the fort and there is no scarcity of water. The beauty of Ajinkyatara can be observed from the hill of Yawateshwar.
Pratapgad Fort: Pratapgad Fort is one of the formidable mountain forts built by Shivaji, 24-km away from the famous hill-station Mahabaleshwar. The fort holds a commanding view of coastal Konkan. One can see the Raigadh fort from here. The Bhavani temple and Afzal Khan's Tomb are other places of interest.
Yavteshwar: Yavteshwar is a small village on the plateau to the northwest of the summit of Yavteshwar hill, about 2 miles west of Satara. The plateau is reached by a good bridal path branching off from the tunnel at Satara or by the steps, which climb straight up the hillside. Yavteshwar is 1100 feet above the plain thus one can expect this place to be pleasantly cool at all times of the years. Though there is a little feeling of hot wind at times, but during the summer Yavteshwar is frequently used as health-resort.
Natraj Mandir: This temple is located in Satara City, which lies on the way from the highway to the Satara Railway station. The temple has four entrances in the four directions.
Mahuli: Mahuli located 6-km from Satara City and is another famous pilgrim center where rivers Krishna and Venna meet. Many beautiful Mandirs (temples) and Ghats can be found on the banks of the river. The Mangalagauri temples are quite famous over here and one can also see innumerable ruins of old temples.
Bogda: Bogda is a tunnel built during the British Raj, which is a unique example of Civil and Construction Engineering. One has to pass through to this tunnel to go to any place located on the other side of Ajinkyatara from the main city.
Char Bhinti: "Char Bhinti" which means "Four walls" when literally translated. One can come this memorial midway to the top of Ajinkyatara. It is a unique memorial, which commemorates the Uprising of 1857 (Sepoy Mutiny) and all the patriotic struggles by the freedom fighters of the time of the British Raj. There are inscriptions on the memorial mentioning Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and Lokmanya Tilak.
Sajjangad Fort: Sajjangad Fort is located just 12-km away from Satara city where Shri Samarth Ramdas Swami, Guru of Shivaji Maharaj lived. It was named so as Sajjan means a good person and many people used to visit this fort and hold discussions with the Guru. He was popular among people as a very good person. The Shilahar family built this fort in the 10th or 11th century AD. It is 1025 feet in height and has an area of 1824 square yards. It was earlier named as Aashwalayangad and later named as Aaswalgad.
Wai: Wai is a holy place situated on the banks of the river Krishna. It is also known as Dakshin Kashi meaning the Kashi of the South. There are many temples and seven well-built Ghats on the banks of the river. Each of the Ghats differs in size and style. One can see a huge idol of Ganesha called Dholya Ganapathi, which is very famous and is made out of a single stone by Sardar Raste in 1762 AD.
Koynanagar: The Koyna dam is a big dam, built high in Satara district of the Sahyadris on one of the major tributaries of the Krishna, which is a "Major Irrigation Project'' in the terminology of the Indian Government. Its reservoir has a storage capacity of 98 TMC ft and the dam generates over 900 MW of electricity.
Shingnapur: Shingnapur is located on the niche of the Shikhar Shingnapur hills, 40 miles away from Satara and is a famous pilgrimage center. Atop the hill there is a temple dedicated to Lord Mahadev.
Panchagani: Panchgani is an idyllic mountain retreat in the Krishna valley. Tucked away in the Satara district of Maharashtra, Panchgani is a well-known hill station of Maharashtra on the highway to Mahabaleshwar from Pune. It derives its name from the five hills around it. Situated at an altitude of 1,334m, the 18-km approach to the Panchgani is breathtaking, offering heart-stopping views of the River Krishna on one side and the coastal plains on the other. It is far from the noise of Pune and the endless hustle-bustle and pollution of Mumbai metropolis. It is the first hill town one reaches from Mahabaleshwar on the Pune road.
Chaphal: Sri Samarth Ramdas Swami built a temple dedicated to Sri Rama; he also constructed two Maruti Mandirs at Chaphal. He found the idol of Sri Rama placed in the temple in the river at Angapur. Tourists can also visit a beautiful memorial, which was built to perpetuate the memory of his first meeting with Sri Shivaji Maharaj.
Thosegarh: Famous for its waterfalls, it makes an ideal picnic spot for the adventurous. The people visiting here walk down the slippery falls and have a good time with the splashing waters.
HOW TO GET THERE
Rail: Satara being an important city of Maharashtra has well-developed transportation facilities. Tourists can easily access Satara rail. It is also a main Railway on Pune-Miraj section.
Road: Satara is situated on Pune-Bangalore highway 120-km away from Pune. State transport plies buses from each direction that pass through Satara.
Population:2451000 (1991 Census)
Latitude:16.50' and 18.10'
Longitude:73.45' and 75.0'
Rainfall:803 mm (Average)
Clothing:Light cotton in summer and woolen in winter