One of the most prominent cities in the state of Maharashtra, Solapur District covers an area of about 14,850 sq. km and is surrounded by districts like Osmanabad and Ahmednagar to the north, Satara and Pune to the west, Bijapur and Sangli in the south and Gulbarga District in the east.
Solapur - At A Glance
Solapur was historically dominated by several dynasties like the Chalukyas, the Yadavas, the Andhrabhratyas, the Rashtrkutas and the Bahamanis. The Solapur district was taken over from the Bahamani kingdom by the Bijapur Kings. It was later passed over to the Maratha rulers. The fall of Peshwa in 1818 saw the British Government occupy Solapur and it was made a sub division of the Ahmednagar district then. As recent as 1960 saw Solapur get its own tag of a district of the Maharashtra state.
Situated on the bank of the River Sina, Solapur is recognized as a premier Jain religious centre in Maharashtra. Historians believe that the district got its name from ‘Sola’ – ‘Pur’ which means Sixteen Villages in Hindi. Others contest that Solapur was actually called Sandalpur during the Muslim reign. However, when the British took over they dropped the ‘na’ and started calling it Solapur.
Solapur is just 400 km away from the metropolitan city of Mumbai and about 245 km from Pune.
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Solapur is extremely popular for Pandharpur – the Dakshin Kashi of India. Pandharpur is revered as the city of Lord Vitthoba and a prime example of a fine religious centre in the entire country. The festivals of Kartiki and Ashadhi Ekadashi see pilgrims to the tune of four to five lakhs coming here.
Akkalkot is a very significant pilgrim centre nearby Solapur. It is dedicated to Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj – an incarnate of Lord Dattatreya. The Vatavrikhsa Temple found here is a must visit, and so is the Swami’s Math. Tuljapur is home to the temple of Goddess Tulja Bhawani and is an added destination to the list of pilgrim centres found here.
The Siddheshwar Temple located here is a beautiful temple in the middle of a lake. Fort Bhuikot is another fabulous monument that might interest history lovers.
The Motibaug Tank is a wonderful site for bird watching. Tonnes of migratory birds flock here during the winter season. The Revanisiddheshwar Temple lies nearby this tank. Also present in the proximity is Nannaj – the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, yet another place for wildlife enthusiasts.
The Ground Fort, Mallikarjuna Temple, Adinath Temple, the numerous Masjids and Churches are a few more attractions that can be found here.
Solapur – The Culture And The People
Solapur is not only a great city to visit, but also a fantastic place to live and work. It is a great place where the diverse cultures of Marathi, Kannada and Telugu seamlessly amalgamate.
Solapur is known to be the ancient domain of the Shiva Yogi sect. Over the years many pilgrim centres have sprung up in this district.
The people of Solapur are warm, tolerant and extremely enduring. These citizens are the reason Solapur has successfully converted from a small, non-descript town to a full fledged commercial and tourist hub. The city is multilingual, multi-industrial and multifaceted.
The number of fairs and festivals that are organized in this region tells the true tale of the religious people who take pride in belonging to this land of temple. Each festival lasts for a couple of days and is celebrated enthusiastically.
The numerous movie theatres and folklore institutes here stresses on how the folks of Solapur love entertainment. Visit the place and be a part of their celebrations – they will be more than happy to incorporate you.
Solapur is blessed with a decent, moderate climate. The maximum temperature reached here is during the summer – about 40 to 42°C. With May being the hottest month, tourists are generally advised against travelling during this time lest they get irritated with the unforgiving, relentless sun that shines brightly for the most part of it. The monsoons are a great time to be here, when the rains wash over the heat and add a touch of freshness. The minimum temperature reached in this region is during the winter season, in around January - 9°C. The weather is lovely to go out exploring and sightseeing, or to pay homage to the innumerable religious sites here.
Solapur is very conveniently located on the main roadway and train routes from Mumbai to Hyderabad. There are several trains that come and go from the Solapur Railway station to different part of the state and the country too. The Solapur Airport provides for a comfortable journey by air. By road, there are various shuttle services offered by the state transport and private tour companies that help you reach Solapur not only comfortably, but economically too.
The district of Solapur is renowned for its mattresses, powerloom, handloom and beedi industries. That apart, this religious site is consistently growing to new heights year after year. A place where Spirituality, Religion, History, Nature, Commercialization, and Entertainment all come together – Solapur is a force to reckon with. If you haven’t visited this glorious city yet, you should waste no more time, because only once you set foot on this land shall you realize what you have been missing out on up until now.