The next destinations that I visited in Kolhapur were the Rankala Lake and Shalini Palace. The Rankala Lake is believed to be linked with a well in the Panhala Fort, which Shivaji Maharaj had crossed. This lake is a nice place to spend weekends and the local municipal authority has built a pavement across this beautiful water body. The lake was constructed by Chhatrapati of Kolhapur and is one of the major attractions on the western side of Mahalakshmi Temple. The lake is surrounded by garden and has different types of stalls selling Bhel puri, patis and various other snacks. I stopped there for a while and tasted a few of the bhel puris and snacks; they were really tasty and represented the true flavour of the place. Rankala is also famous for horse riding and boating. The Shalini Palace is situated on the west bank of the lake and there were a large number of tourists on the day I had visited.
The Shalini Palace was built in the 17th century and constructed using black stone and Italian marble. However in recent times, the palace had been converted into a hotel and one can enjoy good scenic beauty because of the presence of lake on one side. Many people say that the lake was created as a result of an earthquake. Because of the devastation a natural structural change took place and water started accumulating on the quarry, which is now famous and known as the Rankala Lake. The Shalini Palace was constructed in the year 1931-34 and cost around eight lakhs during those times. The palace got its name after Princess Shrimant Shalini Raje from Kolhapur.
The Rankala Lake and Shalini Palace is situated near the city and one can easily reach there. The palace has its boundary of palm trees all around and they incorporate a completely different appeal to the surrounding areas. The palace is constructed with decorated wooden doors and Belgian glass. The construction was really beautiful and there was a huge tower clock. Several transportation modes are available from Kolhapur but I had taken an auto rickshaw to reach the destination. The next place where I was heading for is the Panhala Fort in Kolhapur.