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Gaganbawda, Kolhapur Overview

Located at a distance of 55 kms from Kolhapur, Gaganbawada is a town on the Western Ghats or the Sahyadris. The hilly town is undeveloped and is mostly famous for Gagangad Fort, Karul Ghat and Bhuibavda Ghat situated in the area. The town also has several temples, Lakshmapur Dam and Pandav caves; and is shot in many Bollywood movies.

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History & Culture

Gaganbawda was known as Bawada Mahal and covered areas of current Gaganbawda and Sindhudurg, admeasuring 243 sq.mi. It was felt that access from the former Gaganbawda Tehsil to the foothills was difficult and thus, in 1981, part of the Bawada Mahal was separated and given to the Sindhudurg tehsil. However, the Gagangiri Ashram, treasured by Gaganbawda, came to fall within the Sindhudurg administration.

Pachadlela (2004) and Kaal Ratri Bara Vajta (1991) were shot in Palsambe, 7 km before Gaganbawada. The wada (Bungalow) shown in these movies is a popular, scenic tourist attraction as River Kumbhi flows behind it.

How to Reach

The closest airport is Kolhapur Airport (KLH). The closest railway station is Vaibhavwadi Road (VBW). Gaganbawada is well connected by road. Buses from Kolhapur to Gaganbawada are also available and take about two hours to reach.

Places to Visit

Karul Ghat & Bhuibawada Ghat are scenic routes that originate at Gaganbawada. Gagangad Fort used to be the headquarters of the Gaganbawada tehsil during the British Rule. Shri Gagangiri Maharaj settled in a cave here known as Garbhagiri, after which the Gagangiri Ashram was also built here. Devotees swarm the town during the festival of Datta Jayanti.

The Morjai Temple and Plateau makes for a great destination for hiking enthusiasts. The plateau is known to be a perfect example of the "Sada Ecosystem", while the temple - a 45 min upward trek away - is a unique temple dedicated to Goddess Morjai.

With a 1.6TMC capacity, Lakhmapur Dam is one of the largest water bodies in the area. It also hosts a small hydro-electricity generation unit. There is also a lot of biodiversity in the forests around Gaganbawada.

Other places to visit include the Pandav Caves, D. Y. Patil Sugar Factory and Bavdekar Bungalow.

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