Located just 18 km from Kolapur, Panhala is a hill station city which is at an altitude of 3177 ft above sea level. The city is located inside the Panhala fort and commands a panoramic view of the valley below. It is strategically located looking over a pass in the Sahyadri mountain range which was a major trade route from Bijapur in the interior of Maharashtra to the coastal areas. Panhala is famed for its rich historic heritage, ancient monuments and gallant forts. Panhala is mostly identified with the Maratha warrior king Shivaji, who captured it in AD 1659. The place harbors one the ancient forts in the history of the Maratha Empire, the Panhala Fort. Panhala derived its name from a tribe called Panna, meaning serpent. Pahalla and Panalla literally meant “the home of serpents”. Panhala was traditionally considered to be intertwined with mythology of the country. According to Kolhapur Puran, the place is known as the home to serpents and hence blessed. Panhala was the capital of the Shilahara king Bhoja II during 1178-1209 Ad. The Parashar Caves located in Panhala is a place of archaeological and historical importance. The caves have ancient paintings and inscriptions. Historically, the place is supposed to have given shelter to the sage Parashar and later to the Marathi poet, Moropant in 18th century. For the nature lovers among you, the place to visit will be the Panhala Arboretum which is a 2.56 hectare area having over 3000 individual plants and trees. Panhala is not a typical Indian hill station; Its small size and strategic location made it a favorite place of various dynasties. Bounded within the four walls of a mighty fort, Panhala stands as a unique hill station.