The Word Solapur is believed to be derived from "SOLA" meaning sixteen in local language ( Marathi ) & "PUR" meaning village. Those sixteen villages were Aadilpur, Ahmedpur, Chapaldev, Fatehpur, Jamdarwadi, Kalajapur, Khadarpur, Khandervkiwadi, Muhammadpur, Ranapur, Sandalpur, Shaikpur, Solapur, Sonalagi, Sonapur and Vaidakwadi which are now united in Municipal Corporation of Solapur.
Solapur is famous for its Chadder, Handloom, Powerloom and Beedi Industries, covering an area of 14844.6 sq.kms., is one of the important districts in Maharashtra State of India.
It is influenced by its geography and the area is largely consists of plains. The river Bhima flows from northwest to the southeast and Sina River also flows from it. The southwest and northeast parts of the district are arid areas. Solapur is meeting ground for Maharashtra and Karnataka and from very old times the trade routes passed across Solapur district. There are 8 famous Digamabar Jain temples at Solapur two are at Shukravar Peth, one in Kasagi, one at Shravikashram, one at Bhusari and Seth Sakharamji temple. The chief deity (Gramdevata)of the city are Shri Siddeshwar & Shri Rupabhavani
Solapur developed as a commercial center for cotton and other agricultural produce. Solapur bed-sheets have earned fame and reputation for their novel designs and durability.
History As per the mythological literary sources the region south of Godavari was covered with thick forest and was inhabited by the aboriginal. Agastya was the first Aryan who crossed the Vindhya Mountains and settled on the banks of Godavari followed by other sages who established their hermitages in the different regions of the south. In early centuries the city belonged to the Hindu Chalukyas and Devagiri Yadavas, but later became a part of the Bahamani and Bijapur kingdoms. Vairag village in Barshi tehsil situated at a distance of 14 miles to the south east of Barshi and 30 miles to the North of Solapur is a meeting place of saints of Nath Sect who have enunciated worldly life for meditation. Because of this particular aspect the village seems to have been named as 'Vairag'.
Solapur is transport hub connecting Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is well connected by Road and Rail to major districts and cities.The national highways 9, 13 and 211 pass through Solapur city. Solapur is located on Pune-Hyderabad NH9, approximately 275km away from Pune. Regularly buses ply from Pune. Buses from Mumbai, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Nasik and other important cities of wester Maharashtra are available too.
Solapur is also very close to Hyderabad (305 km) in Andhra Pradesh and Vijapur (100 km) in Karnataka.
The city is located on major road and rail routes between Mumbai and Hyderabad, with a branch line to Bijapur and Gadag. It is 456 km away from Mumbai and 264 km away from Pune by rail.
Air service has currently started with regular flights from Solapur to Mumbai (Kingfisher airlines).
Public transport in Solapur is primarily provided by buses operated by Solapur Municipal Transport (SMT) and auto rickshaws. Newly Airconditioned VOLVO buses have been made available by the MNC. Everthing is nearby. Auto drivers are good. It costs very little to go anywhere in city.
Highlights for tourists include:
- Temple of Lord Siddharameshwar-it is the oldest temple built in 12th century. Its architecture is really wonderful with medieval period engineering. Temple is situated at the centre of the lake. Boating availability makes tour of lake memorable. It was accompanied with Fort called Bhuikot Fort . All types of regional birds can be seen around this temple.
- Hipparga Lake
It is the 1st biggest lake in the city with pollution free environment . Its famous for relaxation .its only place in India whose water come to city without use of any electricity. In winter foreign migratory birds like Flamingos can be seen in huge numbers.
- Kambar Lake, 3rd largest lake in solapur.
- IndraBhavan - Solapur Corporation building
- Bhui-Kot Castle - castle of 15th century and under the Bahamani period
- Hutatma Garden
- Mahatma Gandhi National Zoo.only zoo in maharashtra for ASIATIC LION. Dear, sambhar, wonderful coloured peacock, pigeons,coloured sparrows,funny monkeys, leopard are available. Again it has a famous mediaval indian style temple of siddheshwara . Very quite and greenery place .
- Navi Peth -its cities shopping area for all tyoes of shopping like clothes, electronic goods, handicrafts, homw appliances, , beauty ornaments.
- Saraf Katta - famous Gold shopping area wth many gold selling shops.
- The most famous item is Solapuri chadar," Cotton Bedsheets" and handmade textile are very popular
- Malls like BigBazar, D-Mart are available .
- Sarees, Chaddars are available at Chati Gallii area.
- Most popular is the "Supraja Pav-Bhaji" at Park chowk.
- More than 20 yr old famous ice cream shop. ."Krishna icecream" at Saat Rasta. Very popular in city.
- all indian spicy chats like famous "Pani Puri , bhel ,kachori" are available at Park chowk. Its very popular place for Chats in solapur.
- Pure Vegeterian Jain special " NUTS Sweet Shop". All tasty Indian sweets r available.
- For Spicy food lovers, Try Nasle Shenga Chutney. Available at major stores in city.
- Newly opend 5 Star Hotel Sarovar Is The best place for staying at Solapur.
- Hotel lotus is 2nd best in the city.
- Hotel Pratham is again reputed hotel serving from last 30 years.
- Do not visit hotel tripursundaree as it doesnt offer service as per the charges r charged. Poor quality of food at high cost .
City is safe. U can travel anywhere without any fear. People r helpful.
- Vijapur World Popular Golghumat Is Located at Vijapur. One can hear 7 replications of sound inside the golghumat due its pipular acostic construction.
In rainy season, Waterfall of Naldurg is worth to see. These r 2 biggest waterfalls in maharashtra.
Pandharpur is the Dakshin Kashee of India, place of God Vithoba, form of god krishna.
Tuljapur, akkalkot are popular for their religious importance.
Destinations that are further away (but great for day/weekend trips)
- Pandharpur Vithoba Temple (70 km away)... God of maharashtra. Its accompanied with ISKON temple on the bank of the river Bhima.
- Tuljapur - Tuljabhavani Temple (45 km away)
- Akkalkot - Swami Samarth temple (35 km away)
- Nannaj - Bird Sanctaury for 'The Great Indian Busterd' (25 km away)
- Naldurg Fort (approx. 45 km towards Hyderabad).. huge waterfall can be seen in the months of july to november.
- Barshi "Bhagvant" Temple (approx. 70 km away)
- Ramling - Beautiful natural place ( 90 km away)
- Kudal Sangam - Shiva Temple (approx. 30 km away)
- Akluj - Fort, Gardens, Sayaji Raje Park, Temples. (approx. 100 km away)
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