Shree Chhatrapati Shahu Museum

Top choice museum

in Kolhapur

‘Bizarre’ takes on a whole new meaning at this ‘new’ palace, an Indo-Saracenic behemoth designed by British architect ‘Mad’ Charles Mant for the Kolhapur kings in 1884. The madcap museum is a maze of countless trophies from the kings’ trigger-happy jungle safaris, including walking sticks made from leopard vertebrae and ashtrays fashioned out of tiger skulls and rhino feet.

The armoury houses enough weapons to stage a minicoup. The horror-house effect is brought full circle by the taxidermy section. Don’t miss the highly ornate Durbar Hall, where the rulers held court sessions, and dotted around the palace you’ll find dozens of portraits of the portly maharajas to admire. Photography is prohibited inside.

It's located about 2.5km north of the train station. A rickshaw from the train station/bus stand will cost ₹35/50. Don't miss the ticket booth at the first gate or you'll be legging it back 250m to buy your tickets.