New Palace Museum Kolhapur
The Museum is housed on the ground floor of the New Palace- the current residence of Shrimant Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur. The museum has on display memorabilia belonging to the Kolhapur rulers which include royal apparel, jewelry, coins, weapons, silver elephant saddles, one of Aurangzeb’s swords. A letter from the British Viceroy and Governor General of India are also a part of the collectibles to be seen. The magnificent Darbar Hall is in the centre of the Palace and the ambience has been recreated to give you a glimpse of Maratha history and its regal splendor. The side walls display lobed arches filled with stained glass illustrating scenes from the life of Shivaji; carved columns with temple-like brackets support the cast iron balcony above. A raised throne is at one end of the Hall. The Photo Gallery has many interesting pictures of royalty including one of the Maharajah with his hundredth dead tiger, elephant hunts and a series detailing how to train a cheetah.
A section of the museum is dedicated to wild life hunting that was then a royal sport. Stuffed Tigers, Tiger heads, Wild Dog, Sloth Bear, Wild Buffalo, Lion, Black Panther, Wild Boar, Black Buck, a number of other Deer varieties, and a Himalayan Black Bear can be seen here.
There is a small lake in the palace precincts with an open zoo that has several migratory birds like flamingoes. There are also peacocks, emus, spotted deer, geese. The zoo forms a good side attraction to the Museum which is a must for history buffs.