Solapur is the meeting ground for Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and is known for its incredible handloom, textile and sugar industries. Literally meaning ‘sixteen villages,’ Solapur was built out of brining together sixteen villages in the state of Maharashtra. While there are a number of pilgrimage spots strewn over the city, there’s gorgeous lakes, forts and sanctuaries that also make for stunning sightseeing spots.
From among the temples here, the ones that definitely deserve a visit if you’re religious, are: Kamala Bhavani Temple, known for its 96 pillars, 96 windows and 96 steps that lead up to the temple’s entrance; Bhagwant Temple, the only temple in India where Lord Vishnu is called by the name of ‘Bhagwant’ and the Akkalkot Swami Maharaj Temple, known for its five temples built in close proximity to each other.
The Solapur Fort, also known as Bhuikot Fort, situated on the banks of Nira river is famous for its surround lush green gardens, where travellers can spend some leisure time amidst nature. The fort houses an ancient temple which is said to be built by the devotees of Lord Shiva.
For birder’s, Hipparga Lake is a must visit. Home to a variety of resident and migratory birds, the most commonly spotted ones in huge numbers are the flamingoes, especially in winters. For an even more immersive birding experience, don’t forget to visit the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, which was earlier known as the Nannaj Bird Sanctuary. This is one of the few places where the great Indian bustards are still seen. Eurasian doves are also spotted here in a great number. Motibaug Tank, also known as Kambar Talao Lake, and Sambaji Lake are other places for bird-watching and photography in the city.
Solapur is about 4.5 hours away from Pune by road, and about 7.5 hours away from Mumbai by road.