Rankala Lake is a picturesque lake situated in the heart of Kolhapur city of Maharashtra. This lake was constructed by Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur and is situated on the west side of the famous Mahalaxmi Temple has an elevation of 550 meters above sea level. The Rankala lake was earlier used for providing drinking water to Kolhapur City but is now confined mainly to irrigation and recreational use. The lake is a constant inspiration to cinema shooting, writers and artists. Kolhapur citizens have a great affinity with this lake. In the recent past, Kolhapur Municipal Corporation has built "Padpath Udyan" for a lakeside walk. It is surrounded by Chowpati, other gardens and pathway. The area surrounding the lake has been converted into a garden where people sell Bhel-Puri, Ragda Patis and various mouth-watering snacks like roasted corns etc. Rankala is also famous for horse riding and boating. Prior to the 8th century this historical place has been just a stone quarry. In the earthquake which took place sometime in 9th century some natural structural change took place in the quarry. Water started accumulating in this Quarry due to the opening of an underground source. This accumulated water is today’s famous Rankala Lake. There is a temple of Rank Bhairav at the center of the lake. The name Rankala to the lake is also derived from this god. There are two ghats of the lake, one Rajghat and other Marathghat. There is a Rankala tower on the Rajghat called Sandhya Math. In front of it is Shalini palace.
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