Those using the Pune-Bengaluru National Highway are particularly inconvenienced near Karad town. The ongoing road-widening and flyover construction works here have been causing major snarls and motorists are stuck in traffic for hours. Shreyas Kale, an IT professional from Pune, said, “During the long weekend, I was returning to my hometown in Kolhapur. The MSRTC Shivshahi bus journey from Swargate to Kolhapur took me seven hours. Usually, it takes only about five hours. At Karad, the bus was stuck for more than an hour because of severe traffic congestion.”
In Kolhapur, places like Mahalaxmi temple, Jotiba temple, Panhala fort, Rankala lake, New Palace, Kaneri Math, Nrusinhawadi Datt temple have been witnessing a heavy rush of tourists and devotees.
More than one lakh devotees visited the famous Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur city in the past two days. On Friday, the temple had 24,590 visitors. The number increased to 32,647 on Saturday, and on Sunday, 78,244 devotees visited the temple, said the officials of the Paschim Maharashtra Devasthan Samiti.
Other spots favoured by tourists are the Lingmala waterfall point, Mahabaleshwar temple, Krishnabai temple, Kates point, Elephant’s head point at Mahabaleshwar and also Kas plateau, Tapola, Bamnoli, Thoseghar waterfall, Chalkewadi windmills, reverse waterfall at Sada-Waghpur etc. Dormitories, lodging, and hotels are fully booked and have stopped accepting pre-booking orders. The tourist rush has also been a boon for the local shopkeepers and street vendors, as the monsoon time is considered a lean business period.