Kolhapur is an ancient city, with a mythological, historical and cultural heritage. Popularly known as 'Dakshin Kashi', it is one of the 'Shakti Peetha' in India. The famous old Ambabai Temple is a finished gem of chalukyan or the Vesara type of Hindu Architecture. The city dates book to the periods of Maurya, Andhra, Chalukya-Rashtrakuta, Shilahar-Yadav, Bahamani-Bijapur and the Maratha. It was the second capital besides Satara of the Maratha Empire after Chh. Shivaji. The Kolhapur state, during the British regime was notable for the kings like Prince Shivaji, Rajarashi Shahu Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj. It is during the regime of Shahu Maharaj, the Kolhapur city came to be known as 'Kalapur' for the farsighted patronage of the state to Art, Culture and Sports. The Hindustani Classical Music came to stay here with the legendary names like Alladiya Khan, Keshavrao Bhosale, Govindrao Tembe & others. The Art of Painting flourished with the fine touch of Abalal Rehman, Baburao Painter, Baba Gajbar, Ravindra Mestry & others. The name like Khashaba Jadhav, Jaysing Kusale in the wrestling/Shooting specks of the sports activity of the city.
Legendary Dadasaheb Phalke and his cinema 'Raja Harishchandra' start the roadmap of Indian Cinema. Yet, the names of Baburao Painter and Anandrao Painter, from Kolhapur are aptly connected to the cinema as a compound art form of modern times. The cinematic activity took a fabulous jump from Kolhapur itself with the film companies like Prabhat and Shalini Cinetone. The legendary names like Baburao Painter, V. Shantaram, Master Vinayak, Master Vitthal, Bhalji Pendharkar and the golden voice of Lata Mangeshkar started their stint of their illustrious career from Kolhapur itself. Naturally, many a first timers are attributed to the city of Kolhapur only. To name a few; * The first indigenous camera the Herculean task easily performed by the Painter brothers. * The first war film produced - Kurukshetra * The first colour film of Indian Cinema produced - Sairandhree * The hero of First Indian Talkie Film - Master Vitthal (Indian duglus) * The first realistic film produced - Savakari Paash * The first Oscar winner - Bhanu Athaiyya Since the times Prabhat Film Company shifted from Kolhapur to Pune, the cine activity continued in Kolhapur with the names like Bhalji Pendharkar, Wamanrao Kulkarni, D. S. Ambapkar, Dinkar D. Patil, Anant Mane, Madharao Shinde, Vasant Painter and others. It is notable to mention that, the regional Marathi Film took shape of 'Tamashapat' from Kolhapur itself. Majority of Marathi films were shot and produce in Kolhapur studios till that inevitable invasion of television came on the horizon.