Nagapanchami, the festival of snakes attracts tourists to
the small town of Battis Shirala, 50-km from Kolhapur.
Battis Shirala town is located in a hilly area covered with thick forests
having a wide species of snakes right from the deadliest King Cobra to the
rare species of Pythons.
The festival falls during the onset of the monsoons and is believed to counter the increased possibility of snakebite during this time, especially since the rivers are in spate.
A week before the festival, young men venture into nearby forests and persuade snakes out of snake-hills. A snake show is arranged that attracts thousands of tourists, from foreign countries too. After a period of 8-10 days these snakes are freed into the forests.
Air: The nearest airport is at
Kolhapur, 50-km away from the Battis Shirala.
Rail: The nearest railway station is also at Kolhapur.
Road: Battis Shirala is located at a distance of 50-km from Kolhapur and 65-km from Sangli. Buses and private cars are available from Sangli and Kolhapur, for tourists who visit this Snake Festival.
Accommodation is available at the hotels in Kolhapur or Sangli.