The Shri Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur in Maharashtra, India, is one of the Shakti Peethas listed in the various Puranas of Hinduism. According to these writings, Shakti Peeth is a place associated with Shakti, the goddess of power. The Kolhapur Shakti Peeth has special religious significance as it is one of the six places where it is believed that one can either attain freedom from desires or fulfill them. The temple takes its name from Mahalakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, and is believed to be inhabited by divine couples in this area.
Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur architecturally belongs to the Kannada Chalukya Empire and was probably first constructed around 700 AD. Set on a stone platform, the image of the four-armed and crowned goddess is made of gemstones and weighs about 40 kilograms. The height of the Mahalakshmi statue carved in black stone is three and a half feet. Shree Yantra is inscribed on one wall of the temple. A stone lion, the vehicle of the goddess, stands behind the idol. The crown has an image of Sheshnag – the serpent of Vishnu. In her four hands, Mahalakshmi Mata holds objects of symbolic value.
The lower right-hand holds a mhalunga (a citrus fruit), the upper right, a large mace (kaumodaki), whose head touches the ground, the upper left holds a shield (khetka), and the lower left holds a bowl. Is. Panpatra). Unlike most Hindu sacred images, which face north or east, the image of this deity looks west (west).
A small open window on the western wall allows the setting sunlight to fall on the face of the image for three days around the 21st of each March and September. The courtyard houses several other temples for the Navagrahas, Surya, Mahishasuramardini, Vitthal-Rakhmai, Shiva, Vishnu, Tulja Bhavani, and others. Some of these paintings date back to the 11th century, while some are of more recent origin. Manikarnika Kund is also the temple’s pond in the courtyard, on the banks of which is the temple of Vishweshwar Mahadev.
Five worship services are performed each day. The first takes place at 5 a.m. and involves awakening the deity with a chakra – torch – to the accompaniment of hymns. In the second worship service at 8 o’clock in the morning, Shodashopachar puja consisting of 16 elements is performed. Afternoon and evening services and Shejrati worship constitute three other services.
Special Events: Every Friday and full moon day a festive image of the deity is taken out in procession around the temple premises.
Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur
It is said that both Shri Lakshmi and Shri Vishnu reside in Karveer Kshetra for eternity and will not leave even at the time of Mahaprayakal. Hence this region is also called Avimukt Kshetra. Karveer Kshetra is blessed forever and Mata Jagdambe is believed to be in her right hand, and hence this Kshetra is protected from all destruction. Lord Vishnu himself considers this region more than Vaikuntha or Kshirsagar as it is the home of his consort Lakshmi. Hence the greatness of this region has attracted many rishis and devotees, and the blessings and affection showered by this region on its devotees are incomparable. It is believed that even today Lord Shri Dattatreya comes here every afternoon to beg for alms.
The deity of the Goddess self-proclaimed and shiny of gemstones mixed with diamonds. His mediator Pacharagamani is also self-proclaimed. This is the clear opinion of experts. The statue was very worn out as it very old. Therefore, in 1954, Vajralep Ashtabandhaadi rites performed in the idol by the Kalpokta method. After that, now the deity clearly visible. In the Swayambhu idol itself, Kirits are engraved on the head. Sheshaphans cast a shadow on him. These three and half feet high statue is attractive and very beautiful.
The idol of Goddess Mahalakshmi is made of gemstones and is believed to be at least 5000 to 6000 years old. Its weight is about 40 kg. The precious stones adorning the deity indicate the antiquity of the idol. The platform of Goddess Mahalakshmi is made of stone. The idol of the goddess has four arms. In her lower right hand, she holds a matuling (a fruit resembling a simple lemon but much larger in size) and in her upper right hand, she holds a big mace, Kaumodaka, whose head touches the ground. In the upper left hand, she holds the shield or kheta, and in the lower hand, she holds a bowl or betel leaf.
The crown of Goddess Mahalakshmi has a cobra-hood and a Shiva-linga with a yoni around it. Standing behind is the vehicle of the goddess lion. Almost all the idols of the deity are facing north or east direction, whereas here the idol is facing west. A small window on the western wall is open. Once a year, at sunset, the sun’s rays fall on the face of the image through this window. This period lasts for three days, each time, on the 21st of the months of March and September. This period is considered extremely auspicious, devotees visit the temple in the evening to catch a glimpse of the beautiful image while bathing in the golden rays of the setting sun.
On seeing this, the heart of the passionate devotee becomes very ecstatic. Her vehicle ‘Singh’ enshrined near the feet of the goddess. This temple of Mahalakshmi stands as an ideal of very ancient, grand, elaborate, and beautiful sculpture. Its architectural composition established on Chakraraj or Sarvatobhadra Mandal, it is the opinion of experts.
It adorned with five shikharas and three mandapas. The sanctum sanctorum, the madhyamandapa and the garudamandapa are the mandapatraya. The main and huge madhyamandapa consists of large, tall, and independent 16×128 pillars. Apart from this, hundreds of pillars architecturally engraved outside the main temple. All these pillars and thousands of sculptures adorned with crafts and artifacts and are grand and panoramic. Eyes stunned on seeing silver and gold items, jewelry, studded Jawahar, etc. located in the sanctum, this is a god place full of such splendor.
In this Shaktipeeth, from morning till midnight, various worship-archanas, and kirtans continue continuously. The entire temple established on 128 pillars 16 feet high. A three and a half feet high grand, beautiful statue of Mahalakshmi installed in the temple. This temple of Mahalakshmi very ancient. This place third among the 51 Shaktipeeths mentioned in Tantra Chudamani. The power here ‘Mahishmardini’ and Bhairav is ‘Krodhish’. About 40-50 lakh devotees visit every year.
In Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur (Festival of Sun Rays) Kiranotsava celebrated when the rays of the sun directly fall on the Mahalakshmi idol of the deity at sunset on the following days: Directly at the feet of the deity. February 1 and November 10: The rays of the sun fall directly on the chest of the deity. February 2 and November 11: The sun’s rays fall directly on the entire body of the deity.
It is not surprising that the rays of the setting sun also pay homage to Goddess Mahalakshmi as human life revolves around light and prosperity. But to the surprise of the wise architects who built the temple of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur, the rays of the setting sun briefly bow down at the feet of the goddess through a window before disappearing. Thousands of people celebrate this special event as ‘Kiran Utsav’. Every year this festival celebrated in the evening on the following days: 31 January 1 February 2 February 9 November 10 November 11 November
It said that the Sun God pays respect to Mahalakshmi three days a year. This will happen on the occasion of Rathasaptami (which will happen somewhere in January every year). This will be for 3 days. On the first day, the ray falls on the feet, on the second day, on the central part of the deity, and on the third day on the face. The excellence of its architecture, which dates back 1000 years, can still be seen. Later in the time of Peshwas, the temple repaired. However, several invasions in this part of India have caused some damage to the beautiful sculptures that surround the Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur.
The city mentioned in many Puranas 500 years ago. Research estimates that it existed during the time of Parashurama. In the Ramayana period, time considered parallel to Mata Peeth (Mahurgad), Sapt Shringi (Nashik), and Bhavani Peeth. Karveer washes away great sins. There are many ancient, rich temples, sacred places, and gardens.
There is evidence to show that the Konkan kings Kamadeva, Chalukya, Shilahar, and Yadava dynasties visited this city. Adi Shankaracharya also went. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Sambhaji ruled. The idol of Mahalakshmi made of stone and stone and weighs about 40 kilograms. The shape is like a salunki. Sand and diamond found in them. It stands on a rocky platform with a lion behind it. There is a natural lotus in the middle. It is a quadrilateral with a vetak, a shield, a mahlung, and a water tank. There is a crown on the head and a snake wears a shadow.
In 109 A.D., Karnadev cut the forest and brought the temple to light. According to Dr. Bhandarkar and Mr. Khare, its existence goes back to the 8th century. The temple submerged in the 8th century due to an earthquake. In the 9th century, the Gandavadix (king) expanded the temple by building the Mahakali temple. During 1178–1209, under the rule of Raja Jai Singh and Sindhwa, the Dakshin Dwar and the Atibaleshwar temple built. In 1218, Yadav king Tolam got the Mahadwara constructed and offered gems to the goddess.
In addition, Shilahar built the Maha Saraswati temple. He carved 64 idols because of his profit. It is possible that at that time a new idol named Padmavati installed. Also, in the Chalukya period, Ganapati installed before the temple. It seems that the original temple belonged to the Hindus. In the 13th century, Shankaracharya built the Nagar Khana and office, Deepmala.
During 1712 – 1760 (Sambhaje reign) Narhar Bhatta Shastri had a dream which he told to Sambhaji. During the Mughal rule, the worshipers hid the idol for safety. Realizing Sangavkar’s dream, Sambhaji started the search. This idol found in a house in Kapil Tirtha Market. According to Sambhaji’s letter dated 8 November 1723, Sindhoji Hindurao Ghorpade of Panhala re-established the idol on 26 September 1712 (Monday, Ashwin Vijay Dashami).
The number of devotees kept on increasing, and with time, the goddess became the goddess of Maharashtra. The idol started getting broken due to Abhishek. So Sankeshwar Shankaracharya got it repaired. After thunderbolts and sacrifices, it again established in 1954 by Kolhapur Shahji Raje. In 1960, a change took place under Mr. Lohia’s supervision. As a result, the campus seemed wider. Now there are 5 main temples and 7 Deepmalas. There are about 35 small and big temples and 20 shops. There are 5 hemad-style tops. Next to it is the Garuda Mandapa, which built by Sri Hershey.
Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur is in the city of Kolhapur, Maharashtra. Kolhapur is an important and important city located in the ancient Karvir region which is a treasure trove of ancient religious monuments in western Maharashtra. Kolhapur well connected by rail and road with major cities of India. Trains run between Kolhapur and Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, and other important cities of Maharashtra like Pune, Sangli, and Miraj. The city also well connected by a road network. Public transport is easily available within the city.
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