Pureprayer takes you on SpiRitual Journeys to famous Lakshmi temples of India on the festive occasion of Shravan Shukravar. In this first instalment you will be visiting Kolhapur Maha Lakshmi Temple. Please click here to learn more about the services offered by Pureprayer.
Kolhapur Maha Lakshmi Temple finds mention as one of the important Shaktipeethas in India. Shaktipeethas are the places where parts from decomposing body of Sati fell when Lord Shiva was carrying. This incident took place when Sati fell into the sacred fire created by her father Daksha Prajapati. As, Sati came to the Yaag (Fire Sacrifice) uninvited, she was mocked at by her father. Unable to bear the pains of shame, she jumped into the sacred fire and gave her life. This infuriated Lord Shiva and he sent Veerabhadra the destroyer, who destroyed the whole place and killed Daksha Prajapati. Later Lord Shiva carried the body of Sati and started roaming aimlessly. Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshana Chakra (Disc) to cut the body of Sati. Wherever the bodyparts fell, those places became important places of worship that came to be called Shaktipeethas.
How Kolhapur got its name?
Name Kolhapur has been derived from the demon king Kolhasur who ruled the region of Karaveerpur. Karaveer was his son who got killed in a war with Lord Shiva. He was defeated by Goddess Mahalakshmi who waited outside his kingdom for a hundred years. He realized his misdeeds and requested three boons from the goddess. One was the city be called by his name. Two was, he gets salvation. Three was, he asked Goddess Maha Lakshmi to reside in his kingdom forever.
Where is Kolhapur Maha Lakshmi Temple?
Kolhapur is a town in Maharashtra. Kolhapur Maha Lakshmi temple is located about 374 km from Mumbai and 230 km from Pune. This temple located on the banks of Panchganga River is one of the important Shaktipeethas in India.
You can click here to learn more about the Spritual Journeys to Kolhapur and many other places.
Why should one visit Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple?
It is stated in the Puranas, that as per the boons Mahalakshmi gave to Kolhasur, she has been residing in the Karaveerpur. A temple was built in honor of this incident. Devotees from all over, visit the temple seeking the grace and benevolence of Goddess Mahalakshmi.
More Info on the temple complex
The temple has seen development from 9th Century to 18th Century. Architecture of Mahalakshmi temple complex is said to follow the Hemadpanthi style. Hemadpant was a minister in 12th Century CE, in the service of Seunas of Devagiri. Temple built without any binding material between the stones which have been cut to specific shape. The temple complex is on a high stone platform. The design includes Antarala and Garbha Griha. Perforated stone lattice screen decorating the main entrance of the sanctum sanctorum. Cool interiors even when temperatures outside soar. The exterior walls of the temple are adorned with many figures from Puranas. Towering Deepastambhas have been erected. Temple-complex has four towers in Nagara style.
The image of Mahalakshmi has been carved in black stone, weighing 40Kgs (approx.). The idol is about 3feet high. Goddess Mahalakshmi with four hands is in a standing posture. She is holding a citrus fruit called Matulangam in the lower right hand. She is holding a Gada (Mace) upper right hand. A shield can be seen in the upper left hand and a bowl called Panpatra in the lower left hand. The image has been consecrated facing west.
In the court yard, many Deepastambhas (lamp towers) that appear to reach for sky, have been installed.
The idol is believed to be at-least 14 centuries old.
Deities in the temple-complex:
The temple complex has many other deities installed. Navagrahas, Mahisha Mardini, Shiva, Vithal-Rukhmai, Tulaja Bhavani and Surya (Sun god) are among the important deities.
When are the festival Celebrations?
Kiranotsav festival is one of the most famous celebrations, when the sun rays touch the feet of the deity at the time of sunset on 31 January & 9 November. Devotees gather in huge numbers to witness the occasion.
What are the Nearby Places?
Four guardian temples are said to protect the Kolhapura Mahalakshmi temple. On the northern side is the Jyotiba temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called Kedareshwar. A special celebration is held on Chaitra Shuddha Yekadashi, every year.
Narsinhwadi (Narsobachi Wadi)
Nrusinhawadi or Narsobachi Wadi is said to be the place where Sri Nrusinha Saraswati an incarnation (Avatar) of Lord Dattatreya resided for twelve years. Padukas have been installed under the Audumbara tree as a mark of respect. This religious place is about 55 km from Kolhapur Lakshmi temple.
Ganapatipule is a small serene, sedate and unspoilt village with a natural and pristine beach. Ganapatipule is one of the famous AshtaGanapati temples in India. This is a Swayambhu Ganapati. Ganapatipule is about 144 km from Kolhapura Mahalakshmi temple.