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  Home > Holiday Ideas > Pilgrimage India > Mahalakshmi Temple Kolhapur - Where desires are fulfilled

Mahalakshmi Temple Kolhapur: Where desires are fulfilled

 
Like most of the Hindu pilgrimage sites, Kolhapur and the Mahalakshmi Temple too have an interesting story that lends a sense of aura to the place. According to the Puranas, the demon Kolhasura was killed by Mahalakshmi at Karavira (present day Kolhapur).
Mahalakshmi Temple Kolhapur, Maharashtra
Upon his death, Kolhasura got his desire fulfilled to have a place named after him and the goddess took her residence in the area as Goddess Ambabai along with her consort Lord Vishnu and the place soon became a pilgrimage site. The fact that Kolhasur got his desire fulfilled by the goddess is probably the reason why people come here in large numbers.
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Kolhapuri Sandal is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when we think Kolhapur. That may be true for some but for the religiously inclined, Kolhapur always mean the Mahalakshmi Temple where your wishes are fulfilled. Situated on the banks of the Panchganga River, Kolhapur is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites in Maharashtra. Kolhapur is famous all over the country largely on account of its 9th century Mahalakshmi Temple which is said to have been built by king Karnadev of the Chalukya dynasty in 634 AD.

According to the Puranas, the Shri Mahalaxmi Temple of Kolhapur is considered as one of the 108 Shakti Peethas. Associated with Shakti, the goddess of power, the Mahalakshmi temple also has a special significance as it is one of the six places where one can either obtain salvation from desires or have them fulfilled. And this probably explains why actor Sanjay Dutt visited the temple during his 1993 Mumbai Bomb Blast trials.

Places of Interest
Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur

The Temple of Shri Mahalakshmi: Though the Shri Mahalakshmi Temple was built by the Chalukya ruler, Karandev, it was the Shilahara Yadava who extended and beautified it. The entry to the temple is through the western entrance or Mahadwara wherein one comes across several deepamaala and a beautiful Garuda Mandap with square pillars and foliated arches of wood. A raised platform which houses a Ganesh idol faces the sanctum sanctorum where the idol of Mahalakshmi is flanked on the either side by those of Mahakali and Mahasaraswati.

An interesting feature to note at the temple of Mahalakshmi is its design. The temple has been designed in such a way that the light of the setting sun falls on the face of the image for three days around the 21st of each March and September through a small open window on the western wall. On these days special pujas are organized to commemorate the event.

Worshipping the Goddess
Five worship services are offered each day here. The 1st is at 5 am, which involves the waking of the deity with a Kakada - torch, to the accompaniment of hymns. The 2nd at 8 am that involves the offering of the Shodashopachara pooja consisting of 16 elements. The afternoon and evening services and the Shejaarati pooja constitute the three other services. A festival image of the deity is taken out in procession around the temple courtyard each Friday, and on full moon days.

The Idol of Shri Mahalakshmi: The idol of the Goddess Mahalakshmi is of great significance. It weighs 40 kg and is made up of precious stones that are said to be over 5000 years old! The goddess is represented with four arms each holding a matulinga (a citrus fruit), a large mace (kaumodaki) with its head touching the ground, a shield (khetaka) and a bowl (panpatra). A cobra hood crowns the Goddess' head while a stone lion, said to be the vehicle of the goddess, stands behind the statue. An interesting feature of the Mahalakshmi idol is that unlike most of the other images which face north or east, this idol faces west.

Rankala Lake, Kolhapur

Rankala Lake: Just half a kilometer from the Mahalakshmi Temple is the huge Rankala Lake. The lake constructed by Shri Shahu Chhatrapati is a nice picnic and recreation spot surrounded by many beautiful gardens. There is a small resort - 'Sandhya Math' - which is mostly under water during the rainy reason. Many Hindi and Marathi movies have been shot here.

The New Palace (Chhatrapati Sahu Museum): A royal palace partly converted into a museum, the New Palace has lush green parks, a zoo and a picturesque lake. The museum here has some rare paintings and artifacts used by the royal family. Royal weapons and a tableau depicting court life of the last century are worth watching.

The Old Palace: Located behind the temple of Mahalaxmi, the Old Palace has an impressive marqee with filigree work in stone. The palace also houses a temple of the goddess Bhawani.

Shalini-palace, Kolhapur

Shalini Palace: On the banks of the Rankala Lake stands Shalini Palace stands majestically. It was built in 193l -34 and named after the then princess of Kolhapur. The palace surrounded by towering palm trees & lovely gardens is built of intricately carved black stone and Italian marble.

Temple Timings: The temple is open from 4 am to 11pm.


Places Nearby

Kotiteertha: Also called 'Pushkareshwar Teerth', Kotiteertha is about 4 km from the Mahalakshmi Temple. It is said that the Gods bathed in this tank after defeating the demons or rakshas. It is customary for pilgrims to first bathe in the tank and then have Darshan of the 'Pindi' at the temple.

Jyotiba's Temple, Kolhapur

The Jyotiba's Temple: The Jyotiba Temple is said to be built in 1730 by Navajisaya Jyotiba and is located 17 km from Kolhapur. Jyotiba is supposed to be an incarnation of three gods -- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and the seer Jamadagni.

Narasimha Wadi: Situated on the confluence of the rivers Krishna and Panchaganga, Narasimha Wadi is well known for the holy padukas or slippers of Dattaguru (an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh). It is located 45 km from Kolhapur.

Other important places near Kolhapur include Panhala, 20 km from Kolhapur - a popular hill station; Vishalgad Fort located 18 km south from Kolhapur is deeply rooted in Maratha history. For those interested in wildlife can visit Dajipur Bison Sanctuary located on the border of Kolhapur. The sanctuary is home to the” Gava" buffalo, bison, wild deer, chital etc.


Stay Options

Kolhapur has a number of hotels and guest houses, which provide comfortable accommodation to tourists visiting the Mahalakshmi Temple. Hotels in Kolhapur range from various luxury hotels to guest houses and budget hotels. Check more hotels in Kolhapur.


How to reach

By Air: Mumbai and Pune are well connected by domestic and international airlines. One can either take a train or bus to reach Kohlapur from Mumbai and Pune.

By Rail: Kolhapur is nearest Railway Station (5 km away), there are regular trains from Mumbai to Kolhapur.

By Road: Kolhapur is nearly 400 km from Mumbai, 240 km from Pune. Kolhapur lies on the NH 4 between Bangalore and Pune.
Check Driving Directions from Mumbai to Kolhapur


About Kolhapur: Kolhapur Information & Fact File
Altitude  569 meters
Temp
Summer 37 (Max) & 24 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Winter 31 (Max) & 14 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Best time to Go November – March
Monsoon June – September
Summer April – May
Winter December – February
Clothes Cottons all year round
Nearest Airport Pune – 233 km
Nearest Railway Station Kolhapur – Regular trains from Mumbai
Bus Station Kolhapur – Direct buses from Pune, Mumbai
Hospital & Doctor

Kolhapur has various hospitals and nursing homes equipped to handle emergencies

Places to see Chhatrapati Sahu Museum, Rankala Lake, Shalini Palace, the Old Palace, Kotiteertha…
   
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