The Shri Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, India, is one of the Shakti Peethas listed in various puranas of Hinduism. According to these writings, a Shakti Peetha is a place associated with Shakti, the goddess of power. The Kolhapur Shakti Peetha is of special religious significance being one of the six places where it is believed that one can either obtain salvation from desires or have them fulfilled. The temple takes its name from Mahalakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, and it is believed that the divine couple reside in the area.
The temple belongs architecturally to the Kannada Chalukya empire and may have been first built in circa 700 AD. Mounted on a stone platform, the image of the four armed and crowned goddess is made of gemstone and weighs about 40 kilograms. The image of Mahalakshmicarved in black stone is 3 feet in height. The Shri Yantra is carved on one of the walls in the temple. A stone lion, the vahana of the goddess, stands behind the statue. The crown contains an image of the Sheshnag — the serpent of Vishnu. In Her four hands, the deity of Mahalakshmi holds objects of symbolic value. The lower right hand holds a mhalunga (a citrus fruit), in the upper right, a large mace(kaumodaki) with its head touching the ground, in the upper left a shield (khetaka), and in the lower left, a bowl (panpatra). Unlike most Hindusacred images, which face north or east, the image of this deity looks west (Pashchim). There is a small open window on the western wall, through which the light of the setting sun falls on the face of the image for three days around the 21st of each March and September. There are a number of other shrines in the courtyard to the Navagrahas, Surya, Mahishasuramardini, Vitthal-Rakhmai, Shiva, Vishnu, Tulja Bhavaniand others. Some of these images date back to the 11th century, while some are of recent origin. Also located in the courtyard is the temple tank Manikarnika Kund, on whose bank is a shrine to Visweshwar Mahadev.
The Kolhapur city is referred to in many Puranas, 500 years back. Research guesses that it was in existence in the times of Parashuram. The time is.considered parallel to that of Mata peeth (Mahurgad), Sapta Shringi (Nasik) and Bhavani Peetha, in the Ramayana times. Karveer washes off great sins. There are many ancient, rich temples, holy places and gardens.
There is evidence to show that the Konkan king Kamadeo, Chalukya, Shilahar, Yadav dynasties visited this city. Adya Shankaracharya also visited. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj & Sambhaji reigned. The idol of Mahalaxmi is made of jewel – stone, approximately weighing 40 kg. The size is like Salunki. Sand & diamond are found in it. It stands on a stony stage with a lion behind it. In the middle there is natural lotus. It is four-handed, having Vetak, shield, Mhalung & Water-Pot. There is crown on the head and a snake holds shade.
In 109 A. D. Karnadeo cut off the jungle and brought the temple to light. The existence goes back to 8 th century, according to Dr. Bhandarkar & Mr. Khare. In the 8 th century, the temple sank down due to earthquake. In the 9 th century Gandavadix (King) extended the temple by building Mahakali Mandir. During 1178 -1209, in the reigo of Raja Jaysing & Sindhava, South gate & Atibaleshwar Temple were built. In 1218 Yadav king Tolum built Mahadwar, and offered jewels to Devi. Further, Shilahar built Maha Sarasvati Mandir. He being a gain, got 64 idols carved. It is possible that new idol called Padmavati was installed at that time. Further, in Chalukya times, Ganapati before the temple was installed. It seems that the original temple was of the Hindus. In the 13 th century, Shankaracharya built Nagar Khana & Office, Deepmalas.
During 1712 – 1792 (Sambhaje Reign) Narhar Bhat Shastree had a dream which he told to Sambhajee. In the Mogal reign, the worshippers had hidden the idol for protection. Believing Sangavakar’s dream, Sambhajee started a search. This idol was found in a house in Kapil Teerth Market. According to Sambhaji’s letter dated 8 Nov. 1723, Sindhoji Hindurao Ghorpade of Panhala installed the idol again on 26 Sept. 1712 (Monday, Ashwin Vijiya Dashami). The number of devotees grew, and in due course of time, the Devi became the Deity of Maharashtra. The idol began to denude due to Abhishekas. So Sankeshwar Shankaracharya got it repaired. After Vajralep & sacrifices, it was again installed at the hands of Kolhapur Shahajee Raje in 1954.In 1960, there was transformation under the supervision of Mr. Lohiya. As a result, the premises seemed extensive. There are 5 main temples and 7 Deepamalas now. Around are 35 small – big temples and 20 shops. There are 5 Hemad-style tops. Ad joining is Garud Mandap, built by Mr. Harshe.
04:00 AM to 04:30 AM
05:30 AM to 11:30 AM
09:30 AM to 10:15 AM
07:30 PM to 08:30 PM
10:00 PM to 10:15 PM
Close The Temple Door After 10:15 PM
श्री. प्रफुल्ल मुनिश्वर हे महालक्ष्मी मंदिराचे मूळ हक्कदार पुजारी आहेत. श्री. मुनिश्वर यांची ही ५७ वी पिढी महालक्ष्मीच्या सेवेत आहे. सर्व प्रकारचे धार्मिक विधी त्यांच्याकडून केले जातात. महालक्ष्मी मंदिर उघडणे ते रात्री बंद करणे इथपर्यंतची सर्व जबाबदारी या पूजक घराण्याकडे आहे.
दर महिन्यातील महत्त्वाचे अभिषेक तिथी माहिती : शुद्ध अष्टमी, शुद्ध पौर्णिमा
श्रावण महिना : दुसरा शुक्रवार – वरद महालक्ष्मीव्रत
Bank : State Bank Of India, Branch Dasara Chowk, Kolhapur
A/C No. 32041099786
Bank : I.D.B.I. Bank, Branch Shahupuri, Kolhapur
A/C No. 464104000021687