Kolhapur Mahalakshmi 7th Shakthipeeta, Maharashtra
Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple is on the banks of river PanchaGanga ,associated with Shakthi worship since ancient times.According to Devi Bhagavatham Sathidevi’s(Parvathi)eyes fell down here.Jagadguru AADISHAKRACHARYA named it as 7th shakthi peet of 18&installed SRICHAKRA.It is also known as Karaveera(Kasi of westren India).This temple has special religious significance,one can obtain salvation from their desires or have them fulfilled.The temple takes its name from AmbaBai the consort of Siva&believed that the divine couple reside here.
“SARVA MANGALA MAANGALYE,SHIVE SARVARDHA SADHIKE
SARANYE THREMBAKE GOURI NAARAYANI NAMOSTHUTHE”
How to reach Kolhapur MahaLakshmi Temple:
Ujalaiwadi Airport-10km,Pune-250km,well connected to Mumbai,Bangalore,Hyderabad. Visit http://www.mahalaxmikolhapur.com/
Temple mentioned in Puranas:In Maharashtra,there are”3&1/2 shakthi peetas”called”sade teen sakthi peet”1.Mahurye Ekaveerika2.Tuljapur Bhavani3.Kolhapur Mahalakshmi4.Saptashringi(50km to Nasik).Estoterically
they represent 3&1/2 coils of the Kundalini preside over Devi Sapthasati,Chandi Sapthasati.Which in terms represents Tamasa,Rajasa,Satwika,Sowmya sthithis.These are mentioned in KALI,SIVA SAGDEYA,SKANDA puranas&Devi Bhagavatam.
Kolhapur MahaLakshmi Temple History:
1.Padmavathi pura(old name)was ruled by demon Kolha.Once he went for penance,got boons from Lord Brahma&returned to his city.Then his city was captured by demon Sukesi.He immediately kílled Sukesi&got his kingdom.He then gave to his son Karaveera.But in war he was kílled by Lord Shiva,he got a boon from Lord Shiva,that city will be called as Karaveerapura.Kolha became angry with gods&want to take revenge against GODS.He did penance for Mahalakshmi&got boon,as not to enter city for 100years.Then Kolha created many difficulties to gods&occupied their Swarga lok.Mahalakshmi waited for completion of 100years&defeated Demon in the war.Then Demon realized his mistake,praised her&got 3 boons1.city will be called as Kolhapur2.Mahalakshmi stay permanently here3.Temple must become Siddha kshetra.
2.Once sage Bhrigu,touched heart of Vishnu(residing place of Lakshmi)with his leg,Vishnu failed to take action against sage horrific behaviour.so MahaLakshmi got angry&left Vaikunta.She came to Kolhapur&did strict penance for years,until upon hearing the news of Venkateswara(Vishnu)being married to Padmavati(Tirumala)avatar of Mahalaskhmi.Shri Lakshmi,Vishnu reside in the Karveer area eternally&shall not leave even at Mahaprayakala,so it is”avimuktakshetra”It is believed to be held by Jagdambe in her right hand,so this region is protected from all destructions.Lord Vishnu himself adores temple more than Vaikunta,Ksheersagar(home of Lakshmi).
Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Idol and Architecture:The temple architecture belongs to Chalukyas&was built in 7th century.Mahalakshmi image is of four armed&crowned with sheshnag,serpent of vishnu.Idol is 40kgs monolithic black stone structure embedded with precious stones,diamonds&carved as 3ft in height.The Srichakra is carved on one of the walls in the temple.A lion(vahana)was behind the Idol.In Her four hands Mahalakshmi holds objects of symbolic values,mhalunga (citrus fruit),mace(kaumodaki)shield (khetaka)&bowl(panpatra)
Sub Shrines: Siva,Mahakali&Mahasaraswati,Vishnu&Navagraha temples.Shree Yantra (geometrical depiction of the Goddess),Ganapati Chowk.Ranga,Kurma,Garuda,Deep Mandaps.
Special feature:Through a small open window on the western wall light of the setting sun falls on the face of Idol for 3days around 21st of March&september.The main temple is surrounded by almost pentagonal shaped stone wall which serves as the boundary of the complex.
Places to see:
In Kolhapur:Shree Chhatrapati Shahu,town hall Museums,Zoo,Juna Rajawada,Shalini palace,PanchaGanga ghat.