Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple-7th Shakthipeeta
Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple is on the banks of river PanchaGanga in Maharashtra. According to Devi Bhagavatham Sathidevi’s(Parvathi) eyes fell down here. Jagadguru Aadi Sankaracharya named it as 7th shakthi peet of 18 and installed SRICHAKRA. It has name Karaveera (Kasi of westren India). Devotees believe that Siva, his consort Amba Bai resides here.
“SARVA MANGALA MAANGALYE,SHIVE SARVARDHA SADHIKE
SARANYE THREMBAKE GOURI NAARAYANI NAMOSTHUTHE”
How to reach Kolhapur MahaLakshmi Temple:
Ujalaiwadi Airport-10 km, Pune-250km, well connected to Mumbai,Bangalore,Hyderabad.
Kolhapur Temple mentioned in Puranas
In Maharashtra,there are”3&1/2 shakthi peetas”called”sade teen sakthi peet”
4.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, Shiva Sagdeva, Skanda puranas &Devi Bhagavatam.
Kolhapur Maha Lakshmi Temple History:
Once Demon Kolha ruled Padmavathi pura. He did penance for Lord Brahma, got boons&returned to his city. Then he killed demon Sukesi who captured his kingdom & gave to his son Karaveera. Lord Shiva gave a boon to Karaveera, before his death. So city is named as Karaveerapura. Kolha was angry & want to take revenge on gods. He did penance for Mahalakshmi & got boon that as not to enter city for 100 years. Then Kolha made gods to suffer and occupied their kingdom.Mahalakshmi, after completion of 100years defeated and killed him in the war. Then Demon realised and praised then Goddess gave 3 boons
1.This place is Kolhapur from then 2.Mahalakshmi promised to stay forever 3.Temple becomes Siddha kshetra.
Kolhapur Maha Lakshmi Temple Importance
Once sage Bhrigu,touched heart of Vishnu(residing place of Lakshmi)with his feet. Vishnu failed to take action against sage behaviour. With anger Maha Lakshmi left Vaikuntam. She came to Kolhapur and did penance for years she heard the news, Lord Venkateswara(Vishnu)married Padmavati in Tirumala. Shri Lakshmi,Vishnu reside in Karveer eternally and shall not leave even at Mahapralay,so it is “avimukta kshetra”It is believed that Jagdambe in her right hand holds Karaveer. So it is safe from 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 idol 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 on walls of temple. Simha vahana was back of the Idol. Mahalakshmi in her hands holds 4 objects.
Sub Shrines: Siva, Mahakali & Saraswati, Vishnu & Navagraha temples. SriYantra ,Ganapati Chowk, Ranga, Kurma, Garuda, Deep Mandaps.
1.3 days near 21st of March & September sunset rays falls on Mahalakshmi idol.
2.The main temple is in pentagonal shape, stone wall is boundary for the complex.
Places to see in and around Kolhapur
In Kolhapur:Shree Chhatrapati Shahu,town hall Museums,Zoo,Juna Rajawada,Shalini palace,PanchaGanga ghat.
Kolhapur places to visit :Mahabaleshwar, Tuljapur, Pandarpur.