Friday, 17 January 2020

Shri Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, one of the important shakti peedams

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple, MH youtube.

There are many Shakti peedams  across India associated Goddess Shakti. Shri Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur city in Maharashtra, India, is one of the  six popular peedams.  It a Mukthi place where one can get salvation besides, one's  desire fulfilled.  Here, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi, the divine consort of God Vishnu. It is on the banks of  the Panchganga River and the Goddess is also referred to as Ambabai.
deeppa stands. Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple, MH tripadvisorin
Built around  
700 AD, the style of architecture implies the builders were  the Kannada Chalukya rulers of a big empire.  There are evidences to prove that this place was visited by the Konkan king Kamadeo, Shilahara, Yadavas of devagiri dynasties. Adi Shankaracharya of Kaladi, Kerala also visited this holy shrine. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj & Sambhaji reigned this part of the land..
It is said the temple dates back to 8th century  and in 109 A.D, Karnadeo  cleared the jungle and brought to light the presence of a historical temple. According to Dr. Bhandarkar & Mr. Khare. this place became submerged in the 8th century in the ground due to earthquake activities.  In the 9th century, Gandavadix (King) expanded  the temple by building Mahakali Mandir. Later many rulers made solid contributions to this temple.  In the 13th century, Shankaracharya built Nagar Khana, office and Deepmalas. During the reign of Maraths the temple saw many improvements though then and there because of Muslim invasions, considerable damages were done to the idols.
The present idol was installed in the 18th century. During  the reign of
Sambhaje -  1712–1792, Narhar Bhat Shastree  sought the audience of Sambhaje  and told him bout his dream.  In the Mogul reign, the devotees and Pundits were particular about safe custody of the idol and kept in a secret place to avoid destruction. Believing Sangavakar's dream, Sambhajee started a search. This idol was atlast found in a house in Kapila Teertha Market in the city. According to Sambhaji's letter dated 8 November 1723, Sindhoji Hindurao Ghorpade of Panhala  reverentially installed the idol again on 26 September 1712 (Monday, Ashwin Vijiya Dashami). As months went by, the devotees also grew in number and in course of time,  Devi became the Deity of Maharashtra.

The  3-foot tall goddess image with four arms, is made of  black stone stone and the deity is crowned with gold and gemstones  weighing  about 40 kilo grams. Standing behind her is her mount lion made of stone. One can see  Sri yantra  carved on one of the walls in the temple. One may see an image of the  Aadishesha - the big serpent of Vishnu in the crown. The four hands of goddess  Mahalakshmi hold a different object in each hand symbolic of valor and  compassion. Her image is facing west unlike other Hindu temples where the main deity faces east. The small window on the west wall is set in such a way   through which the sun light  falls on the face of the Goddess'image for three days around the 21st of each March and September. Along the Prakara or Prathakshina path, there are many small historical shrines where various deities are housed such as  Navagrahas, Surya, Mahishasuramardini, Vitthal-Rakhmai, Shiva, Vishnu, Tulja Bhavani and others  and they date back to the 11th century. There are some recent additions as well. 
Mahalakshmi_Temple,_Kolhapur, you tube.
The temple tank  is referred to as Manikarnika Kund and on its bank there is shrine dedicated to Visweshwar Mahadev. Surprisingly, here five kala pujas are offered each day starting from 5 am, and all pujas will be over by late evening. On Fridays and on full moon days, processional idol of the deity is taken out in a procession around the temple courtyard  and they are well attended by the people.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahalakshmi_Temple,_Kolhapur