|Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple, MH youtube.|
|deeppa stands. Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple, MH tripadvisorin|
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.|