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Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur
The Mahalakshmi Temple belongs to Shri Mahalakshmi – famously revered in India as the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is an old, ancient temple located right in the heart of the city of Kolhapur. The temple finds its mention in the holy Puranas that specifies it as one of the 108 sites in India where Shakti is evidenced.
Goddess Mahalakshmi is fondly called Amba Bai by her devotees with each year seeing millions of pilgrims hoarding the historic temple to seek her blessings. Because of the Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur is deemed to be one of the few iconic spiritual centers in India. The temple dates back to as far as the 7th Century, when King Karandev from Chalukya dynasty undertook its construction. The architectural style of the holy place is inspired from Hemandpathi. It is believed that Yadava dynasty further beautified the Temple in the 8th Century. An interesting fact is that the temple is built in such a way that sun rays reach the Goddess’ idol every day, giving it a mystical golden glow. Festivals like Navrathri see locals as well as worshippers from all over India throng the gates of Kolhapur to catch a glimpse of Goddess AmbaDevi. The place resonates with bright colours and music at this time.