» »This Dhanteras Visit The Mahalakshmi At Kolhapur

This Dhanteras Visit The Mahalakshmi At Kolhapur

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Considered as one of the 108 Shakti Peethas in the country, the much-renowned Shri Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur is also known as Ambabai. The shrine holds a special religious importance and is considered as the place where Shakti manifests; it is also one amongst the six holy houses of Shakti, where devotees can either be freed from or granted their desires.

The shrine is located on the banks of the Panchganga river and is located 140 km away from Pune. Here, one can find Goddess Lakshmi with four arms decked in all finery; she is fondly called Amba Bai. It is believed that the holy couple, Lakshmi and Maha Vishnu, reside together here which makes the place all the more powerful and popular.

mahalakshmi at kolhapur
 

PC: Ankur P

More About The Place

The exact date of when the temple was first constructed is a highly disputed topic; going by the architecture of the shrine, it showcases the influence of the Chalukya Empire; the shrine dates back to the 7th century and fell into ruins.

Later in 109 AD, Karnadeo is said to have cleared off a jungle which led to rediscovery of the shrine. Sometime in the 8th century, the temple fell down due to an earthquake and underwent renovations in the 9th century under the patronage of the king during that time, who further extended the temple by adding the shrine of Mahakali.

mahalakshmi at kolhapur

PC: Tanmaykelkar

During 1178-1209, a Yadav king named Tolum constructed the Mahadwar and donated jewels to the deity. Later on, the rulers of Shilahara dynasty constructed a shrine dedicated to Saraswathi Devi and carved 64 idols around the complex. Further, the Chalukyas installed Ganapathi and renovated the shrine. According to historians, the original shrine must have been a Jain shrine, which was constructed by a king named Padmalayan.

Legends

According to legends, Sage Bhrigu had a doubt-who is the most superior amongst the Trimurtis? For which he first approached Brahma, who did not welcome him in a respected manner; Saraswati had to pacific the sage, but in return he cursed Brahma saying that he would never have a temple.

His next stop was Kailash the abode of Lord Shiva, where he was stopped by Nandi even before he could meet him. Nandi justifies his act by saying that the lord and his consort were having their private time; angered again, he curses Shiva saying he would be worshipped in the form of a linga forever.

mahalakshmi at kolhapur

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The sage's last stop was Vaikuntam, the holy abode of Lord Vishnu. When he entered Vaikuntam, Lord Vishnu was asleep and Lakshmi Devi was massaging his legs. Angered yet again, Sage Bhrigu kicks him in his chest and Vishnu quickly gets up from his sleep and offers an apology for being asleep. In order to check if the sage's leg was hurt Vishnu massages his feet, which pacifies Bhrigu.

But this act did not go well with Mahalakshmi. Upset over her husband's actions, she leave Vaikuntam to settle in Kolhapur. It believed that the goddess began a penance here and Vishnu, incarnated as Venkateshwara, and Mahalaksmi in the form of Padmavati and reunite together.

mahalakshmi at kolhapur

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Festivals And Important Days

Like other temples dedicated to the goddess, Navratri is one of the major festivals here. Since the presiding deity is Maha Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, a large number devotees make it a point to visit the shrine on Dhanteras and Diwali which fall on 17th and 18th October 2017.

mahalakshmi at kolhapur

PC: Natesh Ramasamy

Kirnotsav is an important festival which is the celebration of a very unique event, where the sun rays fall directly on the deity at the time of sunset. This event happens only thrice a year and witnesses a large crowd.

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