Mahalakshmi - DOT-Maharashtra Tourism
Mahalakshmi temple of Kolhapur is situated in the ancient Indian city of Karveer. This temple is built with the dry masonry-style popularly known as Hemadpanti style of architecture and is a must while visiting Kolhapur. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
Kolhapur District, Maharashtra, India.
This temple is in the ancient city of Karveer or today known as Kolhapur. The construction of the temple began around the 9th century CE by the Rashtrakuta dynasty, and the shrine is the oldest part constructed by the Chalukyas dynasty tracing back to 550 to 660 CE.
The temple is one of the biggest temples in Kolhapur and stands in the centre of the old city of Karveer (Kolhapur). It is a two-storey building made out of the local black trap. The temple is said to be a Jain temple originally, which was later used by Hindu’s like a Hindu temple and several additions were made. The Shilahara rulers of Kolhapur added embellishments to the temple and four inscriptions are belonging to the 13th century CE were found in the temple. The superstructure of the temple is a recent addition to the architecture.
There are many stories associated with the temple. Legend says the goddess Laxmi or Amba came to save the city of Karveer from the demon Kolasura and, after slaying him she decided to stay in the city.
It is also said that during the 15th and 16th centuries to save the temple and image of Ambabai from being persecuted, the image was hidden till 1722 CE. Then Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj (son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj reinstalled it into the current temple.
The temple has two other sanctums with images of Mahasaraswati and Mahakali. The temple is ornamented with sculptural panels. The hall (Mandapa) and the Ardha (half) mandap have well-decorated pillars. There are three more mandapas added to the temple over the period.
The temple is placed in a fortified enclosure. There are numerous subordinate shrines with numerous other deities. A large deep mala also can be seen in the promises of the temple. A small sacred pond (tirtha) can also be seen near the temple.
Kolhapur is an inland city which is on the south bank of the river Panchaganga.
The region has a hot-semi arid climate year-round with an average temperature ranging from 19-33 degrees Celsius.
April and May are the hottest months in the region when the temperature reaches up to 42 degrees Celsius.
Winters are extreme, and the temperature can go as low as 10 degrees Celsius at night, but the average daytime temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius.
The annual rainfall in the region is around 763 mm.
Things to do
● The Mahalaxmi temple is an architectural wonder, one may gaze at the temples elegantly carved architecture and the decoration and gold is put on the goddess Ambabai.
● Twice a year, around the first half of November and the end of January February a three-day phenomenon happens in the temple. During which on the first the light rays of the rising sun first fall on the feet of the goddess, on the second day they go upwards and on the third day they fall on the goddess's face. The goddess Ambabai stands alone in the sanctum embellished with gold and a beautiful saree. A lot of people come to see this ‘luminous miracle’ happen twice a year.
Nearest tourist places
Kolhapur is a very lively city with a lot of things to do such as,
● Bhavani Mandap (0.2 KM)
● New Palace (3.3 KM)
● Shalini Palace (1.8 KM)
● Laxmi Vilas Palace (5.1 KM)
● Shree Jyotiba Devasthan (20 KM)
● Rankala lake (1.4 KM)
Special food speciality and hotel
● Kolhapuri Misal is one of the most famous dishes of Kolhapur.
● Apart from that one may find a large variety of cuisines as per their choice in the city.
Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station
● Kolhapur is a vibrant city with many accommodation options available as per one's budget.
● City Hospital Rajarampuri. (3.6 KM)
● Kolhapur Police. (4 KM)
Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit
● The best time to visit is November to February as the weather is cool and pleasant.
● Wear weather-appropriate clothes while visiting.
Language spoken in area
English, Hindi, Marathi.
A famous legend proposes that the goddess is the beloved consort of Lord Vishnu or Balaji and that after having a tiff with her husband Balaji, Lakshmi left the famous Tirumala hills of Andhra Pradesh and settled at Kolhapur. In order to mollify her anger, a lovely saree is presented to the goddess by the Balaji temple authorities every year. To this day the pilgrimage to the Balaji temple is not complete till every devotee visits his consort at Kolhapur.
The beautiful statue of Mahalakshmi carries the symbols of the Shaivas, and the Vaishnavas, and this aspect makes it unique in its design and grace. The statue is carved out of black stone, with a lion standing majestically in the background. The goddess is adorned with priceless jewels and during the Navaratri she is decorated in her nine different manifestations - a sight to behold.