ABOUT KOLHAPUR

Shree Mahalaxmi Temple

Kolhapur with its rich, colourful historical and mythical past stands out among the various cities in Maharastra State. The city is situated on the banks of river Panchaganga and is nestled among the Sahyadri ranges and surrounded by beautiful fortresses and hillocks. The name Kolhapur originates around Dravidian times when it is said that the aborgines of the region worshipped a powerful mother goddess named 'kolla'. Some say that the name originates around the temple of goddess Mahalaxmi. She, after the great deluge, salvaged the city by using her mace(kur) and hence the name 'Karveer'. At present the city is supposedly the fourth largest city in Maharastra and boasts a booming commercial centre, flourishing Dairy and Sugar industry.

The Shri Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur in Maharashtra,India,is one of the Shakti Peethas, listed in various puranas of Hinduism. According to these writings, a shakti peetha is a place associated with Shakti, the goddess of power. The Kolhapur peetha is of special religious significance,being one of the six places where it is believed one can either obtain salvation from desires or have them fulfilled.

The temple takes its name from Mahalakshmi, the consort of vishnu,and it is believed that the divine couple reside in the area.The temple belongs, architecturally, to the Kannada Chalukya empire, and may have been first built circa 700 AD. Mounted on a stone platform, the image of the four armed and crowned goddess is made of gemstone and weighs about 40 kilograms. The image of Mahalakshmi carved in black stone is 3 feet in height. The Shri yantra is carved on one of the walls in the temple. A stone lion, the vahana of the goddess, stands behind the statue. The crown contains an image of the Sheshnag — the serpent of Vishnu. In Her four hands, the deity of Mahalakshmi holds objects of symbolic value. The lower right hand holds a mhalunga (a citrus fruit), in the upper right, a large mace (kaumodaki) with its head touching the ground, in the upper left a shield (khetaka), and in the lower left, a bowl (panpatra). Unlike most Hindu sacred images, which face north or east, the image of this deity looks west (Pashchim). There is a small open window on the western wall, through which the light of the setting sun falls on the face of the image for three days around the 21st of each March and September.

Bhavani Mandap

This palace is behind Mahalaxmi Mandir. This palace was built around 200 years ago and it was the royal residence. in the year 1813 it was partly destroyed in a fire. later on it was reconstructed. This palace has old fashioned architecture and it is huge in size and strong in construction. Shri Chhatrapati got this Bhavani temple built for members of his family.This temple and its surrounding area is proof of the royal wealth. Shri Chhatrapati used to