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Shri Mahalaxmi Temple Kolhapur

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The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple, also known as  Ambabai Temple, is a significant Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi in Kolhapur, Maharastra, India. The Goddess resides here as Supreme Mother Mahalakshmi and is revered as Ambabai by locals. Goddess Mahalakshmi is Lord Vishnu’s consort, and Hindus perform pilgrimages to Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple, and Padmavathi Temple. It is believed that visiting these temples as a pilgrimage aids in the attainment of moksha (salvation).

The Shri Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India, is one of the Shakti Peethas, also known as Dakshin Kashi, that are mentioned in Hindu Puranas. A Shakti peetha is a place associated with Shakti, the goddess of power, according to these writings. Architecturally, the temple belongs to the Kannada Chalukya empire and was possibly built around 700 AD. The image of the four-armed and crowned goddess, mounted on a stone platform, is made of gemstone and weighs approximately 40 kilogrammes. The black stone image of Mahalakshmi stands 3 feet tall.

Legend About Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

According to the Karavira Mahatmya, Vishnu lives in Kolhapur as Mahalakshmi. According to legend, Mahalakshmi destroyed Kolhasura, a demon who tormented the Gods and other beings, here at Karavira, and the site of his death became a tirtha, and she took up residence here in a shrine that now serves as the temple. (Legend also has it that Parvati-Kolhambika destroyed the demon Kolhasura at Tryambakeshwar).

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

History of Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple was built in the 7th century and is architecturally associated with the Chalukya empire. The temple is mentioned in several Puranas. There is evidence that Konkan king Kamadeo, the Chalukyas, Shilahara, and the Yadavas of the Devagiri dynasties visited this city. Adi Shankaracharya also paid a visit. This area was ruled by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, both of whom visited the temple regularly.

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

Karnadeo cut through the jungle and brought the temple to light in 109 CE. According to Bhandarkar and Khare, the existence dates back to the 8th century. Itihsa Chakra indicates that the temple was built during the reign of Mahjanapad. The temple was destroyed by an earthquake in the eighth century.

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

Gandavadix (King) expanded the temple in the 9th century by constructing the Mahakali Mandir. South Gate and Atibaleshwar Temple were built between 1178 and 1209, during the reigns of Raja Jaysing and Sindhava. Tolum, the Yadav king, built Mahadwar in 1218 and presented jewels to Devi.

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

Jains revered the temple’s idol as Padmalaya, or Padma’s abode, or Padmavati, an epithet of Goddess Lakshmi. Furthermore, Ganapati was worshipped before the temple was built in Chalukya times. Shankaracharya constructed Nagar Khana and Office, Deepmalas in the 13th century.

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple was later repaired during the reign of the Maratha Empire. Many invasions in this part of India have resulted in some damage to the beautiful idols that surround the temple. Worshippers had hidden the idol for protection during the Mughal reign. During Chhatrapati Sambhaji II’s reign, Narhar Bhat Shastree had a dream in which the goddess Mahalakshmi told him where she was, which he told Chhatrapati.

Architecture of Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

The main entrance Mahadwara of the temple is the western entrance. When entering the Mahadwara, one is greeted by several deepamaalas on either side before entering the Garuda mandap, which features square pillars and foliated arches of wood typical of Maratha temples. This mandap was built in the 18th century. The sanctum is guarded by a garuda image. Another stone mandap, this one on a raised platform, faces the sanctum. The mandap is next, with three shrines facing west. The central one is Mahalakshmi’s, and the two on either side are Mahakali and Mahasaraswathi’s.

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple complex is built without mortar, in the style of early Deccan temples. The horizontal mouldings and vertical offsets, which create a rich light and shade pattern, should also be mentioned. A rich display of sculptures of figurines in dancing poses, musicians, gods and goddesses can also be found in this temple. The three sancta have simple brick-and-mortar shikhara from the nineteenth century.

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

The black stone image of Mahalakshmi stands 3 feet tall. The Shri Yantra is carved on one of the temple’s walls. The sanctum is designed so that once a year, in the months of Pisces and Leo, the setting rays of the sun fall on the face of the image of Mahalakshmi for three days.

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

A shrine with a Shivalingam and a nandi is located above the Mahalakshmi sanctum. Venkatesha, Katyayani, and Gowri Shankar are housed in the devakoshtas, which face north, east, and south. The courtyard contains several subsidiary shrines to the Navagrahas, Surya, Mahishasuramardini, Vitthal-Rakhmai, Shiva, Vishnu, Tulja Bhavani, and others. Some of these images date from the 11th century, while others are more recent. The temple tank Manikarnika Kund, with a shrine to Visweshwar Mahadev on its bank, is also located in the courtyard.

Facts about Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

  • The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India, is one of three and a half Shakti Peethas mentioned in Hindu Puranas.
  • Karnadeva built the Mahalakshmi temple during the Chalukya reign of 634 CE.
  • The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple has special religious significance because it is one of six locations where it is believed that one can either obtain salvation from desires or have them fulfilled.
  • The architecture of the Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple is Chalukya in style, and it is said that Karnadeva built it around 700 AD.
  • The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple has beautiful carvings of niches and flowers on its walls. There are beautiful dancing nymphs known as yoginis.
  • The murti of the crowned goddess, which is mounted on a stone platform, is made of gemstone and weighs approximately 40 kilogrammes.
  • The black stone image of Mahalakshmi stands 3 feet tall. The Shri Yantra is carved on one of the temple’s walls. Behind the statue is a stone lion (the goddess’ vahana).
  • A five-headed snake adorns the crown. She also carries a Matulinga fruit, mace, a shield, and a panapatra (drinking bowl).

Famous Festivals In Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

Millions of people visit this temple every year to celebrate all of the festivals that are held here. Some major festivals held here are

  • Durga Puja. (Winter) – Devotees celebrate Navaratri at this temple in the month of Ashwin (Sep-Oct) and celebrate the triumph of the Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon (Mahishasura).
  • Navaratri. (Summer) – They celebrate other Navaratri in the fortnight of the Chaitra (March-April). Every nine days they worship Navadurga (nine Durgas).
  • Lalita Panchami: The fifth day of Navratri is known as Lalita Panchami. On this day, Abhishekam of Devi is performed at 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., and a canon salute is given to the Mahalaxmi Goddess. Following that, a procession of Mahalaxmi Devi is led to Trimbuli Devi, which is located not far from the main temple. A Chhatrapati (Local Royal Ruler) performs Kushmandbali in the presence of an unmarried girl from the Patil family of Kasba Bawda, Kolhapur. Goddess Palkhi is returned to the temple in the afternoon, and arti is performed.
  • The Kirnotsav (festival of Sun Rays) festival is the most prominent festival held at Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur. The Kirnotsav festival is held in the temple when the sun’s rays fall directly on the deity at sunrise. The Sun god is said to pay his respects to Mahalakshmi Ambabai three times a year. In January, the Sun is in Capricorn (Shravana nakshatra), transiting between the 17th, 18th, and 19th degrees; in November, the Sun is in Libra (Vishaka nakshatra), transiting between the 24th, 25th, and 26th degrees.
  • Rathotsav: Every year in April, the grand celebration takes place. Between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., the silver figure of the Goddess is paraded around the Temple. At 9:30 p.m., the procession leaves the Temple after a one-canon salute to the Goddess. This is when devotees make their offerings to the Goddess. A police and military band performs music while escorting the Ratha, which is lavishly decorated with flowers and lights. Rangolis are drawn all around the temple grounds.
  • Deepavali: The grand festival of lights is celebrated with religious zeal in temples. Hundreds of lamps decorate the temple, and several cultural programmes are held in the complex for devotees.

How to Reach Shri Mahalaxmi Temple / Ambabai Temple

By Air: The Kolhapur Domestic Airport is 10 kilometres away from the Shri Mahalaxmi Temple. Flights to the airport are only available from Belgaum and Pune. These locations have buses and trains that connect to Kolhapur.

By Rail: The Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus, about 5 kilometres from the Shri Mahalaxmi Temple, is the nearest railway station. The city is well connected to all of India’s major cities. Several trains stop at the junction on their way to or from Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Bengaluru, Tirupati, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Dhanbad, and Solapur.

By Road: The Maharashtra State Transport Corporation (MSTC) runs regular buses to Kolhapur from all major Maharashtrian cities such as Mumbai, Pune, and Sholapur. Buses from Goa and Bengaluru are also available. Several private bus companies operate buses to Kolhapur from major cities such as Bengaluru and Pune.

Also, Read – Brihadeeswara Temple Thanjavur

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Address: Shri Mahalaxmi - Ambabai Temple, Kolhapur, Mahalaxmi - Ambabai mandir, Mahadwar Road, Wangi Bol, C Ward, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India
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Open Now

Saturday 5 AM - 10 PM
Sunday 5 AM - 10 PM
Monday 5 AM - 10 PM
Tuesday 5 AM - 10 PM
Wednesday 5 AM - 10 PM
Thursday 5 AM - 10 PM
Friday 5 AM - 10 PM
Address: Shri Mahalaxmi - Ambabai Temple, Kolhapur, Mahalaxmi - Ambabai mandir, Mahadwar Road, Wangi Bol, C Ward, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India
Phone: 0231-2541779Call Now
Website: https://www.mahalaxmikolhapur.com/Visit the site
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