About Mahalaxmi and Temple

The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, India, is one of the three and half 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 Shakti Peetha is of special religious significance being one of the six places where it is believed that one can either obtain salvation from desires or havethem fulfilled. The temple takes its name from Mahalaxmi,and it is believed that the divine couple reside in the area.The temple belongs architecturally to the Chalukya empire and may have been first builtin circa 700 AD. Mounted on a stone platform, the image of the four armed and crowned goddess is made of sandstone.The image of Mahalaxmi carved in black stone is 2feet 8.5 inches in height. The Shri Yantra is carved on one of the corner oposite to mahakali in the temple primises. A stone lion, the vahana of the goddess, stands behind the statue.

The Sanskrit inscription on a stone tablet in the wall of the house of Annacharya Panditrao, now in the town hall museum says,"The great Kind Bhojadeva was reigning peacefully with pleasing conversation at Panhala; in 1190. He with a view to ensure the prosperity of his king-dom,

The crown contains an image of the nag ling and yoni,the symbols of kal (the time) purush (the creater) and prakruti (the origin of universe) — . 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). sunrays came directly from mahadwar in evening , the rays of the setting sun falls on the face of the idole for three days (31 january 01 02 february and 09,10,11 november.

There are a number of other shrines in the courtyard to the datta mandir dkpalmandap, Navagrahas, Surya, Mahishasuramardini, Vitthal-Rakhmai, krishna, panchanganga & swami smarth dashavartar , Ram mandir, sheshashai , Mahavishnu,Hanuman ,Laxmi-narayan ,Khandoba ,Atibaleshwar ,krishna , kalbhairav ,Sidhivinyak ,Sinhwahini ,Tulja Bhavani ,Indrashabha ,Ek mukhi datta.

Some of these images date back to the 11th century, while some are of recent origin. Also located in the courtyard there was the temple tank Manikarnika Kund, near datta mandir now there is a garden.