Counted amongst the most visited temples in India, Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur honors Durga, the goddess of health and prosperity. According to the mythological facts, it is believed that Sati’s eyes fell at the same place where the temple currently stands. And that's the reason why it is revered as Shaktipeetha. The main sanctum of the temple features the beautiful idol of Durga adorned with precious stones and jewelry. According to the locals, at the Mahalakshmi Temple nature meets the divine power. With its exquisitely carved stone pillars and arches, the temples earn the reputation of classic architectural marvel.
Of the numerous temples in Kolhapur, Mahalakshmi or Amba Bai temple is the most venerated. Built in the 7th century by Chalukya king Karnadeva, the temple's idol is encrusted with diamonds and other precious stones. The mandapa has a finely carved ceiling.
Tales Behind the Formation of the Temple
According to popular legends, Lord Venkatesh (Mahalakshmi's husband) was unable to take any action against the sage Bhrigu for his horrific act against him. When Mahalakshmi heard about this, she left the famous Tirumala hills of Andhra Pradesh and settled at Kolhapur to observe a strict penance. The practice of penance ended when Mahalakshmi got to know that here her husband got married to Tirumala Padmavati, another avatar of Mahalakshmi. Even today, to please the deity, a lovely saree is presented to the goddess by the Balaji temple authorities. Some stories even say that Shri Lakshmi and Shri Vishnu used to reside in Karveer area. In fact, traces of the temple are seen in many mythology books. Amoghvarsha, Rashtrakuta king, even chopped off his finger to please the god. Also, the temple carries the tag of a Shaktipeetha. As far as the legend goes, Kamakhya came into existence when Lord Shiva was carrying the corpse of his wife Sati, and her eyes fell to the ground at the spot where the temple now stands.
It has exquisite structure too
Mahalakshmi temple is counted amongst the most beautiful Durga temple in India. It has exquisitely carved stone pillars and arches. The temple carries the symbols of the Shaivas, and the Vaishnavas, and this aspect makes it unique in its design and grace. The main idol in the sanctum is carved out of a black stone with a lion standing majestically in the background.
To witness the temple in its full swing, tourists should visit the temple during Kirnotsav. It is when the sun rays fall directly on the deity's Mahalakshmi idol at the time of sunset.
- Starting up the daily : 04:30 AM
- Kakadarati : 04:30 PM to 06:00 PM
- Morning Mahapuja : 08:00 AM
- Holy food (Nevaidya) : 09:30 AM
- Afternoon Mahapuja : 11:30 AM
- Alankar Pooja : 01:30 PM
- Dhuparti : 08:00 PM
- Shejarti : 10:00 PM
Mahadwar Road, Opp ICICI Bank, Kolhapur, Maharashtra 416002
Best Time to Visit
‘KiranUtsav,’ celebrated on 31 January, 1 February, 2 February, 9 November, 10 November,and 11 November, is the best time to pay a visit to the Mahalaxmi temple. On these six days of the year, Sun god visits the Mahalaxmi temple.
How to Reach
Kolhapur has a good transport system, which means that reaching here is not a problem. Buses and auto-rickshaws are easily available to reach the temple.
Mahalakshmi temple is quite a famous attraction of Kolhapur. So if you have extra days at your disposal make a point to visit the following temple:
- Buddhist rock cut caves at Pohale
- Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum
- Dajipur Bison Sanctuary
- Jyotiba Temple
- Town Hall Museum