Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi - Eyes of Godess Sati Devi

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi:-

The puranas, have listed 108 sites where Shakti (the goddess of power) is manifested. Amongst these, the Karveer area (the area where the present town of Kolhapur is located), is of special significance. This is one of the six abodes of Shakti, where one can achieve both fulfillment of desires as well as salvation from them. It is therefore considered to be of greater significance than Uttar Kashi. Shri Mahalakshmi is the consort of Shri Vishnu and it is said that they both reside in the Karveer area.


Sri Mahalakshmi Temple is one of the 51 Shakthi Sthalam/Shakthi Peedam located on the river banks of Pancha Ganga which is positioned on the Sahyadri Mountain Range in Kolhapur District, Maharashtra.  This is one of the oldest temples of Shakthi built during the 12th century by the Kings of Chalukya Dynasty.  This temple is famous for its exquisite architectural and sculptural work.  There are four entrances to this temple known as Maha Dwar/Paschim Dwar, Uttar Dwar, Purva Dwar and Dakshin Dwar respectively.  This temple also enshrines Lord Athibaleshwar /Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha, Lord Vittal, and Lord Dattathreya.  It is considered that dharshan of Lord Balaji of Tirumala is incomplete without visiting the temple of Goddess Sri Mahalakshami/Ambabai in Kolhapur.


Sthala Purana:-
 Once upon a time this city, Padmavathi pura, was ruled by a demon Kolha. when he went for penance, another demon named Sukesi occupied this city. After completion of penance Kolha got boons from Lord Brahma and returned to his capital, and observed that was captured by another one. He immediately kílled Sukesi and got his kingdom. He put his son Karaveera as incharge of this city. But in a war he was kílled by Lord Shiva, but at that time he got a boon from Lord Shiva, that this city will be called as Karaveera pura. Kolha became angry with this action and want to take revenge against devatas. He did penance for Mahalakshmi and got permission that she should not enter in to city for 100 years. She accepted for that, after that Kolha created many difficulties to Devatas and occupied their Swarga also. When Devatas praised Mahalakshmi, she told them to wait for completion of 100 years. After 100 years bond was over, she came to Karaveera pura and defeated Kolha in that war. He realized his mistake and praised her and got three boons from her. First one this city name will come from his name Kolha as Kolhapur, second she should live in this place permanently and third one this place should become as Siddha kshetra. In this way Kolhapur became an important Shaktipetham.




About Idol:-

The image of the Goddess has an extremely pleasant appearance. It is carved in black stone, is  about three feet in height and has four arms and crowned Goddess made of gemstone and weighs about 40 kilograms.  It contains mater mixed with Hirak bits.. The typical ayudhas of the devi are as follows. In the lower right hand is the matulinga, a fruit not unlike the ordinary lemon, but much larger in size. In the upper right hand is a large mace, kaumodaks, and its head touching the ground. The upper left hand holds the shield or khetaka, the lower one holding a bowl i.e. panpatra.  There is a natural “Padma-Ragini” (Lotus).  On the ’crown of the devi are a cobra-hood and a Shiva-ling with a yoni around it. Standing behind the devi is her vahana-a lion. The iconographical descriptions of the Goddess, going back to the thirteenth century or even earlier according to some authorities, resemble most of the lakshanas of the present image. The earliest mention comes from the Vishvakarmashastra as quoted by Hemadri in his Chaturvargachintamani. It refers specifically to the Karvirvasini Mahalakshmi.


Mahalakshmi left Vaikuntha and arrived at Kolhapur on hearing that Lord Venkatesh (Vishnu) her beloved husband failed to take action against sage Bhrigu for his horrific behaviour towards him. An angry Mahalakshmi is said to have observed strict penance in Kolhapur for several years until upon hearing the news of her husband being married to Tirumala Padmavati, another avatar of Mahalaskhmi. The greatness of this region has therefore attracted many sages and devotees, the blessings and affections showered by this region on its devotees are immeasurable. It is believed that Prabhu Shri Dattatreya still comes here every noon to seek alms.

The statue of the Goddess Mahalakshmi is made of gemstone and is considered to be at least 5000 to 6000 years old. It weighs about 40 kilos. The precious stones that adorn the deity indicate the antiquity of the idol. The platform of the Goddess Mahalakshmi is made of stone. The statue of the Goddess has four arms. In the lower right hand she holds the matulinga, (a fruit similar to and ordinary lemon but much larger in size). In the upper right hand she holds large mace, kaumodaks, its head touching the ground. In the upper left hand she holds the shield or khetaka, and while in the lower one she holds a bowl, panpatra.




On the crown of the Goddess Mahalakshmi are a cobra-hood and a Shiva-ling with a Yoni around it. Standing behind is the Goddess' vahana-a lion. Almost all the idols of the God face the north or the east directions, whereas here the Idol faces the west. The small window on the western wall which is open. Once a year, the rays of the Sun during sunset falls on the face of the image through this window. This period lasts for three days, each time, the 21st, of the months of March and September. This period is considered extremely auspicious, the Devotees throng the temple on all the three evenings the temple for a glimpse of the beautiful image bathing in the golden rays of the setting sun.

Above the Mahalakshmi sanctum is a shrine with a Shivalingam and a nandi. The devakoshtas house Venkatesha, Katyayani and Gowri Shankar - facing the north, east and the south. There are a number of subsidiary shrines in the courtyard to the Navagrahas, Surya, Mahishasuramardini, Vitthal-Rakhmai, Shiva, Vishnu, Tulja Bhavani and others. Some of these images date back to the 11th century, while some are of recent origin. Also located in the courtyard is the temple tank Manikarnika Kund, on whose bank is a shrine to Visweshwar Mahadev.

Architecture of Mahalaxmi Temple:-

The four Shakti Peethas of Maharashtra are Tuljapur enshrining Bhavani, Kolhapur enshrining Mahalakshmi, Mahur enshrining Mahamaya Renukaand Saptshringi enshrining Jagadamba. Other Shakti temples in the state are those at Ambe Jogai and Aundh.


Kolhapur is located in Kolhapur district and is well connected with Pune, 240 km north. It is on the national highway between Bangalore and Pune. It is situated on the banks of the Panchganga river and is full of ancient temples and shrines.

The temple is a marvelous example of architectural style known as ‘Hemandpanthi’ in ancient India. The walls of the temple complex are adorned with exquisite carvings and many sculptures. The temple complex consists of five towers and a main hall. The idol of Mahalaxmi is very unique, weighing 40 kg, made as a monolithic stone structure embedded with precious stones and diamonds. The precious stones that adorn the deity indicate the antiquity of the idol.


History: Although several parts of the temple are of the second half of the second millennium CE, epigraphic references place the deity in the 7th century CE, and the temple in the 10th century CE. For a period in the interim, this temple had fallen out of worship and the image of the Goddess was housed elsewhere. Worship was restored in the year 1715 after the Marathas rose to power.The city is referred to in many Puranas, 500 years back. Research guesses that it was in existence in the times of Parashuram. The time is.considered parallel to that of Mata peeth (Mahurgad), Sapta Shringi (Nasik) and Bhavani Peetha, in the Ramayana times. Karveer washes off great sins. There are many ancient, rich temples, holy places and gardens.

There is evidence to show that the Konkan king Kamadeo, Chalukya, Shilahar, Yadav dynasties visited this city. Adya Shankaracharya also visited. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj & Sambhaji reigned.

The idol of Mahalaxmi is made of jewel - stone, approximately weighing 40 kgs. The size is like Salunki. Sand & diamond are found in it. It stands on a stony stage with a lion behind it. In the middle there is natural lotus. It is four-handed, having Vetak, shield, Mhalung & Water-Pot. There is crown on the head and a snake holds shade.

In 109 A. D. Karnadeo cut off the jungle and brought the temple to light. The existence goes back to 8 th century, according to Dr. Bhandarkar & Mr. Khare.

In the 8 th century, the temple sank down due to earth­quake. In the 9 th century Gandavadix (King) extended the temple by building Mahakali Mandir. During 1178 -1209, in the reigo of

Raja Jaysing & Sindhava, South gate & Atibaleshwar Temple were built. In 1218 Yadav king Tolum built Mahadwar, and offered jewels to Devi. Further, Shilahar built Maha Sarasvati Mandir. He being a gain, got 64 idols carved. It is possible that new idol called Padmavati was installed at that time. Further, in Chalukya times, Ganapati before the temple was installed. It seems that the original temple was of the Hindus. In the 13 th century, Shankaracharya built Nagar Khana & Office, Deepmalas.

During 1712 - 1760 (Sambhaje Reign) Narhar Bhat Shastree had a dream which he told to Sambhajee. In the Mogal reign, the worshippers had hidden the idol for protection. Believing Sangavakar's dream, Sambhajee started a search. This idol was found in a house in Kapil Teerth Market. According to Sambhaji's letter dated 8 Nov. 1723, Sindhoji Hindurao Ghorpade of Panhala installed the idol again on 26 Sept. 1712 (Monday, Ashwin Vijiya Dashami)

The number of devotees grew, and in due course of time, the Devi became the Deity of Maharashtra. The idol began to denude due to Abhishekas. So Sankeshwar Shankaracharya got it repaired. After Vajralep & sacrifices, it was again installed at the hands of Kolhapur Shahajee Raje in 1954.

In 1960, there was transformation under the supervision of Mr. Lohiya. As a result, the premises seemed extensive. There are 5 main temples and 7 Deepamalas now. Around are 35 small - big temples and 20 shops. There are 5 Hemad-style tops. Adjoining is Garud Mandap, built by Mr. Harshe. There are 3000 temples in all in Kolhapur.

Temple inside:-

 Upper Temple:-


Over the sanctum sanctorum rises a superstructure. It has an “upper temple” that houses an icon of Ganapati with a decorated stone frame behind the idol sporting a Kirtimukh in the centre. In front of the Ganapati Idol is a rectangular Shivalinga better known as Matulinga (Shivalinga atop the Goddess idol) and outside this chamber lies a bull, vehicle of Lord Shiva. A staircase to the left of Goddess Mahalakshmi’s shrine leads to this storey of the temple.
It is said that the Matulinga was installed during the Yadava Period in 12th century as the devotees are not able to see the Shivalinga that is carved on the crown of Goddess Mahalakshmi since it remains covered. With the installation of Matuling devotees could worship it as the supreme from of genesis.





 
Two Additional Shrines:-

King Gandaraditya, also of the Shilahara Dynasty, embellished and completed the construction of Kolhapur temple of Goddess Mahalakshmi in 11th century A.D. He built the path on which the circumambulation is done around Goddess Mahalakshmi. He also added two sancta Sanctorum where Goddess Mahakali and Mahasaraswati were consecrated. On the left side of the main shrine is the temple of Mahasaraswati and on the right is the Mahakali temple. This temple houses the Shree Yantra (geometrical depiction of the Goddess) and in one niche in the wall lies and idol of Ganapati.

 First Archway Or The Main Shrine's Doorway:-

A few feet from this archway in the sanctum lies another arch-like gateway made up of black stone which is considered to be the manifestation of Shiva and Shakti. The weight of the entire temple rests on this frame work. Lalat Bindu, which is the centre point of the frame has Ganesh idol installed on it. This part is usually called the Ganesh pattika, plinth moulding of rectangular cross section having Ganesh depiction. Three consecutive frames are found along with this plinth moulding. The door jambs have sculpted designs on them.

 Darshan And Kurma Mandapam:-

The first mandap or hall called rangamandap that starts from the place where first archway is built is octagonal in shape. This part of the temple is divided into two. The part immediately after the first archway was traditionally called Darshan Mandap as from there the idol of the Goddess can be viewed at the closest (Darshan = view, mandap=hall). The ceiling of this hall is made up of octagonal layers.
Then comes another hall called Kurma mandap. It is called so as it has a Kurma (tortoise) installed in the centre. This Mandap is now called Shankha Tirtha Mandap because the holy water called Tirtha is sprinkled on the devotees from the Shankha (conch) in this hall. The ceiling of this hall is intricately carved. Both the halls have several pillars with sculpted patterns. For this, black Kaddapah stone, Basalt, Karnataka stones were used.



 Second Archway:-

These halls have a stone archway almost similar to the earlier one that leads to the Ganapati chowk. However this archway has decorative grilled screen walls on both the sides. Next to these screens are two idols of Dwarpals (the doorkeepers), called Jay and Vijay on either side. The legend states that Jay-Vijay built the temple of Mahalakshmi in one night. To justify this, images of spade and hoe are found close to the doorkeepers

 Ganpati Chowk:-

This hall is third from the sanctum sanctorum. It has a Ganapati Shrine in the centre. To the either side of the shrine are statues of Sage Agasti and his wife Lopamudra. On the outer side of the northern wall of this hall is a beautiful sculpture of Uma Maheshwar (Loard Shiva with Goddess Paravati) and statue of Lord Venkatesh as well as an idol of Goddess Katyayani in a niche in East. Kurma Mandap and Ganapti Chowk were built by King Singhan of the Yadava Dynasty.
The part of the temple from the sanctum sanctorum of Goddess Mahalakshmi up to Ganapati chowk is made up of black stone. There is a sharp contrast in the construction of the temple till the Ganapati chowk and the part thereafter which was constructed in wood during the Maratha reign.

 Garud Mandapam:-



The outermost hall which is called Garud Mandap was added during the administration of Daji Pandit between 1838 and 184318. Daji Krishna Pandit was placed at the head of the regency of Kolhapur by Mr. Townsend, the Political Agent Southern Maratha Country during the British rule in India and Shortly after he was made sole minister of the State after the death of Shahaji Chhatrapati also called Baba Saheb Maharaja.

 Outer Side Of The Main Temple:-

The outside of the three sancta is embellished with exquisite carvings. Besides the geometrical and floral patterns there are niches all along the wall. Each niche has beautiful sculptures of Surasundaris (musician ladies) and dancing Apsaras19 popularly called Chaushastha (for64) Yoginis20.
Spires And Demos.

The five spires and demos of this temple are said to have been added by Shankaracharya of Sankeshvar (1879-1967). An aerial view shows that they form a cross. There is one dome in the center and four other that lie in four cardinal directions of North, South, East and West. Under the tallest dome on the east lies the sanctum of Goddess Mahalakshmi. Below the one in the center is the hall called Kurma Mandap and under the one on the west side is a small Ganapati temple and a hall called Ganapati Chowk. On the north and south are two domes having below them respectively Goddess Mahakali and Mahasaraswati’s sancta.


As all the five domes are built relatively recent times the structure of the domes is a modern one which has triangular step like shape. They are currently cream coloured with orange and yellow spires.
These domes and spires can be accessed from the superstructure of the upper temple.


Boundary Wall, Entrances And the Complex:-

The main temple is surrounded by an almost pentagonal shaped stone wall which serves as the boundary of the complex. The open space between the wall and the main building is paved with stone slabs. The boundary wall has four entrances on four sides. The Mahadwar, the main entrance is on the west side of the complex. From this entrance the idol of the Goddess is easily visible. Adjoining the Mahadwar is the Nagarkhana at an elevation. It is a wooden structure having the musical instruments of Soanai23 Chowgada24 that are played during Aarti25 time and other major occasions. It is said that these two structures along with the Kacheri (Office) were built by Shankaracharya of Shringeri who also gave donation so that the musical instruments would be played everyday. Above the drum-chamber is the holy kitchen where meals of the Goddess were prepared. The current kitchen is at the ground level next to the Nagarkhana.

The entrance on the eastern side called Purva Darwaja (Purva=East, Darwaja=Door) has an inscription dating back to the Maratha period of 18th century stating that it was renovated by Army chiefs, Trimbak Dabhade26, Yashwantrao Dabhade as well as Bhairavjirao Gaikwad and Bhagwanrao Gaikwad.

Navagraha Temple (Temple Of Nine Planets):-

On entering in the temple complex from the Ghati Darwaja is the Navagraha temple on the left side. In 1941, Shirmant Jahagirdar Babasaheb Ghatge got the idols of nine planets installed in this temple. On a raised stone platform there are statues of nine planets including the Sun God in his chariot, Shivalingas and Ashtabhuja Mahishasurmardini. A small open hall like structure in front of the Navagraha temple dates back to the Yadava Period. Made of black stone it has sculptures of nine planets, Lord Vishnu reclining on the mystic serpent Shesha and Ashta Dikpal (guardians of eight directions.)




Along the southern gate called Vidyapeeth Darwaja are shrines of various gods and goddesses namely Radhakrishna, Kalbhairav, Siddhivinayak, Sinhavahini, Tuljabhavani, Lakshmi-Narayana, Annapurna, Indrasabha, Rameshwar, Narayanswami Maharaj. In the temple complex besides the main temple there are a number of other aforementioned small temples of which Navagraha and Sheshashahi temples are of special interest due to their intricate art sculptures.
A canon is located near the northern entrance which is fired on specific days. The litter of the Goddess receives one canon ball salute. This tradition was started by Queen Tarabai, daughter-in-law of the Maratha Regent Chattrapati Shivaji.
There were two ponds of holy water called Kasi and Manikarnika. The images and Veergal (the hero stones) that lined up these ponds have been removed and some of them have been placed in the Town Hall Museum. A garden has been developed in the place of Manikarnika pond.




Sheshashahi Temple (Vishnu Temple):-

On the side of the eastern entrance lies an intricately carved Sheshashahi temple, octagonal in shape. Inside the dome of this temple are two tiers of exquisite art. The topmost tier has 6 Petals of a flower and the lower tier has 16 petals of flowers sculpted on it. At the edge of the dome touching the main walls of the temple are 60 statues of Jain Tirthankaras. It is believed that this temples is of a Jain Tirthankara called Neminath. However the sanctum has an idol of Lord Vishnu reclining on the mystic serpent Shesha.
To the north lies the Ghati Darwaja sporting a huge bell installed by Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj (1874 to 1922). On the bell is mentioned “J.W. BENSON LIM.CLOCK MAKERS, LUDGATEHILL, LONDON E.C. 1902”. The gong of the bell is heard at specific times in the day. The earlier bell is now kept in the Town Hall Museum of Kolhapur. Inscribed on this bell there is a sentence in Portuguese: AVE MARIA GRATIA DOMINUS TECUM IHS (Hail Mary full of grace! The Lord is with thee). It is believed that this bell was brought to Kolhapur by Chhatrapati Sambhaji after the battle in Goa in 1683. The inner side of this gate has a lovely sculpture of Kirtimukh. Along the northern door are the temples of Navagraha, Viththal and Rakhumai.


Temple Timings: -
The temple is open from 4 am to 11pm.


Aarati & puja Timings:-
The 'Aarati' ritual is most important. Daily at 4-30 a.m. when the Mandir is opened, Aarati is performed after the worship of the idol's feet This is called 'Kakadarati.' Devotional songs in 'Bhup-Rag' are recited at that time.

At 8-30 a.m. Mahapooja occurs followed by 'Mangalarati.' At 11-30 a.m., worship with fragrant flowers & Kumkum is done for the devotees camphor is burnt and 'Naivedya' (Rich dishes) is offered. If there is no Mahapooja from devotees, milk instead of Panchamrit (milk, curds, sugar, ghee & honey) is spill on, the feet and then Aarati. This process continues till about 2 p. m. Then there is 'Pooja' with ornaments. In the interior of the Mandir, Vedic hymns are chanted. After 7-30 p.m., after ringing of bells, 'Aarati' is done. This is called 'Bhog -Arati.'

Every Friday, 'Naivedya' is offered to the Devi at night. After Aarati, ornarnents are taken off and returned to the treasury.
    Shejarati' is done at 10 p.m., when milk with sugar is offered. Aarati is done in the bedroom and 'Nidra Vida' song is sung. Then the daily routine is closed along with main & sub gate. Thus Aarati is done 5 times daily. Mahakali, Matuling, Shree yantra, Maha Ganapati 5 Maha Saraswati are also offered Aarati &. Naidedya. Every Tuesday fk Friday, Aarati seats increase. Arati-visit is given to all srnall & big 87 temples. There are different groups of devotees attending one or more Aaratis.

Their ratio is approximately 183 daily, every Aarati. Akarati, Pancharati, Kapurarti are different Aaratis used of which 2 are silver and the last is brass. Besides these Aratis in the Mandir an extra one is done at the festivals like Tryarnbuli Fair, Rathosava, Ashtami Jagar, Eclipse, Gokul Ashtami, Kiranotsava etc. There is a tradition to do special Aarati when Shree Shankaracharya and Shreeman Chhatrapati pay a visit to the temple. In the month of Kartik from Deepavali to Purnirna festival is celebrated. It is worth seeing as thousands of ladies and gentlemen attend it.

Navratri mahostavam:- 



Navratra (nine nights) festival is celebrated for ten days during the Hindu months of Ashwin (around October). The daily routine of the temple is modified during this period. At 8.30 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. Abhishek is performed followed by Mahanaivedya and Aarti. Later at 2.00 p.m. the deity is decorated with all the ornaments. On all ten days at 9.30 p.m. the litter of the Goddess is decorated in different forms with flowers and lights and is taken out in procession in the temple complex. Government sponsored police and military band is played at the head of the procession. The event culminates at 10.30 p.m. when the litter returns to the Garud Mandap and is placed on a special pedestal. The Goddess then receives one canon salute. Various cultural programmes are organized by the Mahalakshim Temple Trust in these ten days.


Lalita Panchami in Mahalakshmi Temple:-


At 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. Abhishek is performed along with the other routine rituals on Lalita Panchami the 5th day of Navratri. At 10.00 a.m. the litter of the Goddess Mahalakshmi is given one canon salute and it leaves the temple premises to visit Goddess Tryambuli's temple which is at a short distance from the main temple in Kolhapur. En route it halts at Shahu Mill and Takala for Puja and Aarti. The procession reaches Goddess Tryambuli's temple by noon. The Chhatrapati (the local royal ruler) performs Kushmandabali (breaking a pumpion gourd into two with a sword. This represents killing of the enemy) in the presence of an unmarried girl from the Patil family from Kasba Bavda, near Kolhapur. The litter returns to the temple at 2.00 p.m. later an Aarti is done. In the evening the litter is carried in procession around the temple itself.

Rathotsavam Celebrations in Mahalakshmi Temple:-

Rathotsav in Mahalakshmi Temple Kolhapur (chariot festival) is organized in April. The chariot bearing the silver representation of the Goddess Mahalakshmi is decorated with flowers and lights. It is taken out in a procession in the evening from 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. The devotees can pay their respects to the Goddess when the procession arrives at the main entrance of the temple. At 9.30 p.m. one canon salute is given to the Goddess and the procession is taken outside the temple. It moves in the city and returns to the temple. The procession is accompanied by military or police band. Huge Rangoli (floor paintings) are drawn along the path of the procession and fireworks add to the festivities. Several devotees flock to participate in this event.

Kirnotsavam:-

Kirnotsavam (festival of Sun rays) is celebrated when the sun rays fall directly on the deity's idol at the time of sunset on the following days :
31st January & 9th November : Sun rays fall directly on the feet of the deity.
1st February & 10th November : Sun rays fall directly on the chest of the deity.
2nd February & 11th November : Sun rays fall directly on the entire body of the deity.




Sri Mahalakshmi Temple is one of the 51 Shakthi Sthalam/Shakthi Peedam located on the river banks of Pancha Ganga which is positioned on the Sahyadri Mountain Range in Kolhapur District, Maharashtra.  This is one of the oldest temples of Shakthi built during the 12th century by the Kings of Chalukya Dynasty.  This temple is famous for its exquisite architectural and sculptural work.  There are four entrances to this temple known as Maha Dwar/Paschim Dwar, Uttar Dwar, Purva Dwar and Dakshin Dwar respectively.  This temple also enshrines Lord Athibaleshwar /Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha, Lord Vittal, and Lord Dattathreya.  It is considered that dharshan of Lord Balaji of Tirumala is incomplete without visiting the temple of Goddess Sri Mahalakshami/Ambabai in Kolhapur.

Kolhapuri Specials:-

Kolhapuri Chappals or Slippers are world famous. They come in 3 varieties, Kolhapuri, Kapashi and Dongari. They are usually made from chrome tanned leather.

Kolhapuri Pheta  or Turban used to be an integral part of the Male Costume. Today it is a customary honor to make guests wear it. It is usually made from Silk or Cotton and is  3.5 to 6 meters long and 1 meter wide. Saffron is the most popular choice of color.

Kohapuri Saaj is the traditional necklace worn by women. The best place to get one is from the jewelers in the Gujri market.


 Famous places, Attractions nearby Mahalaxmi Temple:-

    Bhavani Mandap and Juna Raj wada (old Palace) famous for
        Temple of Goddess 'Bhavani'
        Open Museum of wild animal that are hunted by Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj
        Rajabhau Bhail (Famous Chat Center)
    Magnet Super Mall (Old Shetkari Bazaar)
    Karveer Nagar Vachnalay (Rich library of good and old books)
    Mahadwar road
        Famous place for domestic shopping
    Binkhabi Ganesh Mandir
    Kapiltirth Bhaji Market (Central Vegetable Market)
    Rankala lake and Shalini Palace
    Shoe Lane (Chambar Ali) : World famous 'kolhapuri chappals' market place
    Khasbag Maidan : Famous wresting place
    Bindu Chowk : There is old boundary of kolhapur city covered by Shield wall and Citadel
    Fadatare Misal Centre (Udyam Nagar) : Famous for Kolhapuri Misal

Ramteerth:-
A scenic picnic spot in Ajra taluka, with ancient temples, a river, an old coffee plantation and an orchard, lend a quaint charm to this place. According to legend, the place is so named because Rama
stayed here during his vanvaas or exile in the forest. It is well known for its breathtaking natural beauty. This temple is located near kolhapur.

Jyotiba:-

Situated at a height of 3100 feet, this holy site nestles in the mountains near Wadi Ratnagiri. Jyotiba is supposed to be an incarnation of three gods -- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and the seer Jamadagni. A mammoth colourful fair takes place on the full moon night of the Hindu months of Chaitra and Vaishakh.

Getting There:-     
Transport Jyotiba lies 17 kms north-west of Kolhapur.
Khidrapur
The artistic temple of Kopeshwar or Mahadev at Khidrapur is a treasure-house of beautifully carved sculptures and a rare architectural marvel. The entire temple rests on a gajapeeth which is a semi-circular platform resting on the back of 92 carved elephants. This temple is located near kolhapur.

Narasimha Wadi:-

This holy place is situated on the confluence of the rivers Krishna and Panchaganga. It is well known for the holy padukas or slippers of Dattaguru ( an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh). Narasimha Saraswati, considered an incarnation of Dattaguru lived here for 12 years.

Getting There:-     
Narasimha Wadi is 45 kms from Kolhapur.

Rankala Lake: Just half a kilometer from the Mahalakshmi Temple is the huge Rankala Lake. The lake constructed by Shri Shahu Chhatrapati is a nice picnic and recreation spot surrounded by many beautiful gardens. There is a small resort - 'Sandhya Math' - which is mostly under water during the rainy reason. Many Hindi and Marathi movies have been shot here.


The New Palace (Chhatrapati Sahu Museum):-

 A royal palace partly converted into a museum, the New Palace has lush green parks, a zoo and a picturesque lake. The museum here has some rare paintings and artifacts used by the royal family. Royal weapons and a tableau depicting court life of the last century are worth watching.

The Old Palace:-


 Located behind the temple of Mahalaxmi, the Old Palace has an impressive marqee with filigree work in stone. The palace also houses a temple of the goddess Bhawani.

Shalini-palace, Kolhapur:-

 On the banks of the Rankala Lake stands Shalini Palace stands majestically. It was built in 193l -34 and named after the then princess of Kolhapur. The palace surrounded by towering palm trees & lovely gardens is built of intricately carved black stone and Italian marble.


  Nearest Major Town/City:-

    Panhala - 20 km from Panhala to Kolhapur

How to Reach:-

    By Air:-
    Both Pune and Mumbai are well associated airlines which schedule regular international and domestic flights.

    By Train:-
    The closest railway station is Kolhapur which is located at a distance of five kilometers away. There are a large number of trains and expresses that passes through various major cities of India.

    By Road:-
    From Mumbai, Kolhapur lies around 400 kilometer and Pune over 240 kilometers. This region is located on National Highway no. 4, which lies between Pune and Bangalore.

13 comments:

  1. Find more information about Katyayani Mandir Kolhapur at http://www.touristsafari.com/temples/katyayani-mandir-kolhapur

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    Replies
    1. very interesting and informative blog of kolhapur... if you want to buy properties without brokerage see visit kolhapurproperty.in

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  2. Kolhapur city serves as a home to the temple of Hindu goddess Mahalakshmi. Visit to this city and stay at some of the finest Kolhapur hotels and have a great vacation.

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  3. Goddess Mahalakshmi emerged from the ocean. 7 Mukhi Faced Rudraksha is of Mahalaxmi and helps an individual to attain abundance.

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    1. Mahalakshmi Puja also helps in attaining wealth. Then why a Rudraksha?

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  4. @ kolhapur that is ambabai temple not mahalaxmi temple.
    Goddess in temple is not mahalaxmi, she is ambabai, wife of mahadev not vishnu.
    Please go through reliable history sources, do not fall pray gor false information.

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  5. @ kolhapur that is ambabai temple not mahalaxmi temple.
    Goddess in temple is not mahalaxmi, she is ambabai, wife of mahadev not vishnu.
    Please go through reliable history sources, do not fall pray gor false information.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice and Very Informative Post it is. I LIke this post and thanks for sharing this informative post with us…..
    Online puja booking

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  8. Lakshmi Mantra is recited to know your goal and as a means to fructify that goal.Lakshmi Mantra is a prayer not only to gain financial prosperity but also to give us the intelligence to enlighten our minds with understanding. Lakshmi is the personification of all that brings good fortune, prosperity, and beauty.
    To get more details about mantras, pujas, bhajans and chants,
    download this app and get all benefits, http://goo.gl/bQBnUe

    ReplyDelete