Shri Ambabai or Mahalaxmi Temple of Kolhapur in Maharashtra is one of the famous hindu temples in India.
- Location: Kolhapur, Maharashtra-416012
- Timings: 04:30 am to 10:00 pm
- Closed: Open all 7 days
- Type: Hindu Temple
- Deity: Sati Durga Parvati
- Religion: Hinduism
- Construction Completed: 7th century
This temple is devoted to Goddess Lakshmi (Mahalakshmi) who is one of the principal Goddesses in hinduism. Mahalakshmi is the Goddess of power, beauty, fortune, wealth, fertility and prosperity. Goddess Mahalakshmi is known to be Devi Lakshmi who is the wife of Lord Vishnu.
Why is Mahalakshmi temple famous?
It is a custom among Hindus to visit Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple and Padmavathi Temple as a yatra (pilgrimage). People have common belief that visiting these temples will be a pilgrimage which will help them to achieve moksha (salvation).
How many years old is Mahalakshmi temple?
The construction of the Mahalakshmi temple began by Rashtrakuta dynasty around 9th century. Shrine is the oldest part constructed by the Chalukyas dynasty somewhere around 550 to 660 CE.
What is the story behind Mahalakshmi?
There is a story in the Puranas that once there lived a fox-like demon. The word “Kolha” means Fox in English and “Pur” means a city or a town. As per the Indian spiritual story, there was this place (Pur) where a river was flowing. A demon named “Kolhasur”came and started sucking away the water of this river. As a result people of this city were deprived of water. People then started praying to Goddess Parvati to come and solve their sufferings.
When Goddess Lakshmi observed this misfortune of the people of this city, she came down to the earth in the for of Mahalakshmi in order to save their lives. She then killed this demon “Kolhasur”. Before his death, he lied down under Mahalakshmi’s feet and begged her to forgive him. In his response, she also forgave him. She then asked him to ask for his last wish before his death. He wished her to name the place after him where he lived. So, the city got the name of “Kolhapur”.
|1||The temple opening||4:30 a.m|
|2||Kakad Aarti (The Morning Aarti)||4:30 to 6:00 a.m|
|3||Morning Mahapuja||8:00 a.m|
|4||Naivedya (Offering of Holy Food)||9:30 a.m|
|5||Madhyan Aarti (The Afternoon Aarti)||11:30 a.m|
|6||Alankar Puja||1:30 p.m|
|7||Dhoop Aarti (The Evening Aarti)||8:00 p.m|
|8||Shej Aarti (The Night Aarti)||10:00 p.m|
Festivals at the temple
Kirnotsav which means festival of Sun Rays is celebrated in the Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur when the sun rays fall directly on the deity during the sunrise. It is believed that the god Son pays his respect to Mahalakshmi Ambabai for three days in a year.
- 31st January and 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 whole body of the deity.
It is the astonishment of the temple architects who built the temple of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur in such a way that the rays of the setting Sun, bow at the feet of the Goddess through a window, for few mins before disappearing. The architect’s excellence was done more than 1000 years ago, which can still be seen.
During the Navratri festival every year on the fifth day of Lalita Panchami, a palkhi parade is executed from the Mahalaxmi temple to the Temblai mandir at Temblai hill.