Mahalakshmi Temple Kolhapur(Ambabai)

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(Kolhapur).

Temple History

Mahalakshmi Temple(Ambabai) was first constructed in Chalukya period (550 A. D. to 660 A. D.) This is evident from the style of the ido's sculpture. Also, some historians state that Goddess Mahalakshmi in the form of an idol was consecrated in Kolhapur temple during the reign of King Manglesh from the Chlukya Dynasty.
However, the ancient temple was destroyed by an earthquake that took place in 8th century A.D. Yet several ruins of the first structure are found today in various part of the current temple. The ancient petite idol is found in a small structure next to the stairs, between Goddess Mahalakshmi and Goddess Mahasaraswati's sancta sanctorum. On the other side of the same stairs is a sculpture of a boar carrying Goddess Earth on its tusk. The boar represents one of the avatara of Lord Vishnu. Besides, a boar was also the emblem of Chalukya Kings of Badami. Right behind the sculpture of boar is an inscription depicting a bull, Shivalinga and a sword.

Daily Routine in Mahalakshmi Mandir(Ambabai)

The 'Aarati' ritual is most important. Daily at 5-30 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 12-30 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 Panchamrut (milk, curds, sugar, ghee & honey) is spilled on the feet followed by  Aarati. This process continues till about 2 p. m. This is followed with a  'Pooja' where the goddess is offered ornaments. In the interiors of the Mandir, Vedic hymns are chanted. After 7-30 p.m., with ringing of bells, 'Aarati' is performed. This is called the 'Bhog -Aarati'. The ritual of "Abhishek Vidhi"is carried on throughout the day.

Mahalakshmi Temple Kolhapur(Ambabai) Kolhapur Photos