Mahalakshmi or Mahalaxmi famously knowns as Shri Ambabai Temple situated in Kolhapur on the banks of the Panchganga River, Maharashtra.
The main deity of the temple is Goddess Mahalakshmi. Above the Mahalakshmi sanctum is a shrine with a Shivalingam and a nandi. There are also shrines of Venkatesha, Katyayani and Gowri Shankar – facing the north, east and the south. There are number of other shrines in the courtyard including Navagrahas, Surya, Mahishasuramardini, Vitthal-Rakhmai, Shiva, Vishnu, Tulja Bhavani and others.
Significance of Goddess Mahalakshmi:
Mahalkshmi Idol: Mahalakshmi idol in this temple is very beautiful, attractive and 3 feet in height. Here Mahalakshmi idol faces west side. The crown contains an image of the Sheshnag — the serpent of Vishnu. 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). We can worship maa Ambabai feet with kumkum.
Sri yantra is carved on one of the walls in the temple. A stone lion, the vahana of the goddess, stands behind the statue.
Significance of Kolhapur:
Kolhapur has history for more than 5000 years. This holy city will compared with kasi in many aspects. Kolhapur was called as Dakshina Kasi. Agastya maharshi also visited this city when he came out from Varanasi. Daily Lord Dattareya was in Kolhapur for Bhikshatana.
The Kolhapur peetha is of special religious significance, being one of the six places where it is believed one can either obtain salvation from desires or have them fulfilled.
This legend is associated with the destruction of Daksha's sacrifice and the origin of the Shakti Peethas of India.
Sati, the consort of Shiva was the daughter of Daksha Prajaapati a descendant of Bhrama.. Sati had married Shiva against the wishes of her father. The vain Daksha performed a great yagna (with the sole aim of insulting Shiva), to which he invited all of the gods and goddesses except his son in law Shiva. Against Shiva's wishes, Sati attended this sacrifice and was insulted by her father. Unable to bear this insult, Sati immolated herself.
Enraged at the insult and the injury, Shiva through Veerabhadra, destroyed Daksha's sacrifice, cut off Daksha's head and replaced it with that of a goat, as he restored him to life. Still crazed with grief, he picked up the remains of Sati's body, and danced the dance of destruction throughout the Universe. The other gods intervened to stop this dance, and the disk of Vishnu cut through the corpse of Sati, whose various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed the sites of what are known as Shakti Peethas today.
The place where the back part of Sati is said to have fallen here.
- KARTIK FESTIVAL - Starting from Narakchaturdashi to Kartik Poornima the Temple is opened in early morning at 2.00 a.m. and Kakada Aarati is performed.
- Kirnotsav (lit. festival of Sun Rays) is celebrated in the Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur, when the rays of the sun fall directly on the deity at the time of sunset. It is said that the Sun god pays his homage to Mahalakshmi Ambabai for three days in a year. This will be on the occasion of “Rath Saptami”
- 31 January & 9 November: Sun rays fall directly on the feet of the deity.
- 1 February & 10 November: Sun rays fall directly on the chest of the deity.
- 2 February & 11 November: Sun rays fall directly on the entire body of the deity.
- On every Chaitra Pratipada – Procession of the idol Goddess Mahalaxmi is carried out in Chariot and Palainquin at 9.30 p.m. (Nagar Pradakshana)
- Palakhi (Procession) of the idol Goddess Mahalaxmi is carried out in Palainquin, daily during Navratri Ashwin pratipada
- Mahaprasad (Delicious Food) is distributed to thousands of Devoties after 12.00 p.m. on Ashwin Poornima. (full Moon)
18 Maha Shakti Peetha Stotram:
लङ्कायां शाङ्करीदेवी कामाक्षी काञ्चिकापुरे ।
प्रद्युम्ने शृङ्खलादेवी चामुण्डी क्रौञ्चपट्टणे ॥ 1 ॥
Lankayam Shankari devi, Kamakshi Kanchika pure
Pradyumne Shrinkhala devi, Chamunda Krouncha pattane || 1 ||
अलम्पुरे जोगुलाम्बा श्रीशैले भ्रमराम्बिका ।
कोल्हापुरे महालक्ष्मी मुहुर्ये एकवीरा ॥ 2 ॥
Alampure Jogulamba, Sri shaile Bhramarambika
Kolha pure Maha lakshmi, Mahurye Ekaveerika || 2 ||
उज्जयिन्यां महाकाली पीठिकायां पुरुहूतिका ।
ओढ्यायां गिरिजादेवी माणिक्या दक्षवाटिके ॥ 3 ॥
Ujjainyam Maha kali, Peethikayam Puruhutika
Odhyane Girija devi, Manikya Daksha vatike || 3 ||
हरिक्षेत्रे कामरूपी प्रयागे माधवेश्वरी ।
ज्वालायां वैष्णवीदेवी गया माङ्गल्यगौरिका ॥ 4 ॥
Hari kshetre Kama rupi, Prayage Madhaveshwari
Jwalayam Vishnavi devi, Gaya Mangalya gourika || 4 ||
वारणाश्यां विशालाक्षी काश्मीरेतु सरस्वती ।
अष्टादश सुपीठानि योगिनामपि दुर्लभम् ॥ 5 ॥
Varanasyam Vishalakshi, Kashmire tu Saraswati
Ashtadasha Shakti peethani, Yoginamapi durlabham || 5 ||
सायङ्काले पठेन्नित्यं सर्वशत्रुविनाशनम् ।
सर्वरोगहरं दिव्यं सर्वसम्पत्करं शुभम् ॥ 6 ॥
Sayamkale pathennityam, Sarva shatri vinashanam
Sarva roga haram divyam, Sarva sampatkaram shubham || 6 ||
Part of the
|Place||Name of Shakti|
|1||Heart||Trimkomali (Srilanka)||Sankari Devi|
|2||Back part||Kanchi (Tamilnadu)||Kamakshi Devi|
|3||Stomach part||Praddyumnam (Gujarat)||Sri Shrunkala Devi|
|4||Hair||Mysore (Karnataka)||Chamundeswari Devi|
|5||Upper teeth rows||Alampur (Andhra Pradesh)||Jogulamba Devi|
|6||Neck part||Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh)||Bhramramba Devi|
|7||Eyes||Kolhapur (Maharastra)||Mahalakshmi Devi|
|8||Left hand||Nanded (Maharastra)||Ekavirika Devi|
|9||Tongue||Ujjain (Madya pradesh)||Mahakali Devi|
|10||Back||Pithapuram (Andhra Pradesh)||Puruhutika Devi|
|11||Navel||Cuttack (Orissa)||Girija Devi|
|12||Left cheek||Draksharamam (A.P)||Manikyamba devi|
|13||Reproductive organ - Yoni||Gauhathi (Assam)||Kamarupa Devi|
|14||Fingers (hand)||Prayaga (Uttar Pradesh)||Madhaveswari Devi|
|15||Head part||Jwala (Himaclapradesh)||Vaishnavi Devi|
|16||Breast part||Gaya (Bihar)||Sarvamangala Devi|
|17||Wrist||Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)||Visalaksi Devi|
|18||Right Hand||Kashmir||Saraswathi Devi|