Kolhapur Mahalakshmi, Tuljapur Bhavani :108 Famous Hindu Shrines in Maharashtra -6 (Post No.11,953)


Post No. 11,953

Date uploaded in London – –  30 APRIL 2023                  

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Maharashtra is famous for the worship of Goddesses Bhavani and Mahalakshmi. There are many temples for Goddesses like we have famous temples for Shiva, Vittoba and Khandoba.

Of the famous temples of Goddesses Kolhapur Lakshmi and Tuljapur Bhavani are more famous. Mahalakshmi temple in Mumbai also has become a popular destination in the recent years.

Part 6


32.Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur

Kolhapur is an inland city, located 373 kilometres from Mumbai and , 228 kilometres from Pune. Ambabai temple of Kolkhapur is known as Mahalakshmi Temple.

Another Vitobha temple also attracts devotees during Ashada and Krittika Sukla paksha Ekadasis. Ambabai Temple celebrates a big festival in Asvina Sukla Pachami

Let us first visit Ambaabaai/ Mahaa Lakshmi Temple. The significant factors of the temple are:

1.It is 1400 year old shrine. Exists from Chalukya reign.

2.Three foot Lakshmi made up of black stone is the main deity.

3. Shri Yantra is drawn on the wall

4.Vahana of Goddess Lion is behind her. Five headed cobra is above the head.

5.Kirnotsav is one important event which is held when the sun rays fall on the main deity during three times a year. The rays of the Sun fall on the Idol Goddess Mahalaxmi during Sunset. Kirnostav Dates :

November – 9, 10, 11 January – 31 February 1,2.


The four Shakti Peethas of Maharashtra are Tuljapur enshrining Bhavani, Kolhapur enshrining Mahalakshmi, Mahur enshrining Mahamaya Renuka and Saptashringi 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 Bangaluru and Pune. It is situated on the banks of the Panchganga river and is full of ancient temples and shrines.

Legends: The Karavira Mahatmya states that Vishnu resides in the form of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur. Legend has it that Kolhasura, a demon that tormented the Gods and other beings, was destroyed by Mahalakshmi here at Karavira, and that the spot of his death became a thirtha and that she took abode here in a shrine which constitutes the temple today.

The Temple has several Deepamaalas on either side of Mahadwara and a Garuda mandap with square pillars and foliated arches of wood. An image of Garuda faces the sanctum. Another stone mandap, on a raised platform enshrining Ganesh, also faces the sanctum. Following this is the mandap with three shrines facing west. The central one is that of Mahalakshmi and the two on either side are those of Mahakali and Maha Saraswathi.

Legends: The Karavira Mahatmya states that Vishnu resides in the form of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur. Legend has it that Kolhasura, a demon that tormented the Gods and other beings, was destroyed by Mahalakshmi here at Karavira, which constitutes the temple today.

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. Also located in the courtyard is the temple tank Manikarnika Kund, on whose bank is a shrine to Visweshwar Mahadev.


33.Tuljapur Bhavani Temple

It is one of the 51 Shakti Kendras in the country.

Bhavani temple at Tuljapur is located 45 kilometres from Solapur. It is associated with Chatrapati Shivaji. He was said to have blessed by Goddess Bhavani. The temple has a history of nearly 800 years.

The main entrance of the temple bears the name of Sardar Nimbalkar. The other two entrances are named after the parents of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Shahaji and Jijabai. As one enters the Sardar Nimbalkar entrance, there is a temple dedicated to Markandeya Rishi on the right. After descending the stairs, one sees the main Tulja Temple. There is yagna kund (Holy fire pit) in front of this temple. Before entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Goddess, devotees take a dip in the two holy theerthas (tanks) . A Siddhi Vinayak temple is situated on the left side of the main gate whilst on the right, there is a temple of Aadishakti, Aadimata Matangadevi. A temple of goddess Annapurna is also present in the main complex.

The idol of Goddess Tulja Bhawani is believed by her devotees to be `swayambhu` (“self-manifested” not sculpted by human beings”). The high granite idol is three-foot tall, with eight arms holding weapons, and bearing the head of the slain demon Mahishasura. The Goddess is also known as Tulaja, Turaja, Tvarita and Amba.

Adi maya Adi shakti temple is the temple north to the Tuljabhavani temple where pooja starts, and followed by the pooja of Tuljabhavani .

Main Festivals:Vaishaka Full moon

The temple follow a set of elaborate rituals for the deity.These include priests offering a daily ritual bath, change of clothes, and offering food to the deity four times a day. The daily routine also includes offering devotional prayers to the Goddess. In the evening the deity is ceremoniously put to rest. On special occasions such as the birthday, marriage, in addition to ritual bath, the idol of the Goddess is taken around Tuljapur in a procession.

A dance peculiar to the place, named the Gondhala dance,is danced by women of Gondhala community. The dance is about the mythological stories about goddess Durga (Parvati, Tulja).

Tuljapur Bhavani idols are installed in lot of places in the western states. One of the Bhavani temples is in Sivanera Hill caves near Junnar..

To be continued……………………………..

 tags- Tuljapur, Kolhapur, Bhavani, Shivaji, Mahalakshmi, Shrines, Part 6, Maharashtra, Shakti kendras, Peethas, Goddess

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