July 21, 2015

My TripAdvisor Review No.107: Mahalaxmi Temple, Kolhapur.

“Most Famous Temple of Kolhapur.”
5 of 5 starsReviewed 20 July 2015NEW
Kolhapur has many temples, but the Mahalaxmi Temple is the most well known amongst them. Your trip to Kolhapur is not complete if you have not visited this temple dedicated to the Goddess Mahalaxmi, the consort of Vishnu, and it is believed that the divine couple reside in the area around the temple. The temple is also known as Dakshin Kashi, and Ambabai Mandir.

The temple is very ancient and is said to have been built in the 7th century, and belongs to the Kannada Chalukya Empire. Upon entering the main entrance there are several deepmalas (stone lamp pillars) on both sides. An image of Garuda faces the sanctum. Another stone mandap enshrining Ganesh also faces the sanctum. Following this is the mandap with three shrines facing west. The central one is that of Mahalaxmi and the two on either side are those of Mahakali and Mahasaraswati. The temple complex exhibits mortarless construction echoing the style of the early Deccan temples. The image of Mahalaxmi carved in black stone is 3 feet in height.

The temple doors open at 4.45 am and remain open till 10.30 pm. Five worship services and Aartis are offered at notified timings through the day, starting from 5 am. A festival image of the deity is taken out in procession every Friday, and on full moon days. Consequently Fridays are the most crowded days at the temple and one may have to wait long to get a darshan. On the other days it does not take more than an hour of waiting in the queue. Order and discipline is well maintained by the temple authorities. Mahaprasad (holy food) is distributed after 12 noon by the temple trust on full moon days.

There is a footwear stand outside the temple where one can leave one’s shoes after paying a token amount. Offerings to the goddess can be purchased from the numerous stalls outside. Photography is prohibited inside the temple.

The area around the temple is very congested due to narrow roads and milling crowds. Hence it is better to park your vehicle some distance away in the nearby lanes and walk the last few metres to the temple.

After visiting the temple one can shop around from the various stalls and shops which sell local produce. One can buy images of the deities, prayer items, eatables, fruit, and even Kolhapuri slippers.
Visited March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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