Tuesday, May 26, 2009

KOLHAPUR MAHALAXMI TEMPLE


KOLHAPUR MAHALAXMI TEMPLE.

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.

Mahalaxmi is mentioned in many Puranas. The idol of the Devi is made of precious stone, weighing about 40 Kgs. It contains mater mixed with Hirak bits. This throws lighton its ancientness. The form resembles the out-side of Shiva-Ling. It is standing on a stone square, in which Hirak & Sand are found. A lion stands behind. At the middle, there is a natural "Padma-Ragini" (Lotus). The idol is four handed bearing a cane sword & shield. Down the right hand holds "Mhalung" (A kind of fruit) and the left holds dish of "Pan". There is a crown on head, which is overshadowed by Sheshani (Mythological Cobra with hood, the bed of lord Vishnu). According to research it is 5-6 thousand years old.

The main idol is significant as it is one of the very few gods which face West.

The 'Aarati' ritual is most important. Daily at 4-30 a.m. when the Mandir is opened, Aarati is performed. This is called 'Kakadarati.'

At 8-30 a.m. Mahapooja occurs followed by 'Mangalarati.' At 11-30 a.m., worship with fragrant flowers & Kumkum is done for the devotees camphor is burnt and 'Naivedya' (Rich dishes) is offered. Then there is 'Pooja' with ornaments. In the interior of the Mandir, Vedic hymns are chanted. After 7-30 p.m., after ringing of bells, 'Aarati' is done. This is called 'Bhog -Arati.'

Every Friday, 'Naivedya' is offered to the Devi at night. After Aarati, ornarnents are taken off and returned to the treasury.
Shejarati' is done at 10 p.m., when milk with sugar is offered. Aarati is done in the bedroom and 'Nidra Vida' song is sung. Then the daily routine is closed along with main & sub gate. Thus Aarati is done 5 times daily. Mahakali, Matuling, Shree yantra, Maha Ganapati, Maha Saraswati are also offered Aarati &. Naidedya.

Aarati. Akarati, Pancharati, Kapurarti are different Aaratis used of which 2 are silver and the last is brass. Besides these Aratis in the Mandir an extra one is done at the festivals like Tryarnbuli Fair, Rathosava, Ashtami Jagar, Eclipse, Gokul Ashtami, Kiranotsava etc.. In the month of Kartik from Deepavali to Purnirna festival is celebrated. It is worth seeing as thousands of ladies and gentlemen attend it. MAULI LODGE 192-B WARD,JOTIBA ROAD, GHATI DARWAJA,KOLHAPUR-416012 PHONE NO: 0231-2540175,6959358, 9823181234

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