Temples of Kolhapur

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2019

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1. Swagatam to Mahalaxmi Mandir Kolhapur. Behind deepstambh is the temple. Up to shikhar level is the old temple made in typical Indian style with some sculptures. White shikhar seems later addition. “Kolhapur is mentioned as the Kasi or Benares of the South. Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaja is an architect n founder of modern Kolhapur.”

2. Outside temple is murthy of Sant Gadge Maharaj (1876-1920), a saint and social reformer. Also called Sant Gadge Baba. Offered my pranams before entering the temple. “Chhattrapati Shahu Maharaja`s reign lent a progressive spirit to the city and extended his patronage to arts like theatre, film making, music, painting, sculpture, wrestling etc.”

3. A better view of deepstambh. Camera not allowed in temple so pics taken by cell phone. “King Gandaraditya, also of the Shilahara Dynasty, embellished and completed the construction of Kolhapur temple of Goddess Mahalakshmi in 11th century A.D. He built the path on which the circumambulation is done around Goddess Mahalakshmi”.

4. Walk out of the temple towards the old palace. Inside one of the buildings is the temple of the family deity of the rulers, Tulaja Bhavani.

5. Ladies inside the Mahalaxmi temple. I got quick darshan, not too much of a crowd. See the Darshan and Kurma Mandap, Ganapati Chowk, Garud Mandap, Navagraha Temple and Sheshashahi Mandir. To read more http://www.mahalaxmikolhapur.com/history/in-temples.html

6. It is because of hard working ladies like these that the temple is spotlessly clean. We make offerings to the Ma, made them an offering too.

7. Temple runs an annashetra where free food is served to all devotees. Very tasty food and well organised. Enjoyed the prasad. It is minutes away from the temple.

8. About 20 kms from Kolhapur is Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum. “Maintained by the Kadsidheshwar Math, it displays ancient India, and in particular the age-old self-sufficient rural system, some of the peculiar festivals observed ages ago, a typical bazaar and much more, all in sculptural form.”

9. Enjoying with music. The sculptures-wax images are so well made, thought they were people for real. This place is worth a visit.

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