Golden Temple Vellore

Golden Temple Vellore

Golden Temple Vellore

The religious center of Sripuram, famous Golden Temple Vellore is located among the small green mountains in an area called Malaikodi at Vellore city in Tamil Nadu state, India. It is located at the south part of Vellore city, at the place of Tirumalaikodi. Located 8km south of the city of Vellore at Thirumalaikodi, the golden temple’s chief deity is ‘Sri Lakshmi Narayani’ where devotees from all religions are welcome to visit the temple and have darshan. The Sri Lakshmi Narayani temple inside Sripuram held its consecration (maha kumbhabhishekam) on 24 August 2007.

It is a sight to behold. Constructed by Sri Narayani Peedam and headed by Sri Sakthi Amma, a spiritual leader, the grand temple boasts of spectacular art work.

History of Golden Temple Vellore

The Sripuram Golden Temple is situated in 100 acres of lush landscape in the middle of the star-shaped path so that it absorbs more energy from nature, which creates an inner peace and relaxation to the devotees. Devotees walking through star-path were blessed to read the  messages of truth and justice, which allows them to develop and turn into powerful  creatures. The ultimate goal is to change in people.

Sripuram Golden Temple was built in a period of 7 years which is very short time. The Golden temple was inaugurated August 24, 2007 consecration ceremony was witnessed by thousands of devotees. The golden temple has attracted thousands of devotees. The entire temple was covered with 9 to 15 layers of gold foil. The temple is decorated with sculptures of the human person, richly decorated with columns and a roof.

Significance of Golden Temple Vellore

  • The significance characteristics of Sripuram are temple of Mahalakshmi or temple of Lakshmi Narayan who is Ardha Mandapam and Vimanam is coated with pure gold including both interior as well as exterior.
  • Renowned temple of Sri Lakshmi, prevalently called Golden temple, is recently constructed.
  • It has been designed by Vellore-based Sri Narayani Peedam, advancing by religious head Sri Sakthi Amma also known as Narayani Amma. The forehead with gold protecting has complex designs and art forms in silver.
  • The illumination is organized in such a way that the forehead papers even during evening. The development of the forehead was finished on Aug 24, 2007. More than 1500 kg of gold was used to build this forehead.
  • Every individual details was personally created, such as transforming the gold sections into gold foils and then increasing on the gold foils on birdwatcher.
  • Sripuram design symbolizes a star-shaped path(Sri chakra), in the center of the lushgreen surroundings, with a duration of over 1.8 km.
  • Sahasra deepam or 1008 lamps is a sacred installation here.
  • Messages by ‘Amma’ have been laid out along the path to the temple with messages from the Gita, Bible and Quran.

Timings of Golden Temple Vellore

  • The temple opens day at 4.00 AM and complete at 8.00 PM.
  • Abishekam starts from 4.00 AM to 8.00 AM.
  • General Dharshan starts from 8.00 AM to 8.00 PM.
  • Aarthi Seva starts from 6.00 PM to 7.00 PM.

How to reach Golden Temple Vellore

  • By air: airports of Bangalore and Chennai are the nearest airports with regular flights.
  • By rail: The nearest railway station is Vellore katpadi Jn railway station, which is only 12 km distance from Sripuram.
  • By road: there are many buses run from Bangalore, Chennai, Tirupati and some other main cities. Having reached at Vellore city new bus terminal , many buses run to Sripuram and some of the town buses run from old bus stand (fort) go to Sripuram (Golden Temple).

Hotels near Golden Temple Vellore

  • Hotel Gold located in the heart of the city on national highway no.1, is a renowned hotel that has a promising atmosphere and well suited accommodations.
  • Hotel Khanna Fiesta at Anna Sallai , Vellore is another place to check in during your visit. It is rather popular for its complementing decor and accommodations.
  • Hotel Surabi at Officer’s Lane also is reviewed to be a great place to tuck in. It has great staff and room service that has received much praise.

Places nearby Golden Temple Vellore

  • Vellore Fort was built during the 16th century AD by the Aravindu Dynasty of the Vijaynagar Empire. Later the fort’s ownership passed through the various dynasties like the Marathas, Bijapur Sultans, the Carnatic Nawabs and the British. The massive ramparts and moats have made the fort a strategic location, it was also known to have Tipu Sultan’s family and the last king of Sri Lanka as prisoners during the time of the British. The fort complex contains a church, a temple and a mosque.
  • Jalakandeswarar Temple is located within the Vellore fort complex and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Temple is one of the amazing specimens of the Dravidian architecture and houses one of the most intricately carved stone pillars. The temple also has a huge 7 tiered gopuram and adorned with various intricate carvings.
  • The Srilakshmi Golden Temple is also known by the name Lakshmi Narayani temple. The amazing feature of the temple is pretty evident as the whole structure is coated in gold leaf.
  • Yelagiri is a small hill station in Vellore. The town is located in the middle of flowery meadows, tea estates and orchards. The various lakes and waterfalls in Yelagiri attract a huge number of tourists.

Essentials of Lakshmi Pooja

Essentials of Lakshmi Pooja

Lakshmi Pooja is a devout festival that falls on Amavasya, the third day of Deepawali. Devotees show veneration to the Goddess Laxmi by placing small oil lamps or candles inside and outside their homes. They pray for prosperity and well-being for their families and businesses. According to legend, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and Lord Vishnu’s  wife, visits her devotees and bestows gifts and blessings upon each of them. To welcome the Goddess, devotees clean their houses, decorate them with finery and lights, and prepare sweet treats and delicacies as offerings. They believe the happier the goddess is with the visit, the more she blesses the family with health, wealth and prosperity.

Hence, here are a few fundamentals of Lakshmi Pooja which needs to be followed in order to make the goddess happy.


  • The pooja begins by laying down a piece of new cloth on a raised platform. A handful of grains are placed in the center of the cloth and a kalasha (vase) made of either of these metals i.e. gold, silver, or copper is placed over it. Three-quarters of the kalasha is filled with water and betel nut, a flower, a coin, and some rice grains are added to it. Leaves from a mango tree are used to decorate the vase. On top of which is kept a coconut.


  • Another silver vase is kept filled with coins and beside it is placed the idols of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati. Beside this is kept the account books, in order to be worshipped.
  • A lamp is lit and the pooja initiates by offering turmeric, kumkum, and lotus flowers to the Goddess Lakshmi. Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped by reciting the Vedic mantras addressed to her:
  1. Aum Aing Saraswathye Namah Aum
  2. Saraswati Namasthubhyam Varade Kamarupini Vidhyarambam Karishyami Siddhir Bavathume Sadha
  3. Om Aing Mahasaraswatyai Namah
  4. Vad Vad Vaagwaadinee Swaha


  • The idol of Lakshmi is placed in a plate and is bathed with water, panchamrita (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar) and then with water containing a gold ornament or a pearl. The idol is cleaned and placed back on the kalasha. Alternately, flowers, water and panchamrita are sprinkled on the idol.
  • Also, drawing footprints of Lakshmi towards pooja house is said to bring in prosperity and happiness.


  • Offerings such as sandal paste, garland of cotton beads, saffron paste, turmeric, kumkum are made to the Goddess. An offering of sweets, coconut, fruits, and tambul is also made later.
  • Towards the end of the ritual, Aarti  is performed which is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.

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Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai

Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai

Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai – The sanctum of divinity and prosperity

Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is one of the distinguished shrines of the city, located at the Bhulabhai Desai road. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is an abode of peace amidst the hectic metro life.

Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai

Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai History

Constructed in 1771 AD, this shrine has several folklore surrounding it. It is believed that the three deities of Goddesses Mahalakshmi were immersed into the Arabian Sea, near Worli to prevent destruction of the idols by the Muslim invaders.

Later, during the British rule, Lord Horneby planned to join the two hill creeks of Worli and Malbar and Shri Ramji Shivji Prabhu was appointed as the chief for the task. Shri Ramji along with his colleagues tried several times but failed to connect the creeks due to the waves. One night Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared in his dreams and instructed him to bring out the immersed idols from the creeks of Worli and place them on the top of a hillock. Shri Ramji did the same and after that, he was able to construct the bridge. Later he built the temple on the hillock where the deities are still worshiped with great pomp.

Significance of the temple

When in the city, the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is a must visit due to the unique characteristics that it comes with:

  • The Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai houses three different incarnations of Adi Shakti; Shree Maha Kali or Ma Durga, the destroyer of evil, Shree Mahalakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and Shree Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. Goddess Mahalakshmi is found to be mounted on a tiger.
  • The months of March-April and September-October are auspicious here as at this time, the holy rays of the rising sun fall on the deities.
  • The Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai complex is impressive with multiple statues. While the 10.6 metres high wooden plank is wrapped with silver, the stone deepmala gains a divine aura when lit during the aarti.
  • The Sabhamandap of the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is grand. It is spacious and airy with an area of 12.10*9.10. At the heart of the sanctum stands a statue of silver plated lion, facing the three goddesses. The 27 apex tops of the Sabhamandap is spectacular while there are couple of wooden idols of Jay and Vijay, which are also covered with silver, at the main entrance of the Gabhara, also known as the sanatorium. There are also idols of Lord Ganapati, Vithal and Goddess Rukhamini at the gateway of the Gabhara. The Gabhara is also spacious with an area of 11*11 metres. The Gabhara also comes with a Laxmi Yantram, also known as Shree Yantra; it is a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
  • The deities are seated on a beautifully crafted throne, known as Simhasan; part of which is plated with silver. Images of elephants and peacocks are designed at the front pillars of the throne. The ceiling of the temple, also known as kalash is 15 metres high.
  • The three idols of the goddesses are beautifully decorated with jewellery, like pearl necklaces, gold bangles, earrings and nose pins while the garlands and cluster of flowers; a true symbol of wealth and prosperity.
  • The intricate designs and large statues of the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai reflect gorgeous Indian architectural style while the backdrop of the Arabian Sea creates a perfectly divine atmosphere.

Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai Timings

Fridays are special days to visit the temple.  Day starts early at the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai and as the devotees state gathering at the shrine, the temple complex fills with the sound of bells, aroma of incense and fresh flowers.

  • You can visit the temple from 6 am to 10 pm.
  • Aarti is performed three times in a day:
  • Morning aarti is from 7 am to 7.20 am.
  • There are two types of evening aarti done here. Dhoop aarti is done from 6.30 pm to 6.40 pm and the main aarti is done from 7.30 pm to 7.50 pm.
  • Night aarti is known as Shejarti. It is done at the time of closure of the temple, at 10 pm.

There is no entry fee to the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai. Photography is also not permitted within the temple complex.

Festivals Celebrated At the Temple

Dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi and her incarnations, every festival dedicated to the goddess is celebrated here.

  • Navaratri: Navaratri is celebrated two times at the Mahalakshmi temple of Mumbai. Chaitra Navaratri is celebrated during Hindu month of Chaitra, the months of March and April. Ashwin Navaratri is celebrated during the Hindu month of Ashwin, the months of September and October. The temple is beautifully decorated with colourful lights, bright flowers, fresh garlands, from the Gabhara to the main gateway.

To accommodate huge rush of devotees, the temple committee makes special arrangements; pandals are erected along with railings at the adjoining footpaths from where the devotees can view the three idols.

  • Diwali: Diwali, the festival of lights is a time of joy at the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai. Celebrated at winters, during the months of October and November, this festival is celebrated for three to four days here. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped at this time and rush of devotees is no less than that of Navaratri.
  • Annakut: Celebrated on the day of Kartik Purnima, this is an auspicious occasion. 56 kinds of sweets and food platters are dedicated to the goddesses, known as ‘naivedya.’ After worshipping Mahalakshmi, the sweets and food items are distributed among the devotees. There is a mass gathering at Mahalakshmi temple this day, as 500 pilgrims are treated with food, known as Prasad.
  • Margashirsh Month: The months of December and January are considered holy and devotees, especially women gather at the Mahalakshmi temple to offer their prayers to the goddesses. People sit in front of the Sabha Mandap as the deities are worshipped.
  • Palkhi of Mataji: The day of Marathi New Year occurs at the Hindu month of Chaitra (March or April) and is a special day, known as Gudhi Padwa. The goddesses are carried on a palanquin and the large procession is a colourful affair. This procession also takes place on the anniversary of the construction of the Dhwjasthambha, which adorns the front of the shrine. The Dhwjasthambha has been dedicated to Jayendra Saraswati Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamkoti.

Besides these major festivals, Durga Ashtami, Vaat Purnima, Purnima, Guru Purnima, Nag Panchami and Gauri Poojan are some of the events performed annually.

Poojas and Rituals

Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is an ideal place to witness the unique Hindu rituals; while the holy chants create a pious environment here, the sacred fire of havans is believed to purify the hearts. You can get all the necessary items for worship at the stalls which crowd both the sides of the temple. From flowers, garlands, puja accessories to incense sticks and sweets, everything is available here.

  • Special Havan: Besides the regular pooja, devotees can arrange special havans within the temple complex.
  • Monthly Havan: These havans are performed by the temple trust on every ‘Ashtami.’
  • Mahapooja: Devotees can request this type of havan on their desired day.
  • Abhishek: This is a regular ritual performed every day at the Mahalakshmi temple.
  • Archan: This is also a part of regular worship at the temple.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

Located at the heart of the Mumbai metropolitan, the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is easily accessible from all parts of the city and also from other cities of the country. From low-cost buses to premium cabs, transportation to the Mahalakshmi temple is easy.

  • By Air: the nearest airport to the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, located at 14 km from the temple. Besides international flights, this airport also connects domestic flights from Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and other major cities of the country.
  • By Train: The nearest railway station to the temple is the Mahalakshmi railway station. The temple is located within 1 km of the railway station. Local trains from Virar and Churchgate (on the western line), from Karjat or Kasara to CST (the central line) and Panvel to CST (Harbour Line) are some of the regular trains to the Mahalakshmi temple. People travelling on the western line or from Kasara and Karjat, need to take another train from Dadar to the Mahalakshmi station.
  • By Road: The BEST buses and the cabs are the most convenient road transport to reach the Mahalakshmi temple. If you are travelling from parts of South Mumbai, like Colaba, Nariman Point, Charni Road or Grant Road or from Central Mumbai, then the temple is easily accessible.

Where to stay

Mumbai being one of the most important cities of India has both budget and premium hotels, located near the Mahalakshmi temple. From private hotels to lodges, devotees from all round the world can spend some hassle free time at these hotels. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the location of the hotels is impressive.

Where to eat

Besides the Prasad served at the temple, there are numerous food stalls near the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai. Most of the eateries serve vegetarian food. Both budget friendly eateries and luxurious restaurants are available near the temple. If people want to change the taste, they also have the option of Mughlai, Continental and Chinese cuisines at these restaurants.

Nearby Temples

There are several shrines around Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai:

  • Dhakleshwar Temple: Also located at the Bhulabhai Desai Road, this Hindu temple is one of the oldest temples of Mumbai. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple with its lashing water body is spectacular.
  • Kali Mata Mandir: Dedicated to Goddess Kali, this temple worships the Goddess following unique Hindu rituals and hence is worth a visit. This temple is located at Borivali East, near the Western Express Highway.
  • Param Rameshwaram Mahadev Mandir: This temple offers a soulful atmosphere with its quiet surroundings. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Maha Shivratri is one of the major festivals celebrated at the temple.
  • The Haji Ali Dargah is also located near the Makalakshmi Temple. Located on an islet off the coast of Worli, it is known to fulfil the wishes of devotees.
  • Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple: located in Nashik district of Maharashtra, the Trimbakeshwar temple is easily accessible from Mumbai. It is one of the most popular temples of the state after Mahalakshmi temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of the God.

Hence, Mahalakshmi temple along with its classic surroundings provides you with a unique experience, quite different from the glitters of the city of Mumbai. Besides worshipping the goddess of wealth, devotees can also enjoy shopping at the nearby Heera Panna and Atria shopping mall.

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple

The Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple, also known as the Amba Bai Temple is located in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. The Temple is extremely sacred, especially to the followers of the Shakta sect who worship Adi Parashakti as their main deity. The Goddess Adi Parashakti is considered as the “Supreme Being”.  She is the original creator, observer and the destroyer of the Universe. She created the trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva along with Goddess Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati. She is believed to be the Goddess of Nature itself. The Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple is believed to be one of the eighteen Maha Shakti Peethas as described in the Ashta Dasa Shakti Peetha Stotram written by Sri Adi Shankaracharya.

As per the beliefs of the Shaktism sect, in the Srimad Devi Bhagwat Purana, Adi Parashakti addresses herself as the “owner of the universe, absolute reality, dynamic in feminine form and static in the masculine form”. She anoints Lord Brahma as the generator of the universe. She makes Goddess Saraswati (Adi Parashakti’s avatar) the goddess of wisdom and knowledge and partners her with Lord Brahma. She creates Lord Narayana (Vishnu) and addresses him as the immortal preserver of the universe. She mentions that he will take different avatars to preserve the continuity of life. He will be accompanied by Goddess Mahalakshmi, a form of Adi Parashakti herself. Lord Narayana will be the supreme of deities with form. Lastly, she instructed Lord Rudra to be the personification of time. She anointed the task of destroying and regenerating the universe. She took the form of Mahakali or Parvati as his consort. Mahakali will destroy evils from the universe.

The greatness of Goddess Adi Parashakthi is described in several other sacred ancient manuscripts such as Devi Mahatmyam, Shiva Purana, Vishnu Purana, and the Shakta Purana. At the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple, the Goddess Adi Parashakti is present in the form of Goddess Mahalakshmi, consort of Lord Vishnu.

The Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple architecture follows the “Hemadpanthi” style. The Temple Complex consists of five huge towers and the main hall. The biggest spire is above the sanctum housing Goddess Mahalakshmi. The North and the South domes house Goddess Mahakali and MahaSaraswati respectively. The Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple also houses a Shree Yantra which geometrically represents the three Goddesses. The Temple has four entrances but the main entrance called the Mahadwaar lies towards the West. It is believed that the Mahadwaar was built by Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself. The Sheshashahi Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Navagraha Temple, Vithal Temple, and Rakhumai Temple are all present in the complex.  Towards the southern side, several shrines dedicated to Kalbhairav, Siddhivinayak, Radhakrishna, Annapurna, Indrasabha and Rameshwar are present.

Above the main sanctum, on the second level, a shrine dedicated to Lord Ganapathi is present. A Shiva Linga called the Matulinga can also be seen along with a stone Nandi.

The form of the Goddess worshiped in the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple is unique and a sight to behold. Unlike the usual calm representation of Goddess Lakshmi sitting on a Lotus, the idol of Goddess Mahalakshmi is 3 feet tall and weighs 40 kilos. The idol is in a standing posture with four arms. In the lower right hand, she holds a Mhalunga (a kind of Citrus fruit). In the upper right hand, she holds a large mace and in the lower left hand, she holds a bowl. In the upper left hand, she holds a shield, locally called as a Khetaka.  A stone Lion, the Vahana for the Goddess stands behind her. The crown of the Goddess contains the image of a Sheshnag, representing Lord Vishnu. A Shiva Linga is also carved on the crown but is not visible to the devotees as it lies buried under the Goddess’s ornaments.

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple History

  • The initial Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple was very small and enshrined only Goddess Mahalakshmi. Successive additions and renovations were done by several dynasties who ruled the area of Kolhapur. The Chalukyas, Shilaharas, and the Yadavas played a major role in the extension and renovation of the Temple Complex.
  • The written records for the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple history date back to the Chalukya period 550 AD to 660 AD. It is commonly agreed that the original Temple was built during this particular period by the Chalukyas as also evident from the distinctive architecture style. However, an earthquake in the 8th century destroyed most of the ancient structure. Some portions survived and can be seen till date.
  • The Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple was unknown to the world for a long time as it was covered by tall forests. Eventually, the Konkan King Karnadeo discovered the Temple’s existence in 109 AD.
  • King Gandaraditya of the Shilahara dynasty (11th century) built the path on which the devotees circumambulate the main sanctum. He also built the two shrines dedicated to Goddess Mahakali and Maha Saraswati. It is believed that the Matulinga installed on the second level of the main sanctum was installed during the Yadava reign.
  • The Eastern entrance of the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple Complex has an inscription dating back to the Maratha reign in the 18th century. It states that renovation work was carried out by the Dhabades and the Gaikwads who were ruling the area at that time.
  • In 1941, Shrimant Jahagirdar Babasaheb Ghatge installed the idols of the nine planets in the Navagraha Temple. The five domes or spires were constructed comparatively recently by Sri Shankaracharya of Sankeshwar in the 19th century. The Garud Mandap was built under Daji Pandit between 1838 – 1843. The Kurma Mandap and the Ganapati Chowk is believed to have been built by the Yadava dynasty.
  • There are several legends associated with the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple. One of the legends mentioned in the Karavira Mahatmya mentions that a demon by the name of Kolha resided at the place which was previously called as Padmavathi Pura. When he went for penance to Lord Brahma, another demon by the name of Sukesi occupied his kingdom. He killed Sukesi and made his son Karaveera as the king. However, Karaveera was killed by Lord Shiva in a battle. In the thirst for revenge, he practiced penance to Goddess Mahalakshmi (another form of Parvati or the Adi Parashakti) and asked her not to enter the city for 100 years. She obliged and left. Kolha terrorized people and other Devas and took up residence in Swarga. The Gods requested Mahalakshmi to return to the city and annihilate the demon. After 100 years, Goddess Mahalakshmi returned and with the help of all the other Gods and Goddesses, killed the demon Kolha. Before his death, Kolha apologized and requested for three boons which the Goddess granted. He wanted to name the city as Kolhapur, the Goddess should stay here and protect the city and lastly the place should become a Siddha Kshetra.
  • Another popular legend associated with the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple is that of Goddess Mahalakshmi associated with Lord Vishnu. At the onset of the Kaliyuga, Lord Vishnu decided to leave Venkatdri for Vaikuntam. Lord Brahma was saddened and asked Narada to convince Vishnu to return. Narada went to the banks of Ganga where he saw Rishi Bhrigu performing a Yagna. Rishi Bhrigu was unable to decide the benefactor of the Yagna. He went to Satyalokam and found that Lord Brahma was busy chanting Vedas, uttering names of Narayana and looking at Saraswati. He went to Kailasam and found that Lord Shiva was busy sporting with Goddess Parvathi. He went to Vaikuntam and found that Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi were reclining unmindful of his visit. He grew angry and kicked Vishnu on his chest. Lord Vishnu immediately got up and massaged Rishi’s foot all the while enquiring whether he was hurt. Rishi was impressed by his composure and decided to dedicate the Yagna to Lord Vishnu. However, Goddess Lakshmi was very angry over what occurred and left Vaikuntam to Karavirapura (Kolhapur).

Significance of the Temple

  • The Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple is considered to be one of the sacred eighteen Maha Shakti Peethams that are situated in the Indian peninsula. The Temple is an important pilgrimage site especially for believers of the Shaktism sect. These Temples or the Peethams are mentioned and praised in the Ashta Dasa Peetha Stotram by Adi Shankaracharya.  It is believed that worshiping at the Peethams will provide protection to the devotee forever against all evils along with abundant good health and fortune.
  • It is believed that Lord Dattatreya comes and visits Goddess Mahalakshmi every noon to seek her blessings.
  • It is a belief that the darshan of Sri Balaji at the Tirumala Devasthanam in Andhra Pradesh is incomplete without visiting Goddess Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur.
  • The idol of the deity Goddess Mahalakshmi is believed to be made of precious gemstones and dates back by 5000 years. The idol is carved out of a single stone and weighs abut 40 kilos.
  • The idol of the deity faces west, unlike most temples where the main deity faces either the east or the north. A window is present on the west wall of the sanctum, through which the rays of the setting sun illuminates the deity’s face, body and feet twice every year. The occasion is considered to be extremely auspicious and lasts for three days each time.
  • The region of Karveer, the ancient name of Kolhapur is mentioned in the Puranas as Avimuktakshetra. It means that the region is eternally blessed by Lord Vishnu and Goddess Mahalakshmi who will reside here even during the Mahaprayakala or the Pralayam.
  • The Sheshashahi shrine located inside the Temple Complex has figures of the 60 Jain Tirthankaras on the dome. The shrine is believed to be dedicated to the Jain Tirthankara Neminath. However currently, an idol of Lord Vishnu reclining on the Shesha Nag is worshiped here. It is believed that this Temple s also sacred to the followers of Jainism.

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple Timings

  • The Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple opens at 4 AM and closes at 11 PM.
  • The general darshan begins at 4:30 AM and ends at 11 PM.
  • The Timings of the Temple might differ in the months of Karthik (November) and on the Tripuri Poornima.

Dress Code

The Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple does not impose any strict dress code but it is advised to wear decent dresses for the visit. It is recommended that Shorts, Bermuda shorts, and miniskirts are to be avoided.

Poojas and Rituals

The daily schedule of the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple is as below:

  • Ghantanaad – The ringing of the Temple bells starts at 4 AM daily, signalling the beginning of the day and time to wake up.
  • Kakad Aarti – The Kakad Aarti is a form of morning Mangal Aarti which is performed to wake up the deity. Several chants and stotrams are recited to create a holy environment conducive to the waking up of the Goddess. The Kakad Aarti can be witnessed at 4:30 AM in the morning. The Aarti is then performed for The Matulinga, Lord Ganapati, Goddess Mahakali, Goddess Maha Saraswati and to the Shree Yantra.
  • Morning Mahapuja – The bells ring again at 8 AM signaling the beginning of the morning Mahapuja. The Goddess is first bathed with holy water and then decorated with Chandan and flowers. The Golden crown and the Golden footwear are placed on the Goddess amidst the chants of the devotees.
  • Naivaidyam – The process of feeding the Goddess with holy food prepared in the Temple Kitchen starts at 9:30 AM. Preparations of Rice, pulses, fruits and vegetables are decorated around the deity’s feet and worshiped reverently.
  • Afternoon Mahapuja – The ringing of the bells at 11:30 AM indicate the start of the afternoon Mahapuja. Naivedyam is offered to the Goddess mainly consisting of Puranpoli, Rice, Dal, Vegetable, and Koshimbir. Special Poojas are performed in the afternoon with flowers and Kumkum. Panchamrit Abhishekam is performed for the Goddess.
  • Alankar Pooja – The idol of the deity is decorated with Gold Jewellery, Chandan, Kumkum, and Flowers. A traditional Saree is wrapped around the deity and then ornaments like Kundal, Mangalsutra, Kirit, Chains, Kolhapuri Saaj and Tikhar are placed on the deity.
  • Dhup Aarti or the Bhog Aarti – At 7:30 PM, the bell rings again indicating the beginning of the Dhup Aarti. The Goddess is offered holy Naivedyam and evening Aarti is performed. On Friday evenings, Mahanaivedyam is offered to the Goddess.
  • Shej Aarti – The Night Aarti or the Shej Aarti is performed at 10 PM. The ornaments are removed from the deity and milk and sugar is offered. The Goddess is allowed to sleep amidst the chants of the priests.

Festivals celebrated at the Temple

  • Navaratri Mahotsav – The festival is celebrated in a grand manner for a period of ten days in the Hindu month of Ashwini which usually falls in October. A special Abhishekam along with Mahanaivedyam and Aarti is performed every day at 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM. At 9:30 PM every night during the festival, a procession is taken out in a Ratha decorated with lights and flowers. The whole Temple is lit and decorated with thousands of lamps. The Military bands perform music at the start of the procession. The idol of the deity returns to the Garuda Mandap where a one canon salute is performed signaling the end of the day. Several cultural programs are organized by the Temple administration during these days.
  • Lalitha Panchami – The fifth day of Navarathri is celebrated as the Lalitha Panchami in dedication to Goddess Lalitha. She is worshiped as a form of Goddess Shakti. The Goddess is believed to be a form representing the five elements of Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Space. On the special day, after special Abhishekam at 7 AM and 10 AM, the Goddess is given one canon salute. The procession begins at the Temple and moves to the Goddess Tryambuli’s Temple situated at a short distance. The Chhatrapati, royalty of Kolhapur performs the ceremony of Kushmandabali. It involves breaking a Pumpkin into two with a sword symbolizing the destruction of the enemy. The procession returns to the Temple at around 2 PM.
  • Kirnotsav – The unique festive tradition of the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple takes place twice in a year, once on January 31 and next on November 9. Each time, the celebrations last for three days. These days signify the Sun God paying respect to Goddess Mahalakshmi by bowing to her feet. On January 31, February 1 and February 2, the rays of the setting sun fall on the feet, chest and the entire body respectively. The occurrence repeats on 99, 10, and 11 November. Thousands of devotees visit the Temple in the evening to view this phenomenon and get the blessings of the Goddess.
  • Rathotsav – The grand celebration occurs in April every year. The silver figure of the Goddess is taken around in a procession around the Temple between 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM. After giving a one canon salute to the Goddess, the procession moves out of the Temple at 9:30 PM. This is the time for devotees to present their offerings to the Goddess. A Police and a Military band play the music and escort the Ratha which is beautifully decorated with flowers and lights. Rangolis are drawn around the Temple Complex.
  • Deepavali – The grand festival of lights is celebrated in the Temple with great religious pomp. The Temple is decorated with hundreds of lamps and several cultural programs are performed for the devotees in the complex.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

  • By Air – The nearest airport is the Kolhapur Domestic Airport located 10 km away from the Mahalakshmi Temple Complex. The flights to the airport are limited to Belgaum and Pune. However, the Belgaum airport and the Dabolim airport (Panaji, Goa) are located approximately 100 and 140 km away respectively. Buses and Trains are available from these places that connect Kolhapur.
  • By Train – The nearest Railway station is the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus, located about 5 km away from the Temple. The city is well connected to all the major cities in India. Several trains halt at the junction and connect cities like Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Bengaluru, Tirupati, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Dhanbad, and Solapur.
  • By Road – The Maharashtra State Transport Corporation (MSTC) operates regular buses from all major Maharashtrian cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Sholapur to Kolhapur. Buses are also available from Goa and Bengaluru. Several private bus operators also ply buses to Kolhapur from major cities like Bengaluru and Pune.

Where to stay

Several guest houses are available for a stay near the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple complex as well as in other parts of the city. The prices are reasonable. One can book rooms from a wide range of options. Most of the hotels provide decent and hygienic accommodation along with the restaurant facilities. Some of the popular hotels are the Padma Guest House near the Temple, Hotel Jyotiba, Hotel Pearl and the Heritage resort.

Where to eat

A large number of private restaurants are present around the Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple Complex that serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. The Kolhapuri cuisine is quite spicy and popular here and a must for every visitor to try.

One must taste the Kolhapuri Misal dish that is a delightful, authentic and indigenous vegetarian dish eaten with bread. The Tambada Rassa, Roasted Mutton and the Pandra Rassa are must have nonvegetarian dishes in Kolhapur. Besides these delicacies, sweets, especially the Pethas, are very popular in Kolhapur.

Nearby Temples

  • Jyotiba – The Temple is located 17 km from Kolhapur city near Wadi Ratnagiri. It is believed that after defeating Kolhasura, Goddess Mahalakshmi decided to settle in Kolhapur. For the protection of the city, she appointed four guards in the four cardinal directions to protect the region of Kolhapur. The Jyotiba Temple is located on the Northern side. The deity is believed to be the incarnation of the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as well as Jamadagni. It is believed that Jyotiba helped Mahalakshmi in her fight against Kolhasura and the demons.
  • Bhavani Mandap – The small shrine dedicated to Goddess Bhavani is located just a few meters away from the Mahalakshmi Temple. It is a belief that Goddess Bhavani is the sister of Goddess Mahalakshmi and is a guest of Kolhapur. Several Poojas and rituals are performed for the Goddess and it is believed that a visit to the Mahalakshmi Temple is incomplete without visiting Goddess Bhavani.
  • Narsinhwadi or the Narsobachi Wadi – This shrine is located at a distance of 55 km from Kolhapur. Lord Dattatreya, believed to be an incarnation of the holy trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is worshiped here in the form of Shri Narsinh Saraswati. This is also the site of the confluence of two rivers, Panchganga, and Krishna.
  • Bahubali Hill Temple – The shrine dedicated to the Jain Digambara Bahubali is situated 27 km from Kolhapur. The hills are popularly called as Kumbhojgiri. The statue of Bahubali is 28 feet tall and surrounded by shrines dedicated to the 24 Tirthankaras of Jainism. A flight of 400 steps needs to be climbed to reach the main shrine.
  • Kopeshwar Temple – The artistic and sacred Temple is located at a distance of 60 km from Kolhapur. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu can also be visited inside the Temple complex. Both the deities face north. On the outer circumference of the Temple, the complete “Shiva Leelamrit” is carved in stone. The Temple statues are exquisitely carved. The vestibule of the Temple is called Swarga Graham and is open at the top.