Karveerpur (Kolhapur) Mahalakshmi temple history (information) | What is the story behind Mahalakshmi (Kolhapur) Temple? | Who made the (constructed) Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur? | What is the history of Ambabai?
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Just before going to “Karveerpur (Kolhapur) Mahalakshmi temple history (information) | What is the story behind Mahalakshmi (Kolhapur) Temple? | Who made the (constructed) Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur? | What is the history of Ambabai?“, let us have some brief information.
In ancient times (Sanskrit name) Karveerpur or Karvirpur (Kolhapur) was known करवीरपुर (Karavīrapura) (Kraveerapura). In Maharashtra Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi Devi is also called as Ambabai.
About Kolhapur or Karvirpur (This Karaveerapura is today’s Kolhapur in Maharashtra):
Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi Devi temple is located around 58 kms from Miraj town, Sangli district, Maharashtra, India.
In Skanda Purana this place is referred as Karaveerapura / करवीरपुर / ಕರವೀರಪುರ / karavīrapura.
Legend says, Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi Devi came and stayed here at this very place because of the anger caused by Brighu Maharshi when he hits Lord Sri Vishnu’s chest (Vakshasthala) (वक्षस्थल) (Vakṣasthaḷa).
Inside this same chest, the most divine chest of Lord Sri Vishnu, his loving consort (wife) Goddess Sri Mahalaxmi Devi is staying.
And thus, Lord Sri Vishnu is known as ‘श्रीवत्स / ಶ್ರೀವತ್ಸ / śrīvatsa / Srivasta’. Here Srivasta = Sri + Vasta = Mahalakshmi Devi + Divine mole.
The statue of the Goddess Sri Mahalaxmi is made of gemstone and is considered to be at least 5000 to 6000 years old. It weighs about 40 kilos.
During ‘Deva-Daanava yuddha’ (Fight between Gods and Demons), few asuras (demons) fearing about Devatas (Demigods), ran away in all directions.
Amongst them one asura (demon) who was called as ‘Kolla’, reached ‘Gomantaka parvata’ (hill) and was giving problems and causing nuisance to the people and especially to young and unmarried ladies.
Also, this Kolla was kidnapping the young ladies forcibly.
As the problems and nuisance created by this asura (demon) and his group mates was up to the intolerant heights, this made Maharshi Agastya and Maharshi Gautama to approach Lord Sri Vishnu and they requested Lord Sri Vishnu to kill that asura (demon).
Lord Sri Vishnu ordered Goddess Sri Mahalaskhmi Devi to go to Karaveerapura (Karvirpur) and there Goddess Sri Mahalaxmi Devi killed that asura (demon) Kolla and stayed back in that place itself.
(Here we should note that, this is only ‘रमा-नारायण’ (Ramaa-Narayana) vidambana / pastime / leela / drama and it is only to teach lessons to the ordinary people.)
मायावी परमानंदं त्यक्त्वा वैकुंतमुत्तमं । स्वामिपुष्करिणी तीरे रमया सहमोदते ।
ಮಾಯಾವೀ ಪರಮಾನಂದಂ ತ್ಯಕ್ತ್ವಾ ವೈಕುಂತಮುತ್ತಮಂ | ಸ್ವಾಮಿಪುಷ್ಕರಿಣೀ ತೀರೇ ರಮಯಾ ಸಹಮೋದತೇ |
māyāvī paramānandaṁ tyaktvā vaikuntamuttamaṁ | svāmipuṣkariṇī tīrē ramayā sahamōdatē |
Thus, in this way, Lord Sri Vishnu reached bhuloka (earth), pretending to search for Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi Devi and came ‘Narayanadri parvata’ (Today’s Tirumala / Tirupati hills) near ‘Swami Pushkarini’.
In Narayanadri, Lord Sri Adishesha Naaga is in the ‘parvata roopa’ (in the form of hill).
Venkatadri (Another name of Tirumala / Tirupati hills) is Lord Sri Adishesha Naaga head, Ahobala parvata (hill) is the center of Lord Sri Adishesha Naaga’s body.
Similarly, Srishailam parvata is Lord Sri Adishesha Naaga’s tail, the entire Sheshachala (today’s Tirupati hills / Tirumala) is in the form of ‘sarpaakruti’ (shape of a serpent).
This hill has all plants, trees, fruits, etc., all animals like lion, tiger, Hamsa (Hansa), sharaba, pig, gaja / elephant, parrot, kasturimruga, ashva / horse, Go / cows, all pushpas / flowers, etc.
All the trees are Devatas (Demigods), all the animals are Rishis and Munis, and all birds are pitru devatas.
More information about Kolhapur (Karveerpur) (Karaveerapura) is as given below:
There was a great and divine Sanyasi (Saint) (Pontiff) in South India, who name was Guru Sri Vadiraja Tirtha.
He has written a divine grantha (text) about the ancient pilgrimage places of all over India, including Kolhapur (Karvirpur) (Karaveerapura) as given below:
अमानवनजस्थानसरसीकुलसंकुले | रमा कोळ्हापुरक्षेत्रे वसतीति किमद्भुतम् || ८४ ||
ಅಮಾನವನಜಸ್ಥಾನಸರಸೀಕುಲಸಂಕುಲೆ | ರಮಾ ಕೊಲ್ಹಾಪುರಕ್ಷೇತ್ರೇ ವಸತೀತಿ ಕಿಮದ್ಭುತಮ್ || ೮೪ ||
amānavanajasthānasarasīkulasaṅkule | ramā kol’hāpurakṣētrē vasatīti kimadbhutam || 84 ||
Meaning of the above shloka : Is it any wonder that Goddess Sri Ramaa Devi (Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi Devi) resides in the Kolhapur region, a place filled with several lakes each with several divine lotuses?
Kolhapur Kshetra (place of pilgrimage) is a very Dharmic and pious pilgrimage place and is about 60 km from Meeraj in Maharashtra.
The place has several lakes, and is called as ‘Pancha Ganga Theertham’, i.e., due to the presence of five divine rivers namely Shiva (शिवा), Bhadra (भद्रा), Bhogavati (भोगवती), Kumbhi (कुम्भी) and Saraswati (सरस्वती).
(Note : Here ‘Pancha Ganga Theertham’ means, a divine and auspicious place where five pious rivers are present.)
All these five rivers are filled with of divine lotus flowers. Lotus flowers have special ‘sannidhanam’ (presence) of Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi Devi.
Another great Sanyasi (Saint) (Pontiff) called Sri Madhwacharya Ji has mentioned this place in his grantha (text) called ‘Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya’.
Sri Madhwacharya Ji has highlighted that it was at this place that Lord Sri Krishna killed ‘shrugaala-Vaasudeva’ (शृगाल वासुदेव) (śr̥gāla vāsudēva).
ध्याताध्यातान्त शान्त प्रिय जनविभवायान्वहं या ह्रुदन्तः | ख्याताख्या तादृशाभ्युन्न तिवितरणशक्त्यालया या पयोब्देः |
जाताजातादि देवव्रजमनुजततेः श्रेयसे भूयसे सा | माता मातापसाराधितपद कमलाsधोक्षजप्रेयसी स्यात् || ८५ ||
ಧ್ಯಾತಾಧ್ಯಾತಾನ್ತ ಶಾಂತ ಪ್ರಿಯ ಜನವಿಭವಾಯಾನ್ವಹಂ ಯಾ ಹ್ರುದಂತಃ | ಖ್ಯಾತಾಖ್ಯಾ ತಾದೃಶಾಭ್ಯುನ್ನ ತಿವಿತರಣಶಕ್ತ್ಯಾಲಯಾ ಯಾ ಪಯೋಬ್ದೇಃ |
ಜಾತಾಜಾತಾದಿ ದೇವವ್ರಜಮನುಜತತೇಃ ಶ್ರೇಯಸೇ ಭೂಯಸೇ ಸಾ | ಮಾತಾ ಮಾತಾಪಸಾರಾಧಿತಪದ ಕಮಲಾಧೋಕ್ಷಜಪ್ರೇಯಸೀ ಸ್ಯಾತ್ || ೮೫ ||
dhyātādhyātānta śānta priya janavibhavāyānvahaṁ yā hrudantaḥ | khyātākhyā tādr̥śābhyunna tivitaraṇaśaktyālayā yā payōbdēḥ |
jātājātādi dēvavrajamanujatatēḥ śrēyasē bhūyasē sā | mātā mātāpasārādhitapada kamalādhōkṣajaprēyasī syāt || 85 ||
Meaning of this above shloka : May Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi Devi, one who is meditated upon in the heart by those knowledgeable devotees who are worn out due to anguish in their hearts for want to wealth.
She is known by many famous names, she has the ability to grant opulence appropriate with the names she is known by.
She is the one who has emerged from the ‘kshirasagaram’ (during churning of ocean / Amrit Manthan).
She is the one who is the mother for ‘chaturmukha brahma’, who emerged from the Lord Sri Vishnu’s navel, and other Devatas (Demigods) and humans, one who has lotus like feet that are worshipped by Devatas (Demigods) and Munis (monks), be the reason for me having abundant prosperity!
Who made the (constructed) Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur (history)?
The temple architecturally belongs to the Chalukya Empire and was first built in the 7th century (as per modern era). This temple reference is present in many Puranas including Skanda Purana.
There are proofs and evidences to show that Konkan king Kamadeva, many Chalukyas, Shilaharas, Yadavas of Devagiri dynasty visited this city and temple.
Sri Madhwacharya Ji, Sri Adi Shankaracharya Ji also visited this temple. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj were Kings to this place and they also visited the temple on regular basis.
In 109 CE, Karnadeva cut down the withered forest and brought the temple to light. According to Bhandarkar and Khare the existence goes back to the 8th century.
A book named ‘Itihasa Chakra’ suggests that this temple dates back to the Mahajanapada period. In the 8th century, the temple was submerged due to an earthquake.
In the 9th century, King Gandavadiks expanded the temple complex by building a Mahakali temple. During the period 1178-1209, during the reign of Raja Jaysingh and Sindhav, the Dakshina Dwar and the Atibaleshwar Temple were built.
Due to the atrocities Mughal reign, the devotees had hidden the Goddess Sri Mahalaskhmi deity for protection.
During the reign of Chhatrapati Sambhaji II, Narahar Bhat Shastri had a dream of Goddess Sri Mahalaxmi Devi, whose location he informed to Chhatrapati.
Chhatrapati Sambhaji believed the words of the Sangavarkar and started searching Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi deity. The deity was found in a house in Kapila Tirtha Market in the city.
According to Chhatrapati Sambhaji’s letter dated 8 November 1723, Sindhoji Hindurao Ghorpade of Panhala re-installed the deity of Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi on 26 September 1712 (Monday, Ashwin month, Vijaya Dashami day).
The number of devotees of Goddess Sri Mahalaxmi Devi grew day by day and in time, the Goddess became the presiding deity of Maharashtra and the whole of India.
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