KARVIR, the modern Kolhapur, the abode of the great goddess Mahalakshmi, was well known allover India as a holy place from ancient times. Pilgrims from far and near have continued to flock here in their thousands every year during the last thousand years, may be even earlier. So great was indeed its repute that it was known as ’Dakshin Kashi,’ the Kashi of the south. And as the legend goes it weighed in importance more than Kashi itself. It so happened that once upon a time Shiva and Mahalakshmi were discussing their respective habitats. In the course of these talks a dispute arose as to which was more important, Kashi the abode of Shiva or Karvir that of Mahalakshmi. Both agreed to go to Vishnu for settling the controversy. The Lord of Vaikunth picked up a pair of scales, placed Kashi in one pan, Karvir in the other, and it need hardly be told that Karvir proved to be heavier of the two. Be it as it may, one thing is’ certain, Kolhapur is a sacred spot of Hinduism since historical times.
Author - Madhukar Shripad Mate