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Temples & Legends Of Maharashtra
Index Of Maharastra Preface
Kulapati's Preface The Author
Morgaon - Moreshvar

Kolhapur - Mahalakshmi

Tuljapur - Bhavani Ganagapur - Dattatreya
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KOLHAPUR-MAHALAKSHMI

Leaving the prakara and returning to the central shrine, an extremely noteworthy fact is, that although it is Mahalakshmi that is the chief deity, the tirth as anciently known consists of four elements. They are, the Mahalakshmi, the Mahakali, the Niahasaraswati and Kanka Bhairav. Saraswati Purana, dating back to the thirteenth century A.D. mentions that Solanki Jayasimha Siddharaj of Anhilwad (1093-1142 A.D.) erected at his capital, on the lake Siddha Sarovar, a pith which was expressly a copy of the one at Karvir. This pith consisted of Mahalakshmi, Mahakali, Kolla and Kanka-Bhairav. Mahalakshmi the chief goddess was to the east, Kolla to the north. The present Mahasaraswati,it seems, occupies the place of the Puranic Kolla and was known by that name. Kanka Bhairav is nowhere in the immediatevicinity of the present shrine. But the Ranka Bhairav near the Rankala lake is identified by scholars with the ancient Kanka Bhairav. A similar replica of the Kolhapur pith was established at Dodda-Gaddavlila, although in place of Mahasaraswati there is Vishnu and BhutaDath for Bhairav. At Gorepalle in Andhra also is there such a pith. No better evidence of the high esteem in which this particular deity was regarded during the early medieval ages is required. The devotees not only came to visit the Goddess at her own habitat, but installed her replicas, tried to recreate the pith, so as to be constantly in her presence.

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Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur : General View
About Kolhapur
Introduction
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