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Kolhapur - Devi Mahalakshmi

Kolhapur - Devi Mahalakshmi temple, Kolhapur district, Maharashtra Kolhapur - Devi Mahalakshmi temple, Kolhapur district, MaharashtraMeditation: I meditate on the Karavira Shakti Peetha where the Trinetra (Three Eyes) of Devi had fallen. The Devi there is known as Mahishamardini and the Bhairava is called Krodhisa.
(Peetha Nirnaya Tantra)

Karavira Shakti Peetha: Devi Mahalakshmi temple of Kolhapur is a Shakti Peetha identified with the Karavira Shakti Peetha mentioned in the Peetha Nirnaya Tantra. It is located in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Kolhapur city is situated on the bank of river Panchaganga and is known as Dakshin Kashi.

Trinetra of Devi falling: Karavira is the place where the Trinetra (Three Eyes) of Devi had fallen. The Devi there is known as Mahishamardini and the Bhairava is called Krodhisa. (Peetha Nirnaya Tantra)

Legend of Kolhasura: Kolhapur is associated with the legend of Kolhasura from which the city derives its name. The legend also explains the name Karavira.

Lord Brahma had three mind-born sons - Gaya, Lavana and Kolha. They became very powerful by the blessings of their father as well as Lord Shiva. However because of their atrocities, Gaya and Lavana were killed by Lord Vishnu with the assistance of the gods. The youngest son Kolha became the king of Kolhapur. To take revenge of the death of his brothers, he undertook severe penance at the Kolhagiri mountain. Lord Brahma bestowed on him rich blessings.

During the time when Kolhasura left his capital to perform penance, a demon by name Sukeshi took over the capital. The demon was adharmic by nature and he was bent on uprooting dharma by demolishing temples and ashrams. The gods were waiting for Kolhasura to come back after penance and kill Sukeshi. As expected, when Kolhasura returned to his capital he slewed Sukeshi and installed his eldest son Karavira as the king of Kolhapur.

Karavira was adharmic by nature similar to Sukeshi. Above this he sought to take revenge of the death of his uncles. He started creating havoc by harassing the sages and the brahmins. The sages sought the refuge of the Tridevas Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. In a fierce battle Shiva slew Karavira. Before his death Karavira sought the boon of naming the city after him as Karavira Nagar.

Kolhasura became furious when he heard about the death of his son. He wanted to take revenge of it. He thought that as long as Devi Mahalakshmi resided in the capital he cannot defeat the gods because they derived their power from Her. Therefore Kolhasura undertook severe penance and pleased the Goddess. As a boon he requested Her to leave Kolhapur for a hundred years. The Devi acceded and proceeded towards the Himalayas.

After the departure of the Devi, Kolhasura wrecked havoc with his acts of destruction of dharma. The gods sought the refuge of Tridevas - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They in turn sought the help of the Goddess. The Devi could do nothing due to Her promise till hundred years of Her exile elapsed. When hundred years elapsed, She marched towards Kolhapur with an army of gods assuming Her terrible eighteen-armed form. In the battle that ensued She killed Kolhasura. Before his death, Kolhasura sought three boons from Her. Firstly, the place of his death will become a pilgrimage. Secondly the Goddess should reside there and the place should be known as Kolhapur after his name. Thirdly, every year the fruit Kohala should be cut ceremonially in his honour. The Devi granted his boons and gave him Mukti.

• Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple is located in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra.


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Last updated on Sep-2019

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