After having a rest of about an hour, we all got up to travel around the city. We started our exploration with the very famous and an important spiritual centre – Mahalaxmi Temple of Kolhapur.
We hired a cab from the hotel and headed towards the well known temple of the city. In fact, millions of pilgrims visit this temple from all over the country. The faith in the goddess is so strong that many royal family members have sought her blessings over the spread of several years.
On reaching the premises of the temple, we were awe-struck by the beautifully carved architecture of the temple. On entering the main door, we were confronted with several deepmalas on either sides of the gate. On moving forward, the artistic temple represented some characteristics of Maratha architecture- a mandap with stone pillars and the foliate arches of wood. Images of Garud and Lord Ganesh were facing the sanctum. On walking further, we came across another mandap placed three shrines with facing towards west. In the centre was that of Mahalakshmi and on either side were of Goddess Mahakali and Mahasaraswathi. We offered our prayers to the goddesses and moved ahead to have a better look at the temple.
We noted the amazing horizontal moldings along with the vertical offsets that were creating a rich and elegant light and shade patterns. On the walls were displayed the beautifully carved sculpture of collectibles in numerous dancing poses, musicians in playing action, gods and goddesses and many more.
We were looking at the amazing work done in the past with such grace and precision. The iconic figure of goddess Mahalakshmi is carved on black stone and is about 3 feet in stature. The Shri yantra is also engraved on one wall. The entire sanctum is so planned that once in a year, the rays of the setting sun drop on the face of the Mahalakshmi image for duration of three days.
Also, in the courtyard were a number of subsidiary shrines, and a Manikarnika Kund. We spend a decent time there engrossing the peacefulness of the atmosphere.