Kolhapur – A Famous Pilgrimage Places
Located in the Kolhapur District of the Indian state of Maharashtra, Kolhapur is a popular pilgrim place housing a list of popular temples where Hindu devotees take keen interest, visiting them to pay homage to their deities. It also serves as the official headquarters of the Kolhapur district and administration wise, comes under the jurisdiction of Pune in Maharashtra. In many contexts, Kolhapur is also spelled alternatively as Colapore.
When it comes to history, long before India’s independence in the year 1947, Kolhapur used to be a royal, princely state that was under the territory of the Maratha Empire, precisely ruled by Bhosale Chhatrapati. In terms of religious aspects, the town of Kolhapur has been mentioned in the popular Hindu holy book—the Devi Gita, wherein it has been talked about in the very important final chapter as a sacred pilgrim place where Devi Lakshmi resides.
The text precisely goes like this: O King of Mountains! Still I am now telling something out of My affection to my bhaktas. Hear. There is a great place of pilgrimage named Kollapura in the southern country. Here the Devi Lakshmi always dwells.
Other than these elements, the pivotal thing that makes Kolhapur such a popular pilgrim place is the fact that it houses the immensely popular Mahalaxmi Temple that happens to be one of the Shakti Peetha temples in the country, abiding by the story of Sati’s body parts falling all over earth at different places during Shiva Tandava, and each of the place where her parts fell turned into a holy Peetha.
Other than the Mahalaxmi Temple, Kolhapur houses a list of other holy shrines, out of which the most popular ones are:
The Jyotiba Temple—A popular temple devoted to the incarnation of three famous hindu deities—Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh.
The Gaganbawda— It is a famous ashram where popular spiritual guru Shri Gagangiri Maharaj spent a major part of his life doing meditation. Many devotees take keen interest in visiting the place, given its serene and tranquil ambiance, in order to embrace spirituality and find inner peace within oneself.
Bahubali of Khumbojgiri—Situated just 27 Km away from Kolhapur, this one is a popular pilgrim place for the Jains and houses a 28 feet tall statue of Bahubali made completely of marble.