The Shri Mahalakshmi(AmbaBai) Temple of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, India, is one of the Shakti Peethas listed in various puranas of Hinduism. According to these writings, a Shakti Peetha is a place associated with Shakti, the goddess of power.
The Kolhapur Shakti Peetha is of special religious significance being one of the six places where it is believed that one can either obtain salvation from desires or have them fulfilled. The temple takes its name from Mahalakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, and it is believed that the divine couple reside in the area.
Devi's eyes fell here. Idol of Devi is called Mahishamardini and Lord Shiva is called Krodhis here. Mahishmardini Shaktipeeth, Kolhapur was formerly known as Karvir. It is situated at the borderline of Maharashtra, Karnatka and Goa.
This place is said to be the sanctum of mata Mahalaxmi. It is called Maa Mahish-Mardini (Sarkrar) Shaktipeeth. According to Skand Purana, mere Darshan of this Shaktipeeth sheds all sins.
Maa Mahisha Mardini Mandir is located at Kolhapur in Maharashtra. The temple belongs architecturally to the Kannada Chalukya empire and was first built in the 7th century. Mounted on a stone platform, the image of the four armed and crowned goddess is made of gemstone and weighs about 40 kilograms.
The image of Mahalakshmi carved in black stone is 3 feet in height. The Shri Yantra is carved on one of the walls in the temple. A stone lion, the vahana of the goddess, stands behind the statue. The crown contains an image of the Sheshnag the serpent of Vishnu. In Her four hands, the deity of Mahalakshmi holds objects of symbolic value.
It is said that both Shri Lakshmi and Shri Vishnu reside in the Karveer area eternally and shall not leave even at the time of Mahaprayakala. This region is therefore also referred to as an avimuktakshetra. Karveer region is eternally blessed and is believed to be held by Mother Jagdambe in her right hand, and so this region is protected from all destruction.
Five worship services are offered each day. The first one is at 5 am, and it involves the waking of the deity with a Kakada - torch, to the accompaniment of hymns. The second worship service at 8 am involves the offeirng of the Shodashopachara pooja consisting of 16 elements. The afternoon and evening services and the Shejaarati pooja constitute the three other services.