Kolhapur is one of the most pious places on earth because it is home to an ancient temple structure dedicated to the very power mother goddess Mahalakshmi.
This temple is believed to be one of the 3-and-a-half Shakti Peethas. Goddess Mahalakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, is the epitome of Shakti, grace, motherhood, wealth and prosperity. Lakhs of devotees visit the temple year-on-year to seek blessings from the Goddess. This is the place where one can either attain salvation or seek blessings for his desires to get fulfilled.
The idol of the Goddess is about 3 feet in height and is carved in stone. The rays of the sun fall directly on the Goddess in the Garbha Griha during different times of the year through a window on the western wall of the temple.
On these days, Kiranotsav is celebrated.
On January 31 and November 9, the rays of the Sun fall directly on the feet of the Goddess.
On February 1 and November 10, the rays of the Sun fall directly on the chest of the Goddess.
On February 2 and November 11, the rays of the Sun fall directly on the entire body of the Goddess.
Mahalakshmi had left Vaikuntha following a tiff with her husband Vishnu. She landed in this region and decided to stay here. According to a legend, Lord Vishnu visits this place to meet his beloved even today and hence it is considered to be as pious as Vaikuntha.