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Kolhapur




Page: 2/29

Hindu Books > Temples And Legends of India > Temples And Legends Of Maharastra > Kolhapur

Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur : General View Page1

The history of the shakt sect is far from complete, and very little is known with any amount of certainty about how that sect had fared in Maharashtra. There is some ground to believe that during the early medieval ages shaktism with its various mantras and tantras did prevail in this region. Literature of several Marathi saints contains several references to shakt worship. Tukaram and Dinkarswami, the disciple of Swami Ramdas, have mentioned the various rites the shakts practised. These and other saints are strongly critical of what they consider to be the 'anachars’ practised by the shakts especially the observanceof the rites known as the ‘panch-makars. ’However, there is little evidence to believe that these orthodox practices are presently current at any of the shakti-piths in this area.

The most important such piths of Maharashtra are four in number, although, technically considered to be only three and a half. They are those at Kolhapur, Mahur, Saptshringi and TuIjapur Some consider Saptshringi to be the one half pith, others maintain that it is Kolhapur that is half a pith. The goddess at Tuljapur is known as Bliavani; the one at Kolhapur as Mahalakshmi and as Amba; and that at Mahur as Mahamaya Renuka. The Devi at Saptshringi is Jagadamba. All these are extremely popular in the region. Apart from these four or three and a half piths, there are numerous others like Ambe Jogai in the Osmanabad district and Aundh in the Satara district.These centres are however, of secondary importance. Several castes and families of Maharashtra worship one of the above deities as their family goddess.




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