Kiran Utsav

Kiran Utsav is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. The Utsav or festival is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Mahalakshmi.

nterestingly, unlike most other festivals, the Kiran Utsav is held many times in a year when the rays from the sun comes and seeks the blessings of the Goddess by kissing her pious feet.

History of Kiran Utsav

Kiran Utsav is celebrated in the revered and famous Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur. The temple is a classic example of the art of stone sculpture and has several stone carved statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses but the chief deity of the place is Mahalakshmi. The Utsav is celebrated five times in a calendar year when the sun’s rays directly reach the feet of the Goddess. The festival is held on January 31st, the first day of the month of February, and on the 9th 10th and 11th November.

Significance of the Utsav

The Mahalakshmi Temple is visited by thousands of devotees every day but on the days of the Kiran Utsav, these numbers quadruple and can easily reach a million plus. They come here to get a glimpse of the heavenly sight of the sun rays reaching out to seek the blessing of the Goddess Laxmi. The sight is extremely revered and those who get a chance to watch the miracle believe they too have been blessed by the Goddess.

When to Visit the Temple to Witness the Miraculous Events

The devotees perform special puja on the Goddess Laxmi on the days of the Kiran Utsav. Kiran means rays and here, it refers to the golden rays of the sun, entering the temple. The idol at Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple is considered as one of the 18 most blessed ones of the Goddess in the country. The sun rays touch the feet of the idol on 31st January and 9th November. On February 1st and 10th November, the rays fall directly on the chest of the idol. On 2nd February and 11th November, the entire body of the deity is covered by the sun’s golden rays.

Brief History of the Mahalakshmi Temple

The Mahalakshmi Temple of Kolhapur was built in the 7th century by King Karamdev of the Chalukya Dynasty. The temple is believed to be one of the six of Goddess Laxmi which is a provider. Devotees come here to pray the Goddess to grant their wishes. The darshan of the deity is believed to extremely energizing and one feels truly blessed and at peace.

The main entrance of the temple is on the western side and is called the Maha-Dwaar. There is a Garuda Mandap and a Ganesha Mandap towards the main Sanctum. The main Mandap houses three shrines facing west. The one in the middle is that of Goddess Mahalakshmi. This idol is flanked by Goddess Maha Kali and Maha Saraswathi on either side. The idol of Mahalakshmi is made of pure gemstone and weighs approximately 40 kg. The idol has a powerful image with four arms. The hood of a cobra serpent hovers over the crown of the Goddess.

On all days of the Utsav, the Mahalakshmi Temple transforms into a pious structure of flowers, lights, decorations and more. Devotees from all over the country throng the temple in millions to witness the miracle in which the sun rays make an appearance through a window in the temple to touch the feet of the Deity before disappearing.

How to Reach Mahalakshmi Temple

Kolhapur is extremely well-connected to other major cities of Maharashtra by road and rail. It is 450 km from Mumbai. Kolhapur Railway Station is a major station. There are many trains that come from major cities of India on a daily basis.

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