Are you doing a spell check assuming it to be Kolhapur Mahalakshmi temple?. Well one might actually. Because what I would be talking about, might not be familiar to most of you. So here’s to something very interesting that I would be sharing with all of you which certainly is related to ‘Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple’. So let’s find out more about this extremely powerful but lesser known amazing ‘Kallur Mahalakshmi Temple’.
Well, to begin with, Kallur is a large village situated in the Manvi taluk, in the Raichur district of Karnataka. Kallur Mahalaxmi Temple of Kallur village is one of the finest examples of the existence of the power of love, faith, devotion and surrendarence to God. Kallur is also called as “Second Kolhaphur” where Goddess Mahalakshmi dwells. The temple has statues of both Lord Venkateshwara and Mahalakshmi. It belongs to the Madhwas (a sect of Brahmins-followers of Madhwacharya), and Kallur Mahalakshmi at the temple is everyday worshipped by the learned Madhwa acharya’s of the town.
The temple has great significance as both Lord Srinivasa and Lakshmi are situated together in this place. But is this all, as to why it gained such supreme prominence and also considered equivalent to ‘Kolhapur’’?. No, not at all, well we just know about the Lakshmi Venkateshwara idols but not everything about them or how they actually came into existence. The idols were neither being carved, created nor established by someone. So let’s look into its truthful and captivating secrets.
Kolhapur Mahalakshmi arrived!
Here’s the actual exemplary history of the idols and the iconic temple. Back during the reign of the Muslim ruler Adil Shah, there lived a Madhwa pandit called Sri Lakshmikanta Acharya in Kallur. Acharya was extremely pious, humble, and a great Madhwa scholar. He was a deeply, extensively, dedicated staunch worshipper of Goddess Kolhapur Mahalakshmi. Acharya out of extreme love and devotion had set up a tradition of visiting Kolhapur Mahalakshmi. Every year on the 8th day ‘Ashtami’ of Navratri festival, he offered Sandalwood (Chandan) to Goddess Mahalakshmi. As days passed by, acharya grew older and felt his body weakening and not really helping him to travel to far off places.
So it was the special year when Acharya was 88 years old and not in a position to travel physically or economically to the Navarathri festival at Kolhapur. Saddened acharya, with unbearable agony of mind, slept the previous day of Ashtami. And in the night witnessed a strange dream where he heard a woman voice saying “Every year you came, this year I will come to visit you on the Ashtami day of Navaratri”. The Goddess had actually spoken.
He woke up the next day which was the holy Ashtami day of Navratri with a heavy heart. However, being confused and ignoring the dream, he began the day with his usual rituals and offering of chandan to god. He sat down and pulled the Chandan stick and the grinding stone and started grinding Chandan. Suddenly! he felt something unusual.
Usually, the smooth grinding stone which he uses every day was hard at places. He did not pay much attention but continued the grinding process to collect more chandan. Further, he noticed that the roughness was becoming more and more. He just stopped by, took Chandan in a bowl and cleaned the stone. To his surprise, he saw the extremely beautiful smiling face of Goddess Mahalaxmi looking at him. Wow!, Tears of joy filled his eyes. Kolhapur Mahalakshmi had herself arrived at her most loved devotee’s house. She had come in the form of the self-emerged idol on acharyas, Chandan grinding stone. Oh! what a blessed soul was Sri Lakshmikanta Acharya.
From this very moment, the town of Kallur then attained the status equal to Sri Kshetra of Kolhapur. And Goddess Mahalaxmi had arrived in the village of Kallur…!!. The idol that we see in the temple today is the same sanekal (chandan grinding stone) on which acharya saw Kolhapur Mahalakshmi herself!.
Lord Venkateshwara next to Lakshmi is no less a Miracle!
Precisely a year later Sri Lakshmikanta acharya was traveling with his disciples in the village called ‘Mamadapura’. Acharya there saw that a farmer was unable to plow the field any further at a particular point. This intuited acharya of something sacred being there and got the place dug only to find the holy Lord Venkateshwara idol which he established next to goddess Lakshmi. It is the same idol we find in the temple today.
Such a blessed Tradition!
As it is Goddess Lakshmi herself residing in the temple, and that she is a giver. Kallur Mahalakshmi fulfills all the desires of everybody who comes up to her and visits her. Everybody looking forward to having their desires fulfilled are supposed to pray and tie a coconut in the roof of the temple. And once the desire is fulfilled which is certain to be, one should come back to the temple and have the coconut removed. There are immense people who have had their wishes come true. Hence the view of the temple is wonderful with bunches of coconuts tied up.
Home of Acharya rather than temple!
The temple is not any lavish, swanky construction because it is surprisingly the house of Sri Lakshmikanta Acharya himself!. Situated amidst a thicket of houses, even to this day the very descendants of Sri Lakshmikant Acharya only worship and perform rituals at the temple. The pandit family resides in the same temple and conducts Mahalaxmi pooja and Archana. The faith and bhakti of a man but a common man had such great power that Goddess herself was forced to come down and bestow her blessings to all of us!.
If you are longing to visit Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur but unable to travel that far due to genuine reasons then you could surely visit this Kallur Mahalakshmi temple which is considered equivalent to Kolhapur Sri Kshetra. Kolhapur Lakshmi has herself cut short her ways to people of Karnataka, ushering the region with purity and sanctity.