The Ancient Temple Of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur is one of the 51 shakti peethas and 18 maha shakti peethas. The temple was said to be built by Karndeva in 7th CE. The central deity was carved out of pure gemstone and weighs about 40 Kilograms.
The Goddess is called here as Ambabai, signifying an ascended master who dwelled in this place and attained enlightenment. And the Shrine that houses one of the ancient sources of knowledge, in Shaktism, as described by Ascended Master Markhandeya, in his Markhandeya purana.
The Central deity faces west unlike the other shrines in Shakti in the world. And on the days of equinox, the rays of the evening sun falls on the deity through a window in the sanctum sanctorum.
In reality, The construction date of this temple was unknown and Chalukya king Karna deva actually discovered the temple in the jungle and renovated it. The temple also features the carvings of Tirthankaras. Later the temple was under the maintenance of the maratha empire.
Viswanath Venkat Dasari