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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Navratri celebrations: Pune’s 33-yr-old Mahalaxmi temple praises goddess in letter and spirit

Dedicated to worship of goddess Shakti, the shrine houses three forms of Adi Shakti (divine mother).

pune Updated: Sep 26, 2017 17:01 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Shishmahal-Mahalaxmi Mandir at Saras Baug in Pune.
Shishmahal-Mahalaxmi Mandir at Saras Baug in Pune.(HT PHOTO)

The Navratri celebrations at Mahalaxmi temple enters its 20th year of praise and worship.

Dedicated to worship of goddess Shakti, the unique Mahalaxmi temple is one such shrine where three forms of Adi Shakti (divine mother) can be witnessed. The goddess of knowledge, Mahasaraswati, along with the goddess of prosperity, Mahalaxmi and the warrior goddess Mahakali, who liberates her devotees from ‘time’ and ‘death’, all reside together behind the marble walls of the grand temple.

“All the female deities in this temple depict the three gunas (qualities) of tamas (darkness), rajas (passion and activity) and sattva (purity),” said a member of the temple trust, Pratap Pardeshi. 

Pardeshi said that founded by Bansilal Ramnath Agarwal in 1972, the pranpratishtha (consecration) of the temple was solemnised in 1984 as it took 12 years to build the 55-foot-tall structure. Surrounded by intricately carved pillars and walls, the temple entrance opens up to images of 12 saints, including Kabir Das, Tulsidas, Guru Nanak, Sur Das, Mirabai and Ramakrishna. The marble temple is divided into sabha mandapa and the inner sanctum, and is known for its elaborate ancient Dravidian style of architectural. The inner sanctum is divided into three chambers of the six feet tall goddess idols. 

A major shrine for Shaktivite ceremonies, the temple’s prime festival includes Navratri that is celebrated for the past 20 years. The annual festival begins with a grand Hindu ritual ‘Shri Sukta Abhishek’ where goddess Laxmi and Ganesh are worshipped amid chantings of vedic mantras. The Mahalaxmi goddess is served with sixteen offerings which include, panchamuratas (an assortment of five Hindu edibles like honey, liquid jaggery, milk , yogurt and ghee), kumkum (vermillion), fruits and dhoop (incense). It is followed by several other social service events including kanya puja (worship of girl child), whereby financial and educational aid is provided to young girls, as part of the celebration. 

Where: Opposite Saras Baug, Swargate 

When: 5 am to midnight during Navratri  

Aartitiming: 7:15 am and 7:15 pm.

First Published: Sep 26, 2017 16:59 IST

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