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Kolhapur Mahalakshmi Temple Daily Puja:
The ‘Aarati’ ritual is most important in Mahalakshmi Temple Kolhapur. Daily at 4-30 AM. when the Temple is opened, Aarati is performed after the worship of the Mahalakshmi idol’s feet This is called ‘Kakadarati.’ Devotional songs in ‘Bhup-Rag’ are recited at that time.
At 8:30 AM. Mahapooja occurs followed by ‘Mangalarati.’ At 11:30 AM., worship with fragrant flowers & Kumkum is done for the devotees camphor is burnt and ‘Naivedya’ (Rich dishes) is offered. If there is no Mahapooja from devotees, milk instead of Panchamrit (milk, curds, sugar, ghee & honey) is spill on, the feet and then Aarati. This process continues till about 2:00 PM. Then there is ‘Pooja’ with ornaments. In the interior of the Mandir, Vedic hymns are chanted. After 7:30 PM, after ringing of bells, ‘Aarati’ is done. This is called ‘Bhog -Arati.’
Every Friday, ‘Naivedya’ is offered to the Devi at night. After Aarati, ornaments are taken off and returned to the treasury.
Shejarati’ is done at 10:00 PM., when milk with sugar is offered. Aarati is done in the bedroom and ‘Nidra Vida’ song is sung. Then the daily routine is closed along with main & sub gate. Thus Aarati is done 5 times daily. Mahakali, Matuling, Shree yantra, Maha Ganapati 5 Maha Saraswati are also offered Aarati &. Naidedya. Every Tuesday Friday, Aarati seats increase. Arati-visit is given to all small & big 87 temples. There are different groups of devotees attending one or more Aaratis.
Akarati, Pancharati, Kapurarti are different Aaratis used of which 2 are silver and the last is brass. Besides these Aratis in the Mandir an extra one is done at the festivals like Tryarnbuli Fair, Rathosava, Ashtami Jagar, Eclipse, Gokul Ashtami, Kiranotsava etc. There is a tradition to do special Aarati when Shree Shankaracharya and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj pay a visit this temple. In the month of Kartik from Deepavali to Purnirna festival is celebrated.