This is Mahalakshmi, modelled after the presiding deity of Kolhapur. In her hands she is holding a fruit, a long mace, a shield and a cup. (Starting from her lower right hand clockwise). The attributes identify her. Here Mahalakshmi is carrying a Lingam in her head and the Lingam is protected by a single hooded cobra.

The deity in Kolhapur is a standing one and has her vahana, lion, standing behind her.

Mahalakshmi is not only deity carrying a Linga on her head. My collection includes Sadasiva, Mahishasuramardhini and Annapurna carrying Linga.

For those of you wondering as to how Mahalakshmi is associated with Linga (Siva’s form), here is a paragraph from Prof S K Ramachandra Rao’s Pratima Kosha Volume 5 page 65.

” Mahalakshmi is to be regarded NOT as the consort of Vishnu, but as the primordial energy manifesting herself as Maha-Saraswati, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Kali, from whom the three Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra (Siva) took shape to create, protect and dissolve the universe”.

This bronze is most likely from North Karnataka/South Maharashtra area and probably dates to the nineteenth century or a bit earlier This bronze is about 11.5 cm in height.

Mahalakshmi of Parshivani.

Mahalakshmi of Kolhapur is well known. Here is another Mahalakshmi . The photo and the description (edited by me) below is from the Facebook pages of Srikant Umrikar. My sincere thanks to him.

We know Mahalakshmi is Kolhapur only but a beautiful statue like Kolhapur is located in Parshivani village from Nagpur towards Ramtek north.

This one meter tall statue was found in digging. There is seed supplement in the right hand of the statue, mace in the upper hand. In the upper left hand, there is a shield, while in the lower left hand there is a leaf. Mahalakshmi of Kolhapur is also with similar Ayudha. This is also called as Ambabai.

When the word Mahalakshmi comes, it is a custom to consider her as Vishnupatni (Vishnu’s spouse). But Mahalakshmi is not just Vishnupatni. Aarti written by Mukteshwar (son of Eknath’s daughter) of Mahalakshmi in one of the better descriptions.

“you are the Tara of Buddhists, Gauri of Shiva, you are nature for numbers, Gayatri for Agam Panthis and Padmavati for Jains.”

(Photo and information courtesy Pravin Yogi, Police Officer Hingoli)- Srikant Umrikar, Aurangabad, 9422878575.”

For the original post use the link

Use of Google translate meant loss of information and had to truncate the description.

15 May 2021: A twist to the identification. The photo below is from the book Spread of Vaishnavism in Gujarat up to 1600 AD by Haripriya Rangarajan. In that book, page 156, she identifies this vigraha, from the temples of Metpur, Khambhat, Gujarat as Lakshmi Gauri, a combined form of Lakshmi (right side, holding Gada and Sriphala) and Gauri (left side, holding shield and annapatra).

The vahanas on the pedestal Gaja (elephant – associated with Lakshmi) and Nandi (normally associated with Shiva, Gauri’s spouse) reinforce the identification.

25 Sept 2021: One of the unusual features of this Vigraha, is the unfinished back. Normally the Vigrahas from South India are worked in the round, though the devotee does not see the back. Swanand identified this to be a characteristic of Kolhapur school. Since my exchange with Swanand on this topic, I came across and acquired (some) other such examples. The subject matter of those Vigraha reinforce the view about Kolhapur school.


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