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Bhavani Mandap

Bhavani Mandap is located near the famous and mammoth Mahalakshmi Temple on the west. It is a temple of Goddess Tulija Bhavani (also known as Bhavani) who, according to mythology is the guest sister in her elder sister Mahalakshmi`s city Kolhapur.
Bhavani Mandap was an important meeting venue in the yesteryears, housing the offices of various court officials and the centre of many celebrations. It also witnessed a famous murder in its central courtyard. Controversy surrounds around the Bhavani idol worshipped at the temple. The Kolhapur city claims that it is the very statue that Shivaji Maharaj used to pray, rescued from Tulijapur during the siege by Aurangzeb. However, the clergies of Tulijapur do not agree with the statement and say that the idol is genuine. Like most other buildings, Bhavani Mandap has its own share of rumors and myths related to it. It is said that there is an underground tunnel leading to Bhavani Mandap from Panhala, the hillside fort about 20 km away from Kolhapurm built as an escape route, for the warring Maratha soldiers. However, attempts have never been made to discover the tunnel. When Kolhapur became self-governed, the temple was built. The temple is quite intelligently constructed with 14 squares.

In about 1813, The Muslim knight Sadakan invaded the palace and parts of the temple were burnt. After careful repairs, only 7 squares survived. At the centre there is the temple of Kulswamini Tulja Bhavani.
 
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