|Elevation||577 m (1,893 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Alandi (Marathi: आळंदी) is a city and a municipal council in Pune district in the state of Maharashtra, India. The town is popular as a place of pilgrimage for being the resting place or ( Samadhi) of the 13th century Marathi Bhakti saint, Sant Dnyaneshwar
- Saint Dnyaneshwar samādhi : Saint Dnyaneshwar, after translating the Bhagavad Gita into Marathi attained samādhi in front of LORD shri SIDDHESHWAR at Alandi. Alandi is thus a place of pilgrimage and is venerated by many Hindus. A temple complex has been built near the spot of Sant Dnyaneshwar's samadhi. It is visited by thousands of pilgrims, and in particular, those of the Varkari Sect. In the Shaka month of Jeshtha (June- July), a procession that carries symbolic feet of Dnyaneshwar on a Palkhi starts from Alandi to reach Pandharpur on Ashadhi Ekadashi. The procession is joined by tens of thousands of Varkari devotees for the 150 km journey on foot.
However, the biggest festival in Alandi is held every year on Kartika Vadya Ekadashi (eleventh day of the dark fortnight of Hindu month of Kartik). This festival or yatra is attended by hundreds of thousands of Dnyaneshwar devotees. The places of interest to pilgrims in and around Alandi include:
- The Dnyaneshwar Samadhi Complex
- Vitthala-Rakhumai Temple
- The banks of the Indrayani river
- Siddhabet - This is a place outside the town where Dnyaneshwar's family was exiled after being excommunicated.
- Sant Jalaram Temple: This temple was built in 1960s built with sample architectural design as the one in Virpur Gujarat. There is a temple for Santoshimata in the same temple complex
- Dnyaneshwar's Wall - Legend says that when the formerly arrogant Sant Changdev came to visit Dnyaneshwar on a tiger, Dnyaneshwar and his siblings went to meet him riding on a wall that moved.
- Sant Tukaram Samadhi : The town of Dehu, where the samadhi of Sant Tukaram is located, lies not far from Alandi.
- Sambhaji Raje Bhosle Samadhi: Tulapur village is also lacated near to Alandi (6 km) where samadhi of Sambhaji Raje Bhosle (Son of Shivaji Maharaj)is located.
- Laxmi Narayan Mandir
- Dnyaneshwari Mandir
Pilgrims also perform Circumambulation around the whole town during their visit.
Alandi has also the distinction of having a prehistoric collection of Shivling. In one of the Saint Dnyaneshwar's verses he speaks of it being called "Sidheshwar". The name of the reigning deity of the place as also one of the names of Shiva. He states then that a collection of eighty-four Sidhas meet or exist here. Under a dense green and flower laden canopy emitting a heavenly fragrance and birds singing celestial tunes. This stanza is to be found in Saint Dnyaneshwar's book about the power of chanting Hari's name. The book is called Haripath. Even today Haripath is recited by countless rich and poor in Maharashtra. They experience its beauty and believe in its powers as also in the person who created them.
As of 2011[update] India census, Alandi had a population of 28,576. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. The lingua franca is Marathi. Alandi has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 82% of the males and 68% of females literate. 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. All castes are represented in the town. The Maratha clans, Kurhade patil and Gundhare Patil dominate civic life of the town.
Since Alandi is a major place of pilgrimage, the economy of the town revolves around that activity. Although the major festivals are held only twice a year, pilgrims from all over Maharashtra come to Alandi throughout the year. The different needs of the pilgrims are catered for by different groups of Brahmins who officiate at the samadhi, or weddings or at the religious services to the bereaved respectively. There are a large number of vendor outside the main temple complex that offer materials for worshipping at the samadhi such as garlands, turmeric etc. These vendors also do good business in religious Souvenirs and books. Most Marathi Hindu castes have built Dharmashalas that offer accommodation to pilgrims of their respective castes.
Being a rural place, farming is still an important part of the economy. Traditionally, Groundnut cultivation has been important around Alandi. Most of that produce is sent to oil pressing mills in the nearby town of Chakan.
Alandi is relatively close to the cities of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad and therefore a number of local people commute to these places for employment. The close proximity to these places also attracts new immigrants to the town who can not afford to live in the more expensive Pune. A number of the local population also find employment with Indian army bases that are a few miles from Alandi. In recent decades, villages around Alandi have attracted light manufacturing Industry.
A more recent addition to the the economy of Alandi has been an engineering college called MIT Academy of Engineering. It has spawned a large number of lodgings for students, eating places, markets, and shops. An entire part of Alandi is built around the college.
- Maharashtra Academy of Engineering
- Sant Dnyaneshwara Vidyalaya
- Sharadchandra Pawar Chitrakala Mahavidyalaya
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Alandi
- "Maharashtra Tourism". Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
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