Pandharpur

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Pandharpur
पंढरपूर
City
The chief gate of Vithoba's temple
The chief gate of Vithoba's temple
Nickname(s): Pandhari, Pandaripuram
413304
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Pandharpur
Location in Maharashtra, India
Coordinates: 17°41′40″N 75°20′00″E / 17.69444°N 75.33333°E / 17.69444; 75.33333Coordinates: 17°41′40″N 75°20′00″E / 17.69444°N 75.33333°E / 17.69444; 75.33333
Country  India
State Maharashtra
District Solapur
Government
 • Type City
Area
 • Total 25 km2 (10 sq mi)
Area rank 9
Elevation 458 m (1,503 ft)
Languages
 • Official Kannada Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Pandharpur is a pilgrimage city on the banks of Bhimā river in Solāpur district, Maharashtra, India. Pandharpur is situated on the 1711 north axis and the 7511 east longitude in Solapur District. The Vithoba temple attracts about a million Hindu pilgrims during the major yātrā (pilgrimage) in the month of Ashadh (June–July).

Geography[edit]

Map of Vithoba Temple of Pandharpur and surroundings

Pandharpur has an average elevation of 458 metres (1502 feet).

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2010 census of India, Pandharpur had a population of 1,20,000. Males constituted 52% of the population and females, 48%. 71% of the population was literate; 78% males and 64% females.

Religious importance[edit]

The Vithoba of Pandharpur[edit]

Further information: Vithoba and Vithoba temple, Pandharpur

Pandharpur is one of the most prominent pilgrimage places in Maharashtra. It is located on the banks of the Bhimā river, which is alternatively known as Chandrabhāgā because of its half-moon-like shape. The city is named after a great merchant, Pundalik, who achieved self-realization there.[1]

Pandharpur, also known as Pandhari, hosts the renowned Vitthal temple on the banks of Bhimā. "Vithoba", "Pāndurang", and "Pandharināth" are the popular alternate names of the deity, Viththal, who is regarded in Hinduism as a form of Lord Krishna. Krishna is considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Rakhumāi or Rukmini is Viththal's consort in the temple.

The worship of Vitthal in the Pandharpur temple is based mainly on the contents of the Puranas, and the contributions of the Vaishnav saints of Maharashtra and Karnataka during the 13th through the 17th centuries. Some of these saints are Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Gora Kumbhar, Chokhamela, Eknath, Tukaram, Purandara Dasa, Vijaya Dasa, Gopala Dasa, and Jagannatha Dasa.

The Pandharpur temple covers a large area and has six gates. The eastern gate is known as the "Namdev Gate."

Pandharpur hosts four annual pilgrimages ("yātrās") of Hindu devotees. Among them, the pilgrimage in the month of Āshādh (June–July) in the Hindu calendar attracts the largest number of pilgrims—around 500,000 to 700,000 people. The pilgrimages in the months of Kārtik (October–November), Māgh (January–February) and Shrāvan (July–August) attract the second, third and fourth largest numbers of pilgrims respectively.

There are some other important holy places around Pandharpur. The deities include the Goddess Tulja Bhavani (Goddess of family – KulDevata of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) at Tuljapur, Saint Shri Swami Samarth (God Form of Dattatreya) at Shri Kshetra Akkalkot, Lord Dattatreya at Ganagapur, etc. All these places are located in or near the Solapur District.

Pandharpur Wari(Pilgrimage on foot)[edit]

Ashadhi Ekadashi is an auspicious day of God Shri.Vitthal and is a festival of religious procession which is celebrated during the month of June-July.As per the Marathi calendar, it is Aashadh Shukla Paksha. People consider the two eleventh days, 'Ekadashi',of every month to be of special significance.And the eleventh day (bright) of Ashadh is known as the Maha (great) Ekadashi. This period coincides with the rainy season and is also known as Chaturmas.Ashadhi Ekadashi is a fasting day and on this day people go walking in a huge processions from Alandi to Pandharpur,singing the Abhangas (devotional songs) of Vithoba,Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar.The 'Dindi'(procession) starts from Alandi and ends on Guru Poornima day at Pandharpur.

Education[edit]

Other Cultural Center[edit]

  • ISKCON Pandharpur-Known for constructing Ghats(banks) facilitating pilgrimage to take bath in the holy river.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pandharpur on Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

External links[edit]