|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 under the Siddheshwar temple in Alandi. A temple complex has been built near the spot of Sant Dnyaneshwar's samadhi. It is visited by hundreds thousands of pilgrims, and in particular, those of the Varkari Sect. The Ekadashi of the dark half of each month attracts a greater number of devotees to the town.
In the Shaka month of Jeshtha (June- July), a procession that carries symbolic sandals 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. The biggest festival in Alandi is held every year on Kartika Vadya Ekadashi (eleventh day of the dark fortnight of Hindu month of Kartik). The festival falls close to the day Dnyaneshwar entered Samadhi. This festival or yatra is attended by hundreds of thousands of Dnyaneshwar devotees and has a great economic significance to the local population.
The Indrayani River is a Perennial River and bathing in the river has special significance for pilgrims to Alandi. However, the river is heavily polluted because of sewage discharge by different towns along its course and has high amount of Faecal coliform in the water.
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 the same architectural design as the one in Virpur Gujarat. There is a temple for Santoshi Mata 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 Memorial: Tulapur village is also located near to Alandi (6 km) where samadhi of Sambhaji Raje Bhosle (Son of Shivaji) is located.
- Laxmi Narayan Mandir
- Dnyaneshwari Mandir
Pilgrims also perform Circumambulation around the whole town during their visit.
- Narsinha Sawaswati Math
The town also has dozens of dharmshalas catering for different community. A number of these places also have their own shrines to different deities and Varkari Saints.
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 closely related Maratha clans, Kurhade-Patil and Ghundare-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. The temple holds its biggest festival in the second half of the Shaka month of Kartik. This festival attracts hundreds of thousands of devotees to the town. It is also a great seasonal opportunity for the local population to earn extra income by offering accommodation and catering services to the visitors. The local Municipal council also collects pilgrim tax or Goods tax to pay for public health provision. The tax has generated resentment amongst the devotees in the past.
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 industrial town of Chakan.
Alandi is relatively close to the cities of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad and can be regarded as belonging to the Pune Metropolitan Area. A number of local people commute to city of Pune and Indusrial areas around Pimpri 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 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.
- "Palkhis ahead, high pollution levels in Indrayani river raise fears" (June 27, 2013). Indian express. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "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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