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Pandharpur also famous as Dakshin Kashi is the holiest place to visit to attain moksha before death. To visit this heaven luxuriously we at Royal Cars Pune, have Pune to Pandharpur cab services.
Many puranas have highlighted the importance of pandharpur.God Vitthal or Pandharinath is not only God of Varkari culture in Maharashtra but there are many devotees from Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. Vitthal is not only worshipped by Marathi cults. All over the country Many saints have mentioned the significance of devotion of this God Vitthal.
There are many things to visit in Pandharpur by Pilgrims. Those are :
Loha danda Tirth.
Sant Namdev payri
Let's see importance of each in short.
Lord Vitthal Temple :
There are three ancient scriptures which highlight the significance of Lord Vitthal.
Pandharpur is such designed in which Lord Vitthal is located at the center. Pandharpur is as holy as Kashi, Narasingpur is as Prayag and Vishnupad is like Gaya. So visiting Pandharpur give the credit of blessings of these three pilgrimage places. All the ceremonies of Kashiyatra and Gayashraddha could be performed here.
Vishnu dharma kathan Chapter of Vishnu Puran narrates the story of Pundalik in details. This makes it clear that Lord Arrived here to meet Pundalik.
The parabrahma or the God of Pandharpur is worshipped and affectionately called by his devotees with many names, like Pandharinath, Pandurang, Pandhari Raya, Vithai, Vithoba, Vithu Mauli, Vitthal gururao, Pandurang, Hari etc. However, today this God is well-known as Pandurang and Shri Vitthal. Vithoba is the same as God Vishnu, standing on a brick and resting his arms on his west.
All have faith that Shri Krishna, Shri Vishnu or Shri Vithoba are all different names and forms of the one and the same God. Shri Krishna is known as incarnation of Shri Vishnu which took place on (Shravan Vadya Ashtami) at the end of Dwapara Yuga. Vithoba is Shri Krishna Himself.
The sculpture is self made up of sandstone. He has crown on his head. It is known as shivling as it looks like the shivling. Face of The Vitthal is longer, eyes are looking horizontally straight. In his ear He wears Makar kundale. A Kaustubh Mani is wrapped around his neck like necklace. Shinke are on his back and on his shrivatsalanchhan. Angads are wore on his both arms and on his both wrists display Manibandhs. Shri Vitthal has his both hands on his waist. In his right hand he has taken Kambal and in left hand he is holding Shankha.
On his chest, there is a spot where Bhrugurishi had put his feet. There is Vastra wrapped around his waist. Soga of Vastra is wore up to his feet. Thus this sculpture is standing on a brick.
This is the only fortunate place where one can touch Lord's feet or keep one's forhead upon Lord's feet.
Rukmini Temple :
Mata Rukmini’s temple is in north of the temple of Shri Vitthal. The temple is divided in
four sections like Sabhamandap, main mandap, Madhyagriha and Gabhara. There is a room for wardrobe of Mata Rukmani in the north of the madhyagriha. It is furnished with silver bed, well maintained mattresses and rich velvet clothes.
Inside the gabhara there is tall square size pillar on which elegant and attractive idol of mother Shri Rukmini is fixed. She is facing West. She stands there resting her hands on her waist just as Shri Vitthal. Mata Shri Rukmini’s idol is beautified with many ornaments and clothes. On her forehead there is round tilak of kumkum. All devotees take blessings of Shri Rukmini with full of love and devotion in mind.
It is mentioned in Holy Scripture about how Shri Rukmini and Shri Vitthal arrived in Pandharpur. Lord Shri Krishna had eight wives. One day when Shri Krishna was sitting with one of the wife named Radhika Rukmini saw them. Shri Rukmini left the place out of jealousy after knowing Shri Krishna’s love towards other wives and went to Dindir jungle. When Shri Krishana didn’t found Rukmini , started a search for Her and reached in Dindir van where He found Rukmini. One more reason behind Shri Krishna’s Visit to Dindir van was that His one of the beloved devotees Bhakt Pundalik was also living in the same place servicing his old parents. Shri Krishana wanted to fulfill the commitment given to King Muchkund by Him who was Bhakt Pundalik in his next life.
In the period of Chaturmas daily preaching of Shrimadbhagvat is done in sabhamandap of the temple. The beautiful paintings of Rukmini swayamvar (marriage ceremony) are on archs of east west side inside the sabhamandap. They are total eight paintings which are high quality of art.
The festival of Navratri is also celebrated in much enthusiasm every year in Rukmini temple. In this period of fifteen days various types of clothes are decorated on both Shri Rukmini and Shri Vitthal idols. Many people come to see the beautiful clothing. In this Navratri festival many other religious programs are organized in the place called Sant Tukaram Bhavan. Artists of National and International level are invited to participate in this festival. This festival is one of the most glamorous events every year that takes place in Pandharpur.
This river is as holy as Ganga. River Bhima or also called Bhivara Flows through Pandharpur. In this place the river takes the shape of half moon so the river is called Chandrabhaga also. The River Bhima is called Chandrabhaga as per some stories. The cursed Moon takes bath in this place and he is freed of the curse, then the river flows in half moon shape so people call it Chandrabhaga
Bhakt Pundalik Mandir
There is Mahadwar Ghat which was built by Changdev in the river. Bhakt Pundalik Mandir is in the river bed in the front of it. Mask of Pundalik is of Brass and houses on Shivalinga is ingrained in the shrine . It is crowned and worshipped every day with rituals of kakad arti, mahapuja, maha naivedya, dhup arti etc. The temple has special breezy hall. Festival of Mahashivaratri is celebrated on the large scale in this temple. Whenever the Chandrabhaga is in flood facemask of Pundalik is moved to the Mahadeva temple.
The story of Bhakt Pundlika goes like this.
Pundalika used to serve his old parents very devotionally. After noticing pundalika’s devotion to his parents, Shri Krishna was highly impressed and wanted to meet Pundalik. So when Lord appeared in Pundalik’s house but Pundalik didn’t attend to Him as he was busy in serving his parents. They were ill due to their old age. What Pundalik did is just threw a brick lying nearby towards Shri Krishna for sitting or standing as a formality and asked him to wait till he gets free. (The bank of river Bhima where this incident took place seemed to be Dwarka.) Lord Shri Krishna is believed standing there for as many as twenty eight Yuga (eras) just for the sake of all those who are His devotees.
Loha danda Tirth.
This holy place is in front of Pundalik Temple. At this place in river even the boat made of stone floats. God Indra was cursed with holes all over body. God Indra came here to take holy bath and all the holes disappeared from his body after the bath but the iron rod in his hand floated here.
As stated in a story Lord Krishana came from Dwarka in search of Shri Rukmini and they met here. There was greenery surrounded with the temple. It is a hemadpanthi style of stone construction. The festivals of Dasara and Navaratra are celebrated here on the large scale.
Sant Namdev payari
There is a step in front of the temple and is named after Saint Namdev. He requested Lord Pandurang that he wanted a place where he could touch the feet dust of all the devotees visiting Lord Vitthal in the temple. No sooner he expressed this wish he looked at the floor and in the place Earth got split. Shree Vitthal said to Saint Namdev that this place is gifted to him where his desire of touching the feet dust of all devotees of the Lord can be fulfilled forever. After that Saint Namdev jumped into the ditch. His family members and followers also followed him. The split Earth got closed again as it was before this incident.
The incident took place in Marathi calendar year 1238 ashadh vadya trayodashi. Saint Namdev along with his 14 family members also jumped into the Samadhi place. Among those fourteen there were his mother Gonai, father Damasheti, wife Rajai, his four sons Srinarayan, Shri Vitthal, Shri Govind, Shri Mahadev, and their wives also Godai,Yesai,Mkharai, his daughter Limbai, sister Aubai, the servants of Namdev and his disciple Saint Janabai. There is step like place for offering pooja to Namdev this place is called Saint Namdev Payari
In the southeast of Pandharpur there is a Shri Krishna temple which is called Gopalpura. This is about less than two kilometer away. This temple is on the top of a hill which is called Gopalpura Parvat or hill. This hill is widely believed by people as the mythical Govardhan parvat.
As per our scripture Skandh Purana Shri Krishana started his journey towards Pandharpur then Govardhan also started following him. Alarmed by that Lord Shri Krishna scolded him and concealed himself. He interrupted his journey and lived in Gopalpura village. Here both river Chandrabhaga and river Pushavati meet each other.
Here there is emblematic place of curd grinding by Yashoda. The temple of Laxminarayan is in the east direction. There is staircase made of stones to the temple. There are small rooms in the temple. There are three different doors. Main door is bigger and artistic.
In the center of the gabhara there is beautiful small idol of the Lord Shri Krishna. Idol of the Shri Krishna is shown playing flute. Groups of gaulani (lady devotee of Shri Krishna) are showing on the both side of the Shri Krishna idol. There is also shown a cow with her calf.
At the time when Shri Krishna arrived at Gopalpura along with his herd of cows then the footprints of those cattle were imprinted on stones and that’s why this place is called Vishnupad. There is a temple of Devarshi Narad in the front. In the month of Margashirsh this is crowded by devotees at this place the entire month. People believe that Shri Krishna came here in that month and stayed there. That is why devotees visit this place. Pooja and Abhishek are performed here particularly in this month.
Vari means visiting a place regularly.
People visit Pandharpur Temple in groups four times in a year.
Chaitra shudha ekadashi:
is called as kamda ekadashi.
Ashadhi Ekadashi :
This Ekadashi is of more importance for devotees. At this day large numbers of varkari gather in Pandharpur. This ekadhashi is known as Devashayani Ekadashi.
Kartik Shudha Ekadashi :
A Yatra is celebrated in the month Kartik. Lord Vitthal gets up from His sleep on this day.
Magh Shudh Ekadashi :
A Yatra is held in Shudh Ekadashi of month of Magh. This Ekashashi is known as Jaya Ekadashi.