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Temples & Legends Of Maharastra
Index Of Maharastra Preface
Kulapati's Preface The Author
Morgaon - Moreshvar

Kolhapur - Mahalakshmi

Tuljapur - Bhavani Ganagapur - Dattatreya
Pedhe - Parashurama Bhimashankar - Bhimashankar
Tryambakeshvar - Trymbak Khandoba - Jejuri
Pandhapur - Vitthal Glossary
Biblography  
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Temples & Legends Of India
Andhrapradesh
Maharastra
Kerala
Himachal Pradesh
Tamilnadu

Bengal

Assam
Bihar
Somanatha

PANDHARPUR - VITTHAL

The most important ceremony concerning this shrine is held in the month of Margashirsha. On the first day of this month the sandals or padukas of Vithoba are taken to this temple of Vishnu pad and on the last day of the same month Vithoba's chariot is brought to this temple in a huge procession. In the evening the padukas are brought back to the Vitthal   Temple with a grand torch-light procession, and are then lodged in the bed-chamber. It is supposed that during this month Vitthal goes to the Vishnupad and like Krishna feasts there with other cowherds. This also explains why numerous people bring picnick parties at the temple and the surrounding rocks and hold vanabhojanas.

The chief significance of this spot, as far as the kshetra goes, is that it is here that ‘shraddha' ceremonies are to be performed, The balls or pindas that stand for the ancestors are set in the holy square, especially on the foot-prints and are worshipped there. After the ceremony is over the balls are deposited in the river. A Varkari may or may not perform the rite here, but for a casual visitor it is one of the 'must'. The causewav is useless for many months and small ferries carry the pilgrim to the spot.

A pious visitor would find that he would be able to visit temples of all the deities, of the, various avataras and aspects of Vishnu, Shiva and the devi. Most of these are from the ei2hteenth century although some show traces of earlier architectural remains and many are referred to in the literature of the pre-eighteenth century period.

No account of the Vitthal of Pandharpur could be complete without a sketch of the Varkari panth and the great palanquin processions from various places in Maharashtra to Pandharpur. The Varkaris and the Vitthal cannot be separated. To anybody who knows something of the cultural history of the region, the mention of the name of the one automatically reminds of the other. The Varkari is a picturesque figure.

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Temples on the banks of the Bhima, Pandharpur
About Padharpur
Introduction
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