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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

Inscriptional and paper references to the Vitthal and Pandhapur during the last thousand years are mostly records of grants made by various rulers and commoners to the shrine. The earliest known reference to Pandharpur comes from the sixth century A. D. This is a copper-plate grant of the Rashtrakutas and although it mentions Pandarangapalli, that is, Pandharpur, it does not make any mention of Vitthal at all. The first definite reference to the deity is dated 1236 A. D. and speaks of the grant from the Hoyasala king mentioned earlier. A very interesting epigraph of a slightly later date (1237 AD.) is the famous "Chauryaaishicha Lekha". This inscription records various donations given to the Vithoba by people from various places. It is a list, divided in seven columns, of the donors, not unlike the present day lists published by newspapers of donors and contributors to various funds. The inscription is carved on a huge block of stone (5' by 3’). Sometime during the last century or a century before that, some shrewd fellow established the image of a goddess on the top of this stone and revealed to everybody that if one wants to escape from the cycle of eighty-four births, he should worship the goddess and rub his back against the plain surface of the stone, that is, against the inscriptions. This revelation' caught the imagination of the masses and for the last hundred years at least hundreds of thousands of persons have rubbed themselves against the stone till some ten years back the practice was prohibited and a protective iron grill mounted on it. However, by that time the inscription was greatly damaged. The story is mentioned here merely to indicate how unscrupulous money-seekers many a time exploit eager punyaseekers.

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