Pandharpur
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Overview

Pandharpur Travel Guide

Pandharpur — The Spiritual Capital of Maharashtra

Pandharpur’s acclamation in several of Holy Scriptures and books of Hindu evidences its piousness and sacredness sought by tens of thousands of devotees daily from several parts of India. Pandharpur’s aura and its serenity make the true ardent swore by its piousness. There is no dearth of hymns, poetry and verses sung in the praise of the great Lord Vithal, the statuette Lord of Pandharpur Temple. Everyday hundreds of boats carry pilgrims to the temple at the Mahadwar Ghat from across the river Bhima. Pandharpur is hallowed with presence of the “Kuladivat” of Maharashtra: Shree Vithoba / Vithal or Panduranga and Rukmini, on the bank of the river. The specialty of the Sabbath to the Pandharpur is the two world’s feeling one gets on the river and across the river. Feel the serenity under the ripples of Bhima water and assay a divine darshan of Sri Vitthal.

Location

Pandharpur (also spelt as Pandarpur) is located in Solapur, the south-eastern district of Maharashtra, on the banks of river Bhima or Chandrabhaga, the tributary of river Krishna.

Excursion

Pandharpur Excursions

Tuljapur

 

Tuljapur, the abode of holiest of the holy goddess Kulaswamini, is a consecrated pilgrim centre in Maharashtra, almost 430 km to the South East of Mumbai. Tuljapur Kulswamini is the patron deity of Maharashtra and there are tales of Goddess’s miraculous blessing on Shiva ji, the great Maratha who attributed his many conquests to his kul devi (patron god).The holy temple of Maa Bhavani appeals in many ways and one of which is its turmeric and vermillion tinged exuberant carvings on the temple top. Inside the precincts, the goddess welcomes one in the same searing gaze and ferocity as she blessed Shivaji with a divine sword. Revered by many, the Tulja Bhavani Mandir is thronged by more than 10,000 devotees on a daily basis in its prangan (common area). 

Kolhapur

On the banks of Panchganga River, Kolhapur is home to the famous Mahalaxmi Temple, New Palace, Kolhapuri Chappal, Kolhapuri Lavang Mirchi, Kolhapuri Gur (Jaggery) and delicious cuisines. A fusion of religiosity and modernity, Kolhapur is the seat of Shakti — the giver of power. As the holy puranas state, Kolhapur is throne of Mahalaxmi, the giver of wealth and prosperity. Thousands of pilgrims visit the goddess to receive her divine blessings. 

Solapur

A small, quiet town in the heart of Maharashtra, Solapur holds melange of several cultures beside its tourist attraction. The fourth largest district in Maharashtra, Solapur is popular for its small, medium scale industries and bedding accessories. Solapur is also a pilgrimage of Sri Siddeshwara Temple where a huge procession is carried out during the Makar Sankranti attended by millions of devotees. Some important tourists draw at Solapur are Markandeya Temple, Balaji Temple, Rupabhavani Temple, Nagareshwar Temple, Temple of Lord Siddharameshwar, Hipparga Lake - a scenic nature area, Kambar Lake, newly named as Sambhaji lake, IndraBhavan - Solapur Corporation building, Bhui-Kot Castle - castle of 15th century and under the Bahamani period and Hutatma Garden.

How to Reach

How to Reach Pandharpur

How to Reach Pandharpur by Airways: Nearest Airport is located near Pune (212 km) and further shuttling is done in taxis and cars (Rs 2500 to Rs 3000).

How to Reach Pandharpur by Train: Pandharpur Railway Station at Kurduwadi located at distance of 52 km is the nearest railway point but has limited trains However, Solapur is a best convenient with a broad gauge and more connectivity. Solapur is located at 74 km from the town of Pandharpur. Taxi charge is about Rs 1,000.

How to Reach Pandharpur by Road: The National Highway 9 is connects Pandharpur to Solapur. A number of buses ply from Solapur to Pandharpur on an interval of 15 minutes. Similarly, there are buses from Mumbai, Pune and Dadar.

Attractions

Pandharpur Attractions

Pandharpur Legends and Mythology

A popular mytho in Pandharpur narrates how Lord Vitthal got the name here. An avatar of supremo Lord Krishna, the god once visited the Pundalik, one of the residents of Pandharpur and a devout Lord Vitthal. When the god visited Pundalik he found his devotee serving his parents wholeheartedly. On hearing his name from the divine visitor Pundalik threw a stone, handy at the time, in the direction of his visitor requesting him to stand on it as he was busy. However, so engrossed was Pundalik that he forgot all about the visitor. Later, when he went out to check he saw that his divine visitor turned into brick as the Lord wouldn’t have left without the permission of his staunch devotee. The Lord got his name from the Veet, meaning brick in Marathi, on which he stood. Since that time he came to be called as Lord Vitthal. Thus, from that day Vitthal stands in the brick on the bank of Chandrabhaga River in Solapur. 

The Vithal Temple Architecture and Antiquity

The temple structure defies the senescence but the witness to a two millennia old temple is the scripture that was written in 1195. Exquisite carvings can be seen on the pillars and roofs of the temple. There is another shrine of Saint Namdeo, Lord Vitthal’s ardent devotee. Also, there is a small well called as Namdeo Payari constructed in the name of saint Namdeo. Recently renovated, the temple has a Darshan Mandap, built with the capacity to accommodate 80,000 devotees during the vari (Marathi) or procession. Inside there is another hall known as Solkhambi Mandap, a 16 pillared stone structure, constructed in 1802. All 16 pillars have intricate carvings and the innermost is made of silver. There is a custom among people to embrace the silver pillar before praying to the Lord. There are total of six gates in the shrine and the eastern entrance is the main entranceway into the temple. Also, a total of 25 temples comprising shrines of famous saints are found in the temple. 

The Vitthal Temple

Temple Timings: 6am-10.45pm

The age of the temple is said to be more than 2,000 years old. The idol of Rukmini and Vitthal wear a splendid look and seems that the Lord is staring at you with his consort. On special days such as during Vari (procession) time the temple remains opens throughout day and night. After a month long procession, the temple is washed with water and the Sri Vitthal and Rukmini idols in the temple are bathed and a new diet of sugars and spices are offered along whole new set of clothes since it is believed that the lords get tired of the busy days. As a custom, one has to offer earnest orison to the Lord at ‘Pad Sparsh Darshan’, which is bowing and touching the feet of the lord Vitthal. Irrespective of caste any devotee can enter the sanctum sanctorum and can place his/ her head at the feet of Vitthal. Pilgrims can participate in the Kakad Aarti (early morning puja), Mahapuja (Mega worship), Mahanaivedya (offering food to god), Poshak (offering of clothes to lord) that are performed regularly. 

Pundalik Temple

Timings: 4am-7pm

This temple is dedicated to Vitthal’s devotee Pundalik and the temple is managed by the fisher folks who live by the side of the sea. Devotees wash their feet at the warm water spring Outside the temple is a small stone boat 2-3 ft long and extremely heavy to lift. Miraculously, back in the days of yore an abhang (a couplet sung in the praise of Lord) from Saint Tukaram made the boat afloat in water one evening. Additionally, a ferry across the river takes you to Gopalpur which is supposed to be the cattle grazing ground where Lord Krishna took his cows to. A small old dilapidated mandir here stands to evidence the fact. Adjacent to these temple are situated the ISKCON temple, a quiet place to pray, and Mhasoba Temple. 

Vishnupad

Vishnupad is a rock in the centre of the Chandrabhaga River and nearing this pious rock one gets a beautiful view of the river. It is also a best place to click few snaps. 

Alandi Pandharpur Yatra

Every year more than two lakhs of people set on to vari, the word which means something which should be done again and again, to Pandharpur to get the blessing of their Lord Vitthal.

Every year more than two lakhs of people set on to vari, the word which means something which should be done again and again, to Pandharpur to get the blessing of their Lord Vitthal.

Read More on Alandi Pandharpur Yatra

Driving Directions

Pandharpur Driving Directions

 

Pandharpur is a century old sanctum in Maharashtra, dedicated to Lord Vithal. Millions of pilgrims visit Pandharpur and the pilgrimage destinations dotted around it. The Pundalik Temple, Rukmini Temple, Vishnupad temple, and Pandurang temple are the well known attractions of the region which can be visited by the travelers while on a tour to Pandharpur. The nearest airport to Pandharpur is at Pune which is just 203 Kms away from this holy city. The travelers who want to travel to other cities in the Pandharpur region can chose Kuruduwadi rail head station. This rail head is 73 Kms away from Pandharpur and can easily be reached by boarding auto rickshaw, taxi or bus. The state owned transport buses also provide their services from Pandharpur to other destinations girdling it. NH 9 and NH 13 are the Key links which connects Pandharpur with Mumbai, Pune, Ahemadnagar and various regions of Gujarat.

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Alandi Pandharpur Yatra

Alandi — Pandharpur Yatra

The Vari (procession) time of the year is back in the monsoons. Asia’s largest pilgrimage, Alandi-Pandharpur Yatra is undertaken by many people in Maharashtra and several parts of India. The Alandi-Pandharpur Yatra is seen to be the most sacrosanct procession with a history as old as eight-sanctuaries. The tradition traces back to the Sant Dyaneshwar who founded the Bhagats sect adopted by Sant Namdeo, Sant Tukaraam and Eknath in due course of time. All these Saints contributed immensely to Varkari tradition. Thus, the Vari is the procession which carries the Padukas, the wooden footwear of the four saints to Lord Vitthal’s Temple in Pandharpur.

Every year more than 150 Palkhis (palanquin) commence from southern and western parts of India, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Devouts walk for 10 days to three weeks to two months during the yatras. The concluding date is fixed but there is no fixed date to start the yatra. Varkaris reach Pandharpur on the Ashadi Ekadashi in July. 

The Route

The beginning point for Alandi-Pandharpur Yatra is at Aland. There are fixed halts at Pune, Saswad, Jejuri, Walha, Lonad, Phaltan, Barad, Natepute, Malshiras, Taradgaon, Bhandi-Shegaon, Velapu, Varkhari ( the point where the Palkhis of Sant Dyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram meet), and Pandharpur. The Yatra goes as schedule but there are many schedules that allow days of rest en route. Several stretches of the Yatra allows an easy walk and others are facilitated with comforts to the Varkaris, and still others stretches are ecstatic with chants and abhangs of Sant Dyaneshwar. 

The Varkaris

Taking up the Vari is not that difficult as there are dindis who carry appropriate rations, medical aid and other helps in material and kind. The dindis provide food and accommodation on registration of a nominal fee. Aspiring Varkaris can register with Sriharikatha Seva Pratisthan Charitable Trust for any medical aid and assistance. The Pandharpur Vari is just not about the temple and lords. The Vari is a great opportunity to taste local delicacies and Villagers are always keen to know how the Varkaris like their product. All halts have small meals,  and dance. There are several conquests such as Ringan and Dhava that marks the uniqueness of Vari tradition. During the Ringan a sacred horse called as Maulincha Ashva, who is believed to be the soul of the saint whose idol is being carried in the Palki, runs through the rows of pilgrims who try catching the dust particles kicked off and smear their head with the same. Dhava is another kind of race where everyone wins and it is held to commemorate the same way Saint Tukaram caught the view of Pandharpur Temple and started running in sheer exhilaration.

Accommodations

Pandharpur Accommodation

Pandharpur, the spiritual capital of Maharashtra, is thronged by many devotees to assay the darshan of the Lord. To serve the devotees who come to seek divine darshans of the Lord Vithoba there are number of hotels, lodges and dharamshala and umpteen accommodation facilities. An abundance of lodging rooms facilitated with all basic amenities and in-room services are provided for the pilgrims and darshanarthis. An array of hotels budget to lower to upper budget class hotels are lined up near the temple area to accommodate its guests and provide relief to the weary travellers. Accommodation is fairly good and depends on the very room type and type of hotel one chooses to stay in. Staying facilities are available in Solapur as well temple area. There are many private hotels as well as government accommodations as MTDC resorts and hotels.
Some of the good hotels that provide good stay arrangements are Shamiana Hotel, Aisjhwarya Hotel, Shri maheshwari Dharamshala Laxmi Palace Hotel, Bhakta Niwas, Lakshminaryana Niwas and Udupi Hotel Dwarka.

Festivals

Festivals of Pandharpur

Pandharpur Vithoba Shrine of Lord Krishna is a godly place where numbers of festivals are observed every month and year to pay reverence to the Lord. Ekadashi and Palkhi are two major festivals of the Pandharpur shrine that are observed weekly and annually. 

Palki Procession

At Pandharpur Temple, every Wednesdays is regarded as the most auspicious day in the Week after ekadashis, often the most auspicious couplet days in the month according to the Hindu calendar. Pandharpur Temple hosts four important religious yatras in a year. Out of these four Yatras, the three Aashadi Yatra, Kartiki Yatra, Magh and Chaitra Ekadashi’s are processional festivals celebrated annually. Aashadi and Chaitra Yatra are more popular with the crowd and are attended by more than 8 to 10 lac people. Pandharpur Palki festival is celebrated in full pomp and gaiety accompanied by small and big palanquins of renowned saints of India. The colourfully ornate palanquins are first gathered at Wakhri, 5 km before Pandharpur. After Wakhri, pilgrims take bath in the river water of Bhima and proceed to have a darshan of Lord Vitthal.
A 1000-year-old tradition, Palki Festival commences in the month of Jyestha of Hindu calendar. Preparations for the festival start a month before the date of Palki Festival when Palanquins are constructed in beautiful wooden frameworks and painted in various shades. Before carrying out the procession, the idols of Saint Dyaneshwar and Tukaram are kept inside the palanquin. The procession euphoria along with the temple lasts for 3 weeks. Over more than sixty Palkhis from all over the Maharashtra gather at Wakhri to participate in the Pandharpur procession. The Palanquins of Dnyaneshvar sets out from Alandi while that of Tukaram from Dehu, of Nivrittinath from Tryambakeshwar, and of Ekanath from Paithan. All the Palkhis reach to Pandharpur during the 2st half of the 11th day in the Hindu month of Aasadh. The final day of the Palki is ever most enchanting wherea union of all pilgrims hallow the air with the chants of Jai Vithoba Jai Rukmini!

Weather

Weather in Pandharpur

Pandharpur witnesses different types of weather conditions. Summers, monsoons and winters are the three seasons of this region. More details on weather conditions of Pandharpur are as follows:

Summers: The Summers in Pandharpur are hot. The temperature during this season ranges from 31 degree Celsius to 40 degree Celsius. March to June are the hottest summer months of the season. The travelers can avoid going to this place during this season.

Monsoon: During the monsoons, the entire region gets draped in the lush green beauty. Pandharpur receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. July to September are the three months when the travelers can plan to arrange the short trips.

Winter: Winter season is the most appropriate time to visit the Pandharpur region. October to February are the 5 months best suited to visit this holy place. The temperature in the winter season range from 25 degree to minimum 15 degree Celsius.

Tourist Offices

Pandharpur Tourist Offices

The tourists offices in Pandharpur are as follows:

MTDC

Bhakti Niwas Pandharpur

Telephone:02186-223312

STD 02186

Useful Facts

Useful Facts Pandharpur

State: Maharashtra

Important temples: Vittthal and Rukmini Temple, Vishunupad Temple.

Location: In Solapur in South Eastern Maharshtra, Pandharpur is situated by the banks of the vast Bhima, a tributary of the River Krishna.

Distances: 212Km SE of Pune, 366 Kms of SE of Mumbai, 74 Km W of Solapur.

Route from Mumbai: Mumbai-Pune Expressway to Pune; NH9 to Shetfal via Indapur; district road to Pandharpur Via Ashti

Route from Solapur NH9 to Mohol; state highway to Pandharpur via Perur.

Where to go: Any time of the year. If you wish to witness the tumultuous vari, then June to July is the best time to go, Fro a more peaceful darshan any other time is fine. The Chandrabagha is at its beautiful best soon after the monsoon.

Where to Eat: Pandharpur has small eateries without much to recommend. The restaurants at Hotel Aishwarya and hotel Shamiana serve South Indian and Chinese food.

Where to Stay: Hotel Aishwarya, Hotel Shamiana Bhakta Niwas , Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan and Mangal Niketan are the accommodations which the travelers can be availed by the travelers according to their budget.

Holiday Check List

Holiday Check List Pandharpur

The holiday check list before going to Pandharpur are as follows:
  • Empty your letter box

  • Fix up security for your house or ask some one to look after

  • Water your plants and ask some one to take care of it

  • Ask your newspaper vendor and milkman to stop supply

  • Clear out the fridge.

  • Switch off the electric appliances

  • Empty out kitchen, waste/dust-bin and kitchen area

  • Lock doors and windows

  • Recharge your mobile or carry coupons

  • Carry traveller’s cheque or ATM cards

  • Pay all due bills

  • Turn off gas/water/

  • Call up the taxi driver/railway station/hotels and other important numbers to confirm and re-confirm

  • Rail Tickets and travel documents should be checked twice

Packing your luggage
  • Woollen/cotton clothing

  • Extra towels

  • Extra pair of socks

  • Night wears

  • Raincoats

  • Wrappers

  • Bath robes

  • Jumper and track suits

Equipment
  • Battery Charger

  • Camera

  • Mobile

  • Mobile Charger

  • Torch/Emergency Light

  • Headphones


Miscellaneous
  • Brochures or holiday book

  • Sunglasses

  • Sewing kit

  • Important stationary(scissors, tape and glue)

  • Film rolls and digital chargers

  • Ear Plugs

  • Watch

  • Umbrellas

  • Address Book

  • Shoulder bags/ Safety pins

  • Important Telephone Addresses/Travel Consultant

  • Few non perishable eatables

  • Medicines

  • Books / magazines to read

  • Binocular

Banks and ATMs

Banks and ATMs in Pandharpur

The Banks and ATMs in the Pandharpur region are as follows:

Citibank

P B No 35, Purandhare Bldg, Station Road, Pandharpur - 413304

Phone :- 02186-223441

Fax :- 02186-225620

Email :- [email protected]

State Bank of India

SAVARKAR ROAD, Pandharpur - 413304

Phone :- (02186) 224793, 223553

Email :- [email protected] Bank of India

Bank of India

SAVARKAR ROAD, Pandharpur - 413304

Phone :- (02186) 224793, 223553

Email :- [email protected]

Maharashtra Bank of India

3065,KHANDELWAL BROTHER`S BUILDING, BHAJI MARKET, Pandharpur - 413304

Phone :- 02186-223288

Email :- [email protected]

State Bank of Hyderabad

3065,KHANDELWAL BROTHER`S BUILDING, BHAJI MARKET, Pandharpur - 413304

Phone :- 02186-223288

Email :- [email protected]

Union Bank of India

Kaldhone Niwas, At & Post Bhalwani, BHALAVANI, Pandharpur - 413304

Phone :- 02186 - 247222

Email :- [email protected]

Union Bank of India

Kaldhone Niwas, At & Post Bhalwani, BHALAVANI, Pandharpur - 413304

Phone :- 02186 - 247222

Email :- [email protected]