Pandharpur Fair | Why Is the Fair Held in Pandharpur? | Know The History And Importance?
There is a famous temple of Lord Krishna in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. Here Shri Krishna is seated in the form of Vitthal. Every year on the occasion of Devshayani Ekadashi lakhs of people gather in Pandharpur to see the great worship of Lord Vitthal and Rukmani. The pilgrimage to Pandharpur takes place in Ashadh and on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi.
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Why Is the Fair Held in Pandharpur?
In the 6th century there was a saint Pundalik who was a great devotee of the parents. His presiding deity was Shri Krishna. Pleased with his devotion, one day Shri Krishna appeared with Rukmani. Then the Lord called out to him with affection and said, ‘Pundalik, we have come to receive your hospitality.’ When Pundalik looked at that side and said that my father is sleeping, so you stand on this brick and wait and he again got absorbed in pressing his feet. The Lord obeyed the orders of His devotee and stood on the bricks with both hands on the waist and folded legs.
Due to standing on the brick, the Lord gained popularity in the form of Deity of Shri Vitthal. This place is called Pandharpur in Pundalikpur or Apabhramsha form, which is the most famous pilgrimage of Maharashtra. Pundalik is also considered the historical founder of the Varkari sect, which worships Lord Vitthal. The memorial of Bhaktaraj Pundalik is built here. A fair is held here every year in memory of this incident.
Pandharpur Temple and History
- Located in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, this temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Here Shri Krishna is called Vithoba. That is why it is also called Vithoba temple.
- This Hindu temple is known as Vitthal-Rukmini temple. It is the main center of worship of Lord Vithoba, whose wife is Rakhumai. This is the most popular temple in Maharashtra.
- The Vithoba Temple of Pandharpur is located in the southern Maharashtra state of western India on the banks of the river Bhima, to the west of the city of Sholapur.
- Taking a bath in the holy river Chandrabhaga situated here is believed to have the power to wash away all the sins of the devotees.
- Every devotee is permitted to touch the feet of the idol of Lord Shri Vithoba ji. Women and people from backward classes have been appointed as priests in this temple.
- Pandharpur Teerth was established in the 11th century. The main temple was built in the 12th century by the Yadava rulers of Devagiri. Shri Vitthal Mandir is the main temple here.
- At the time of entering the temple, there is a samadhi of the devotee Chokhamela near the door. Namdevji’s samadhi is on the first step itself. On one side of the door is the idol of Akha Bhakti. The temples of Rukmaniji, Balaramji, Satyabhama, Jambavati and Sriradha are situated within the circle of the temple itself.
- Among the famous goddess temples of Pandharpur, Padmavati, Ambabai and Lakhubai are the most famous.
- Across the Chandrabhaga is the meeting of Sri Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhu.
- There is a temple of Janabai in a village 3 miles away and there is a mill which was run by the Lord.
- It is said that the famous king of Vijayanagara kingdom, Krishnadev had taken the idol of Vithoba to his kingdom but later once again a Maharashtrian devotee brought it back and re-established it here.
Fair and Tour
- A fair is held here. People come here traveling from far and wide. People of Varkari sect come to visit here on Devshayani and Devotthan Ekadashi. The journey itself is called ‘Vari Dena’.
- Vithoba, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and his wife Rukmani gather in this city to celebrate four festivals in a year.
- Most of these devotees gather in the month of Ashadha and then in the month of Kartik, Magha and Shravan respectively.
- It is believed that these yatras have been organized continuously for the last 800 years.
- To have darshan of Lord Vitthal, people reach this pilgrimage place on foot carrying flag-dindi from every corner of the country. In this journey some people gather at Alandi and reach Pandharpur via Pune and Jajuri. He is known as Dindi of Gyandev Mauli.