Pandharpur Travel guide
Pandharpur is connected to Kurduwadi railway junction by a 52km broad gauge track that was converted from narrow gauge in 2001 under project Unigauge. A train runs from Pandharpur to Mumbai through Pune. On the other side, the track remains narrow gauge to Miraj. This track has been closed for gauge conversion which is planned for completion in 2010. Pandharpur is connected to every district and major talukas in Maharashtra including Pune, Mumbai, Solapur and Sangli by bus and trains.
Solapur railway station, 72km away, is linked with almost all the metros by railway. Other religious places like Tuljapur, Akkalkot, Ganagapur can also be visited with Solapur as the base station.
Pandharpur is one of the most prominent pilgrimage sites in Maharashtra. It is located on the banks of the Bhimā river, which is alternatively known as Chandrabhāgā because of its half-moon-like shape. It is named after a merchant, Pandarika who achieved self-realization there.
Pandharpur, alternately known as Pandhari, hosts the renowned Vitthal temple on the banks of Bhimā. "Vithoba", "Pāndurang", and "Pandharināth" are the popular alternate names of the deity, Viththal, who is regarded in Hinduism as a God form of Lord Krishna, who, in turn, is considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Rakhumāi or Rukmini is Viththal's consort in Hinduism.
The worship of Vitthal in the Pandharpur temple is based mainly on the contents of the Puranas, and the contributions of the Vaishnav saints of Maharashtra and Karnataka during the 13th through the 17th centuries, namely, Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Eknath, Tukaram, Purandara Dasa, Vijaya Dasa, Gopala Dasa, and Jagannatha Dasa, have augmented the worship.
The Pandharpur temple covers a large area, and has six gates. The eastern gate is known as the "Namdev Gate".
Pandharpur hosts four annual pilgrimages ("yātrās") of Hindu devotees. Among them, the pilgrimage in the month of Āshādh (June-July) in the Hindu calendar attracts the largest number of pilgrims --around 0.5 to 0.7 million people. The pilgrimage in the month of Kārtik (October-November) attracts the next largest number of pilgrims.
This has been a great place to visit for devotees all over India. There are some other important holy places around Pandharpur as Goddess Tulja Bhavani (Goddess of family - KulDevata of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) at Tuljapur, Saint Shri Swami Samarth (God Form of Dattatreya) at Shri Kshetra Akkalkot, Lord Dattatreya at Ganagapur etc. All are located in / near to Solapur District. Devotees from all over Maharashtra and surrounding states visit all these places at least once per year.
Pandharpur is an important pilgrimage city on the Bhimā river in Solāpur district, Maharashtra, India. The Vithoba temple attracts about half a million Hindu pilgrims during the major yātrā (pilgrimage) in the month of Ashadh (June-July).