Vithoba Temple Home > Maharashtra > Attractions > Temples > Vithoba Temple

Vithoba Temple

Vithoba Temple in Pandharpur is the main worship destination for the Hindu God, Vithoba. It is believed that Vithoba is a localized form of Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna as well as Vishnu’s spouse Rakhumai. There are many temples dedicated to different deities in Maharashtra. However, the Vithoba Temple in Pandharpur is one of the most frequented ones. People from the Warkari sect in Maharashtra march from their dwellings all the way to the temple located in Pandharpur in small groups known as Dindi. These groups reach the temple on Kartiki Ekadashi and Ashadhi Ekadashi.

On reaching the temple, the devotees take a holy dip in the revered Chandrabhaga River. The Pandharpur town is located on the banks of this holy river. Devotees believe that a dip in this river washes away all their sins. All the devotees then rush to touch the feet of the deity of Vithoba.

Legend of Pundalik

The tale of Pundalik is considered to be the most significant Mahima legends narrated about Vithoba. The Pundalik legend mainly centers on how Vithoba landed in Pandharpur. Pundalik is a beloved son of Satyavati and Janudev. They both dwelled in a forest known as Dandirvan. However, once Pundalik got married, he did not show the same respect towards his parents and also started ill-treating them. His parents were frustrated with their son’s ill treatment and misbehavior.  Tired of humiliation, the couple decided to go to Kashi. Legend has it that people who breathe their last in the Kashi city attain emancipation and salvation and are freed of the birth and death cycle. Thus, several devoted Hindus in the medieval era would move to Kashi once they stared ageing.

However, fate did not want the aged couple to be freed of their son’s ill-treatment so easily. Once Pundalik found out what his parents were planning, he and his wife decided to join the elderly couple on their pilgrimage. The ill treatment for the aged couple continued even as they travelled to Kashi. The young Pundalik and wife would take the horseback to travel and leave the old couple to travel on their feed in extreme weather conditions.

Pundalik does not stop at this and makes his frail parents to do work so that his and his wife’s journey is comfortable. In the evening, when the group rests in the night, the son would force his aged parents to take care of the horses and also do other tedious jobs.

While travelling to Kashi, the small pilgrim group reached the hermitage of a venerable and a pious sage named Kukkutswami. The family was too tired and decided that they would spend some days at the ashram. One night they were asleep when Pundalik is still awake. He witnesses an incredible vision. He sees that before dawn arises, a small group of young, beautiful women, draped in grubby clothes and come inside the ashram, clean the flooring, draw water from the bore well and clean the pious saint’s clothes. Once they have completed their chores, they move towards the prayer-room. When they are finished with the prayer, their clothes are clean with not a spot of dirt on them. After them, they disappear mysteriously the same way they had entered the ashram.

Namdeva Chi Payari

There is also another intriguing tale about the temple’s very first step which is known as ‘Namdev Chi Payari’ (first step of Namdev). The child and the saint to be, Namdev, happened to be a fervent devotee of Lord Vithoba. One fine day, Namdev’s mother had ordered him to complete all rituals of ‘Naivedya”. Any food prepared in the home is offered to God first. The ritual consists of placing the plate of offering in front of the deity and sprinkling some water around the offering plate and reciting a prayer. Namdev completes the ritual faithfully and patiently waits for the God to take away the offering. However, this does not happen and he feels dejected. He continues to pray to God to personally come and take the offering. Seeing no response, he bangs his head at the feet of the Lord. Touched by his pure innocence and devotion, God finally appears, accepts the offering and also blesses the child. Namdev asks the God to make him present in God’s temple’s first step. He asks this so that he could see countless devotees touch him before they go ahead for the darshan. This first step of the temple is known as ‘Namdev Chi Payari’.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport from Pandharpur is Pune which is at a distance of 204 kilometers.

By Rail

The Pandharpur railway station is located on the Miraj-Kurduwadi-Latur railway line.

By Road

There are several state transport buses and well as private vehicles plying between Pune and Solapur. The route is Pune - Hadpsar - Indapur - here, take a right turn to Akluj – Pandharpur.

Related Image

Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 2
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 2
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 2

Also Browse Following Under This Section

Related Topics


Among the industrialized Indian states, Maharashtra is one of them, extending over mountains of Sahyadri and covering....


There are various government owned and private owned museums in Maharashtra. These museums boast an impressive collection....


The state of Maharashtra has a close prox ...


The state of Maharashtra has many tem ...