About

As per historical records, the Pandharpur temple complex has been renovated a number of times. As per these records, one of the royal rulers of the Shaliwahana Dynasty renovated Pandharpur in 83 A.D. The tradition of the "Paduka Procession (walking on bare foot) with Palanquins of the Idols" is said to have begun in 1296 A.D

Vithoba's history begins with consideration of the dating of the chief temple at Pandharpur, which is believed to be the earliest of Vithoba's temple. The oldest part of the temple dates to the Yadava period of the 12th and 13th centuries. Most of the temple is believed to have been built in the 17th century, though addition to the temple has never ceased. The date the temple was first established is unclear, but there is clear evidence to suggest it existed by the 13th century. According to S. G. Tulpule(Scholar of medieval Marathi Language & Literature, First Head of the Department of Marathi at Savitribai Phule Pune University), the temple stood as early as 1189. In fact, a monument dated 1189 records establishment of a small Vithoba's shrine at the present location of the temple; thus, Tulpule concludes, the worship of Vithoba predates 1189.

About 01

A stone inscription dated 1237, found on an overhead beam of the present Vithoba's temple, mentions that the Hoysala king Someshvara donated a village for the expense of the bhoga (food) for "Vitthal". An inscription on a copper plate, dated 1249, records the Yadava king Krishna granting to one of his generals the village Paundrikakshetra (Kshetra of Pundarik), on the river Bhimarathi, in the presence of the god Vishnu. Another stone inscription in Pandharpur narrates a sacrifice at Pandurangapura due to which "People and Vitthal along with the gods were gratified". Thus from the 13th century, the city is known as the city of Panduranga. Inside the temple, a stone inscription records gifts to the temple between 1272–77 from various donors, notably the Yadava king Ramachandra's minister Hemadri.

Its is believed that an inscription, found in Alandi referring to Vitthal and Rakhumai, is the oldest related to Vithoba, and dates it to 1209. However, the name Pandaranga is found on a Rashtrakuta copper plate inscription, dated 516. Citing this, it can be inferred that Vithoba's cult was well established by the 6th century.

Main entrance of Lord Vitthal's Temple is facing towards the Chandrabhaga or Bhima river. Samadhi of Sant Namadev and Sant Chokamela is at the entrance. Pilgrims first pray to the Devotees and then enter the temple. Small Ganpati's Shrine is present inside the temple as first Shrine. Then, a small hall where bhajans are performed. Small Shrine for Garuda and Hanuman facing Lord is in the same hall. Then, after climbing few steps, we can see the beautiful face of Lord Vitthal. We can have this Mukha Darshan any time without standing in a queue. For, Padha Darshan (To touch the Lotus Feet of Lord), there is an entrance which leads to "Queue Complex" outside the temple. It will lead to many small shrines of Bhaktas, then towards the Lord Panduranga. There are Shrines for Rukmini Devi,Sathyabhama Devi, Radhika Devi, Lord Narasimha, Lord Venkateshwara, Goddess Mahalakshmi, Nagaraj, Ganesha, Annapoorna Devi. There is another mandap where all devotees play like Krishna had played with Gopikas.

Social and Religious Aspect

Many great saints have devoted their life in service of Lord Vithal in the heart of sacred Chandrabhaga Desert to be able to touch live as them, to feel the love of Chandrabhaga is considered as attaining divinity by all the pilgrims (Warkaris).

Chandrabhaga has a utmost respect in the heart for everyone irrespective of their caste and creed. Chandrabhaga doesn’t differentiate between anyone she bless everyone equally. Pilgrims when set foot in Pandharpur cleanse their body and soul in the pure and divine waters of Chandrabhaga. The greatest devotee Pundalik was blessed by Lord Vithal himself by his presence, Pilgrims lined up to pay their tribute to this Holy devotee. Chandrabhaga is blessed with divine beauty with its magnificent crescent shape its Desert provide resting place to many great saints and warmth to all the pilgrims visiting Pandharpur during their journey.

About 02

On the eve of Ashadi and Kartiki thousands of pilgrims set out for a spiritual journey towards Pandharpur with Lord Vithal’s palanquin resting on their shoulders from Maharashtra as well as many other parts of the country, they all come together at Santhnagar in Wakhari. From this junction on the morning of Ashadi Suddha Dashmi they all in unison move closer to Pandharpur. Festivities and prayers are is a common scene, the Desert comes lively with all the pilgrims and their enthusiasm.