Pandharpur – Vitthala perumal

Name of the Temple

Sri Vithoba Temple

Period of origin

Before 13 th century

Name of deity

Moolavar: Vithoba alias Vitthala

Thayar: Rukmini

Pushkarani: Chandrabhaga

Sthalapuranam:

There was a brave king  named ‘Muchkung’. In the battle of Gods and Devils, Gods demanded the help of the king. Making a great feat the king gave a great victory to the Gods, favorably disposed on his deed God told him to demand blessing. The king said, I am very tired, I want to rest now. If anyone brings an obstacle in my rest, he will be burnt by my eyes. Then he slept in cave, in the incarnation of Shree Krishna. The strongest cannot kill devil ‘Kalyavan’  by any weapons. Shree Krishna by trick brought him in where the king Muchkund and hide in the darkness. Kalyavan came in the cave. He saw the shawl of Shree Krishna, so he gave a strong kick to the king. As soon as the king Muchkund awakened from his sleep, he burnt the devil by his eyes. Then Bhagavan Shree Krishna gave darshan to Muchkund. He told the king all events. Then the king Muchkund begged  the Lord to stand him as it is.  Lord Shree Krishna has him front of Muchkund, promised him to complete his desire in his next life.

Thus the king Muchkund was born again named Pundlik. He looked after the needs of his father Janudev and his mother Satyavati. But things changed when Pundalik got married. He started ill treating them. Tired of his tyranny, the parents decided to head for Kashi / Varanasi. It is said that those who die in Kashi attain salvation and liberation from the cycle of birth and death. This is still believed today and many people travel there when they feel their end is near.
Hearing his parent’s plans, Pundalik and his wife decided to join them. His treachery continued so much that he made his old parents walk throughout the journey while he and his young wife rode on a horse. On the way, they came across the hermitage of the venerable sage, Kukkutswami. Tired of the long journey, the group decided to spend some days there. That night, Pundalik lay awake and witnessed something remarkable. Just before dawn, he saw a group of beautiful, young women dressed in dirty clothes, enter the Sage’s hermitage. They did chores like cleaning the floor, fetching water and washing the Sage’s clothes. After that, they went to the prayer room. When they came out, their clothes were spotlessly clean and they disappeared. Pundalik wasn’t alarmed seeing this but rather he felt at peace. He kept thinking about the incident the following day. He wanted to be sure that he was not dreaming but had truly witnessed such a glorious incident. So he remained awake again. But this time, he got closer and decided to speak to the women.
“Who are you all?”

“We are Ganga, Yamuna and all the holy rivers of India. People take a dip and bath in us to wipe away their sins. The impurity of their mind, body and souls make us dirty. That’s why you see our clothes in such filthy condition.” Pundalik was amazed with their answer.

“But you are the biggest sinner of all because of the way you treat your parents.”

This was a rude awakening for Pundalik. He realized his mistake and changed his ways. He served his parents well and looked after all their needs and comforts. It is said that devotion in any form reaches God. Seeing Pundalik’s sincere devotion towards his parents, Lord Vishnu was extremely pleased. He left his abode – Vaikauntha Lok to bless Pundalik.

Lord Vishnu reached Pundalik’s house and knocked on his door but he was serving food to his parents. Pundalik saw the Lord at his door but his devotion to his parents was so intense that he wanted to finish his duties first and then attend to his guest. It didn’t matter to him whether the guest was a mere mortal or God.

Pundalik gave the Lord a brick to stand on and asked Him to wait until his duty was completed. The ever-loving Lord was so pleased with his devotee that ,he waited for him. When Pundalik came out, he asked God’s forgiveness for neglecting Him, but the Lord instead asked him to request a boon and it would be fulfilled. What more could a devotee ask when his Lord was standing right in front of him? Pundalik asked that He should remain on earth and bless all His devotees. His wish was granted and the Lord remained behind and is known as Vithoba or the Lord who stands on a brick.This form of the Lord is Swayambhu which means that his idol has not been carved or etched but it came into existence on its own. He is accompanied by His consort Rakhumai or Rukmini..

Route:

You have to take State Transport Bus from Solapur. It is 70 km Distance.

Nearest railway station to Pandharpur is at Kurduwadi, at distance of 52 km away. The major rail head nearby is Solapur, at a distance of 74 km away. Taxi cars are available on hire from Solapur to Pandharpur. Taxi charge is about Rs 1,000.

Temple Timings:

6 am to 11.30 pm and 4 pm to 11 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

02186 – 224466 – 223550

Temple Address:

Vitthal Rukmini Mandir Samiti,
Saingt Tukaram Bhavan,
(Near Shri Vitthal Temple)
Pandharpur – 413304
Dis. Solapur, Maharashtra

Hotels

Hotel Hari Om

Near from S.T. Stand
Phone No. 23071
Charges: Rs. 125

Hotel Shamiyana

Near from S.T. Stand
Rent Rs. 200 to 400

Datta Lodge

Near S.T. Stand
Rent Rs. 60 to 175.

 

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