Shri Vithal Rukmini Mandir Pandharpur
Pandharpur is one of the revered pilgrimage places in Maharashtra. Pandharpur enshrines Vithoba in a grand temple. Name ‘Vitthala’ have been derived from the word Vishnu in Kannada.
Every year millions of pilgrims and devotees(Bhagvat Bhakta,Vaishnva) Varkari as they are known visit here dancing and chanting the devotional songs (Abhang) of Shri Vitthal Rukmini.
Legend : How God Vitthal came to Pandharpur and chose to stay there. Vitthal who is an incarnation of Lord Krishna – once met the great Pundalik, another famous sage who lived nearby. Krishna arrived at Pundalik door and found him serving his parents with utmost dedication. Krishna was so impressed that he tried to interrupt the faithful son for a moment to express his admiration. However, Pundalik ignored him and instead threw a brick towards him to stand and wait until Pundalik service to his parents was done. Krishna did so and still standing in Pandharpur, waiting on the brick for Pundalik eternal work to be finished. His devotees call him Vitthal a name many devotees interpret as the one standing on the brick.
The temple of Shri Vitthal is facing eastwards. On the banks of the river Bhima known as Chandrabhaga also.The dimensions of the temple are, east-west 350 ft, south-north 170 ft and height is approximately 25 to 32 feet. Artistic carvings of the idols of Gods and goddesses decorate the temple top. They are beautifully painted and illuminated with bright lights at nights. There are entrances to the temple from all the four sides.
During the month ofAashadh, Kartik, Chaitra and Magh the bank of river become Vaishnavancha Mela with devotees and their Bhajan and Sankirtan dedicated to Vitthal.
Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Mandir Samiti owns a forty-acre agricultural plot adjoining Yamai lake in Pandharpur. Farming is done to grow wheat and vegetables and the same are utilized to prepare Mahaprasad for thousands of worshippers who come to the temple every day. A holy cow that has a sacred place in the hearts of the Hindu worshippers are fed by growing special grass on this plot for Gaushala. The Milk procured from these cows is utilized in the temple for all religious rituals.Courtesy: http://www.vitthalrukmini.org (Visit website for more Info)
Since last 20 years Vhiswa Hindu Parishad (Maharashtra) is organizing the Mobile Health services for the Bhagvat Bhakta (Varakari) during Ashadhi yatra known as Palakhi sohala.Mobile Health care vans equipped with Medical check up and medicinal supports are made available on two routs of Palkhi sohala (Alandi and Dehu to Pandharpur) A team of Doctors and karykata serve 1000~1200 people every day.