Pandharpur yatra is one of the most famous pilgrimage in state of Maharastra, India. It is annual pilgrimage trek of 21 days, also known as Ashadhi Ekadasi Waari of Pandharpur, which culminates on the ekadasi day in Ashadi month. In 2010, Pandharpur yatra palki of great saint Tukaram Maharaj will start on 3rd July and will end on 21st July on Ashadi Ekadasi. Read on to know more about yatra.
From Dehu to Pandharpur: The yatra begins from the Sant Tukaram temple at Dehu and ends at Vitthala Rukmini temple at Pandharpur.
Dehu – The Home town of Saint Tukaram
Dehu is located in Pune district of Maharashtra. It is about 30 kms from the city of Pune and about 130 kms from Mumbai. It is well connected to the city of Pune through roadways. It is easy to reach Dehu, once reached Pune.
Pandharpur temple – Shrine of Lord Vitthala
Pandharpur is located in Solapur district of Maharashtra. It is known for Vithoba temple or Vitthal Rukmini temple. The temple is located on the banks of the Bhima river, also known as Chandrabhaga. It is about 65 km west of Sholapur. The nearest airport is Pune which is 204 kms from Pandharpur. It is well connected by railways and Kurduwadi railway junction but the convenient railhead is Solapur that is about 72 kms from the shrine.
Why Toli Ekadasi 2010 / Ashadi Ekadashi is also called Dev-Shayani Ekadashi ?
It is believed that Vishnu falls asleep in Ksheersagar – cosmic ocean of milk – on Shesha nāga, the cosmic serpent. Thus the day is also called Dev-Shayani Ekadashi (lit. “god-sleeping eleventh”) or Hari-shayani Ekadashi (lit. “Vishnu-sleeping eleventh”) or Shayana Ekadashi. Vishnu finally awakens from his slumber four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi – eleventh day of bright fortnight in the Hindu month Kartik (October-November). This period is known as Chaturmas (lit. “four months”) and coincides with the rainy season. Thus, Shayani Ekadashi is the beginning of Chaturmas. Devotees start observing the Chaturmas vrata (vow) to please Vishnu on this day.
A fast is observed on Shayani Ekadashi. The fast demands abstainance from all grains, beans, cereals, certain vegetables like onions and certain spices and all kinds of meat and eggs.
This yatra is a classic example of unparalleled devotion to a personal deity of Lord Panduranga. Thousands and thousands of devotees take part in the yatra and every year the number only increases. Young-old, rich-poor, able-disable, all sorts of people walk barefooted chanting the holy names of Lord Vitthala. People are seen blissful who chant and dance. The yatra travels to Pune city, Alandi and finally reach Pandharpur on 21st day on the previous day of Ashadhi Ekadasi