Sant Namdev Step Pandharpur is a sacred step at the entrance of the Vithoba Temple, the main temple of Pandharpur, in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is named after Sant Namdev, a 13th-century saint and poet who was an ardent devotee of Vithoba, a form of Vishnu or Krishna. It is believed that Namdev attained his samadhi (final liberation) at this step and his face is engraved on it. Visit during Pandharpur One day Trip.
Distance From City Center Location of Sant Namdev Step
The step is located at the main entrance of the Vithoba Temple, which is about 1 km from the city center of Pandharpur. The nearest railway station is Pandharpur, which is connected to major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, and Hyderabad. The nearest airport is Solapur, which is about 75 km away.
Timing/Entry Fees Sant Namdev Step
The step is accessible to all devotees who visit the Vithoba Temple. The temple is open daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm. The entry to the temple and the step is free for all devotees. However, there are special darshan tickets available for those who want to avoid long queues and have a closer view of the idols. The tickets cost Rs. 50 per person and can be purchased online or at the temple premises.
How to reach Sant Namdev Step
There are various modes of transport available to reach the step and the temple. One can take a bus, taxi, auto-rickshaw, or cycle-rickshaw from the railway station or the city center. There are also special buses and trains that run during the peak seasons of Ashadhi Ekadashi and Kartiki Ekadashi, when lakhs of devotees visit the temple as part of the Warkari tradition.
Things to Do / Must See Sant Namdev Step
There are many things to do and see at the step and the temple complex. Some of them are:
- Darshan of Namdev Step: The main attraction of the step is the darshan of the face of Namdev, which is engraved on a brass plate on the step. The devotees can touch the face and seek his blessings. It is said that Namdev asked Vithoba to grant him this boon so that he could be touched by countless devotees before they see Vithoba.
- Darshan of Vithoba and Rukmini: The main attraction of the temple is the darshan of the idols of Vithoba and Rukmini, who are made of black stone and adorned with jewels and clothes. The idols are believed to be swayambhu (self-manifested) and have a unique posture. Vithoba stands with his hands on his hips and his feet slightly apart, while Rukmini stands next to him with her hand on his shoulder. The devotees are allowed to touch the feet of Vithoba and seek his blessings.
- Pundalik Temple: This is a small temple located near the main entrance of the temple complex. It is dedicated to Pundalik, a saint who is credited with bringing Vithoba to Pandharpur. According to legend, Pundalik was a devoted son who served his parents with utmost care. Once, he was visited by Lord Vishnu, who came to bless him for his service. However, Pundalik was busy attending to his parents and asked Vishnu to wait outside on a brick. Vishnu was impressed by his devotion and agreed to wait. Pundalik later came out and apologized to Vishnu for making him wait. Vishnu was pleased with his humility and asked him what he wanted as a boon. Pundalik requested Vishnu to stay on the brick and bless all his devotees who come to Pandharpur. Vishnu agreed and took the form of Vitthal, standing on the brick with his hands on his hips.
- Chandrabhaga River: This is a holy river that flows near the temple complex. It is also known as Bhima or Bhimarathi. It is believed that taking a dip in this river can wash away all sins and cure diseases. The river also hosts many religious ceremonies and festivals throughout the year.
- Other Temples: There are many other temples within the temple complex that are dedicated to various deities and saints associated with Vitthal worship. Some of them are Radha-Krishna Temple, Rakhumai Temple, Garud Temple, Narasimha Temple, Dnyaneshwar Temple, Tukaram Temple, Eknath Temple, etc.
Significance of Sant Namdev Step
The step has a great significance for the followers of Vitthal bhakti (devotion), especially the Warkari sect. The Warkaris are a group of devotees who follow a tradition of walking from their homes to Pandharpur in groups called Dindi (procession) twice a year, on Ashadhi Ekadashi (11th day of bright half of Ashadh month) and Kartiki Ekadashi (11th day of bright half of Kartik month).
They carry the padukas (footprints) of various saints like Dnyaneshwar, Tukaram, Eknath, etc., who were instrumental in spreading Vitthal bhakti in Maharashtra. They sing abhangs (devotional songs) and chant Haripath (a collection of verses praising Hari or Vitthal) along their journey. They consider Vitthal as their beloved friend, father, mother, brother, or lover, and express their love for him through various forms of art like music, dance, poetry, etc.
The step is also significant for its history and legend. It was here that Namdev attained his samadhi after spending his life in singing praises of Vitthal and composing many abhangs in Marathi language.
Some frequently asked questions about the step are:
- Q: What are the timings for darshan?
- A: The timings for darshan are from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm daily.
- Q: What are the special darshan tickets?
- A: The special darshan tickets are tickets that allow devotees to have a closer view of the idols at the main Vitthal Rukhamini Temple without waiting in long queues. They cost Rs. 50 per person and can be purchased online or at the temple premises.
- Q: What are the festivals celebrated at the step and temple?
- A: The main festivals celebrated at the step and temple are Ashadhi Ekadashi and Kartiki Ekadashi, when lakhs of Warkaris visit them as part of their pilgrimage. Other festivals include Gudi Padwa (New Year), Ram Navami (birthday of Rama), Janmashtami (birthday of Krishna), Ganesh Chaturthi (birthday of Ganesh), Navratri (nine nights of worshiping Goddess Durga), Diwali (festival of lights), etc.
- Q: How can I donate or offer seva (service) to them?
- A: You can donate or offer seva by visiting their official website https://vitthalrukminimandir.org/English/home.html or contacting their office at 02186-224466 or 223550.
Sant Namdev Step Pandharpur is a sacred place for all Hindus who worship Namdev as their ideal devotee and Vitthal as their supreme lord. It is a place where one can experience peace, joy, love, and devotion in abundance. It is a place where one can connect with their inner self and feel closer to God.