Vitthal Rukhamini Temple Pandharpur is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vitthal, a form of Vishnu or Krishna, and his consort Rukmini. It is located in the town of Pandharpur in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is one of the most visited Vitthal Rukhamini temples in Maharashtra and attracts millions of pilgrims every year. Visit during One day trip to Pandharpur
Distance From City Center Location Vitthal Rukhamini Temple
Vitthal Rukhamini temple is situated on the banks of the Chandrabhaga river, 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 Vitthal Rukhamini Temple
Vitthal Rukhamini temple is open daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm. The entry to the temple 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 Vitthal Rukhamini Temple
There are various modes of transport available to reach Vitthal Rukhamini 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 Vitthal Rukhamini Temple
There are many things to do and see at the temple complex and its surroundings. Some of them are:
- Darshan of Vitthal and Rukmini: The main attraction of the temple is the darshan of the idols of Vitthal and Rukmini, which 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. Vitthal 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 Vitthal 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 Vitthal 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. Vishnu was impressed by his devotion and agreed to wait on a brick. 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.
- Namdev Payari: This is a flight of steps that leads to the main entrance of the temple complex. It is named after Namdev, a 13th-century saint and poet who was an ardent devotee of Vitthal. He used to sing praises of Vitthal at this spot and composed many abhangs (devotional songs) in Marathi language. There is a statue of Namdev at the top of the steps.
- 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 Vitthal Rukhamini Temple
The temple has a great significance for the followers of Vaishnavism, 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 (devotion) in Maharashtra. They sing abhangs 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 temple is also significant for its architectural style and history. It was built by King Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala Empire between 1108–1152 CE upon being convinced by Pundalik. It has a Hoysala style of architecture with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology. It also has an inscription dating back to 1237 CE by King Vira Someshwara that grants a village for its upkeep.
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 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 temple?
A: The main festivals celebrated at the temple are Ashadhi Ekadashi and Kartiki Ekadashi, when lakhs of Warkaris visit the temple 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.
Vitthal Rukhamini Temple Pandharpur is a sacred place for all Hindus who worship 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.