The city of Pandhari Vithoba situated in 17°40' north latitude and 75° 23' east longitude, forty miles to the west of Sholapur, is one of the most frequented places of pilgrimage not only in the State of Maharashtra but also in the whole of India, and ranks first amongst the fairs in the State with an aggregate congregation of four to five lakhs. It is the head-quarters of the taluka bearing the same name and has, according to the Census of 1971, a total population of 53,638 with 5,407 occupied houses and 9,838 households. The town with an area of 4.7 square miles lies along the right bank of the Bhima on trap overlaid with poor black soil. The river is also known here as Chandrabhaga due to the particular shape of the river-bed that gives an appearance of the moon as it is seen on the bright as well as dark half of every Hindu calendar month. When the river is full the broad winding Bhima gay with boats with bright lion, horse and unicorn figure heads; the islet temples of Vishnupad and Narad; and on the further bank the rows of domed and spired tombs; the crowded cloth-brightened flights of steps leading from the water, the shady banks, and, among the tree tops, the spires and pinnacles of Pundlik's and other large temples, is a scene of much life and beauty.
Being the head-quarters of the taluka as also of the Panchayat Samiti, the offices of the Mamlatdar as also of the Block Development Officer are located in the town. It is also a Sub-Divisional head-quarter in charge of a Deputy Collector. The courts of the Civil Judge (Junior Division) and the First Class Judicial Magistrate are also located at Pandharpur. A borough municipality was established at Pandharpur in the year 1855. There are two police stations at Pandharpur, one for the town and the other for the taluka, the jurisdiction of which extends over 83 villages. The educational facilities to the town populace are provided by primary schools conducted by the municipality, the high schools known as the Lokmanya Vidyalaya, the Kavathekar High School, the Apte High School and the Gautam Vidyalaya, and the Pandharpur College.
Pandharpur is a railway station on the Latur-Kurduwadi-Miraj narrow gauge line [This line is being converted into a broad gauge line, the work on which was started from February 1973.] of the South-Central Railway and has proved to be of immense use to devout pilgrims. There is a Government rest-house and many lodging houses and dharmashalas.
Ghats: The river has eleven ghats or landings, three of which are unfinished. Beginning from the north the first is Krishnaji's Ghat, close to the north of the municipal office. It is seventy feet long by seventy feet wide and was built about 1825. The second flight of steps (26' X 14'), over which is the municipal office, was built about 1785 by one Krishnaji Naik Nargundkar, and is not now in use. The third or Uddhav Ghat (72' X 31'), about 700 feet to the south of the second, lies a little to the south of the municipal office. It is covered with flagstones overlaid with murum. These steps, which were built about 1780 by one Gopal Naik Tambekar, are much used by pilgrims for entering the bed of the river in the holy round or pradakshina of Pandharpur. Close to the north of the Uddhav steps, a stream which drains the northern suburb, falls into the Bhima at a spot known as Govind Hari's fall or dhabdhaba. About 180 feet south of the Uddhav steps, and separated from them by a Lingayat monastery is the fourth or Haridas' landing (102'X30'). It was built about 1785 by one Hari Janai Appa Haridas, and is chiefly used, not by pilgrims, but by the people of the neighbourhood in fetching water. A pipal tree near is held in special veneration by barren women who offer vows to it and daily go round it in the hope that the god who lives in the tree will drive out the spirit of barrenness. About 500 feet south of Haridas' landing is the Kumbhar landing (60' X 36') built about 1770 by one Ramchandra Krishna Limaye. It is guarded by a large gate not now in use and is chiefly used by the people of the neighbourhood in fetching water. A little to the south of the Kumbhar landing
is the sixth landing (25' X 14') unfinished and unimportant, with only four or five ruined steps. It is said to have been built about 1790. Close to the south of the sixth and about 300 feet south of the Kumbhar landing is the Mahadwar or Great Gate landing (132'X36'), the most important of all. It is nearly opposite the chief gate of the temple of Vithoba and is used by all who go to the river to bathe, to fetch water, or to visit Pundlik's temple. Many pilgrims prefer the Mahadwar to the Uddhav steps as a starting point for their holy round. After visiting Pundlik's temple they come direct to these steps, enter the river, and turn south. To the north and south of the Mahadwar landing, almost abutting on it, are the temples of Ramchandra the work of the famous temple-building princess Ahilyabai Holkar (1735-1795), and of Dwarkadhish or Murlidhar built by Bayjabai Shinde. This landing was built in 1785 by Chinto Nagesh Badve, a priest of Vithoba's temple. About 300 feet to the south of the Mahadwar landing is the Kasar landing (111'X35'). It was built about 1798 by one Ramrao Javlekar Kulkarni and is chiefly used by the people of the neighbourhood in drawing water. To the south is a large enclosure with the tomb of an old Pandharpur Pandit known as Padhya. About 300 feet south of the Kasar landing is the Chandrabhaga landing (54'X'42') built jointly about 1810 by Bajirao Peshwa and a holy man from Chopda in Jalgaon. It is much used being the landing by which pilgrims enter the town from the bed of the river during their holy round. On the south is the temple of Chandrabhaga which pilgrims have to keep on their right when they make the holy round. A strong masonry parapet wall leads about 600 feet to the tenth or Vipra Datta's landing (45' X 36') so called from a temple of Datta near it on the north-west. The landing was built about 1820 by Chintamanrao or Appasaheb Patwardhan of Sangli. It is close to the circuit road, as its landing has to be crossed by pilgrims. A small shrine of Mahadeo outside Datta's temple at its south-east corner is included in the circuit. To the south of Datta's landing at the extreme south end of the town is the last landing (37' X 20'). It is unfinished and was built about 1770 by one Gopal Naik Jambhekar.
Vithoba's temple: Vithoba's [The account of Vithoba's temple is based on the account in the old Sholapur Gazetteer, which was contributed by late Dr. Bhagwanlal Indraji, Hon.
M.R.A.S.] temple, the chief temple in Pandharpur, is near the central part of the town which is considered holy and is called Pandharikshetra or the Holy Spot of Pandhari. It has a greatest length from east to west of 350 feet and a greatest breadth from north to south of 170 feet. A paved passage with a greatest breadth of twenty-five feet runs round the temple enclosure. The temple is
entered by six gates, two on the north, one on the west, one on the south, and two on the east. Three more gates have been constructed, two on the north and one on the south. Besides these, the chief entrance is the east or front gate, called the Namdeo gate after Namdeo the great thirteenth century devotee of Vithoba. On the river side the Namdeo gate faces the Mahadwar ghat or flight of steps which gets the name Mahadwar because it faces the chief doorway of the temple. In the middle of the road leading from the Mahadwar steps to the temple, at the end of a lane, is a large arched gateway called the Mahadwar Gate. The Namdeo gate is reached by twelve steps. The entire first or lowest step and the front face of the step above it are plated with brass, and on the brass-plated face of the second step are carved fourteen small standing figures of Namdeo's family. Namdeo comes first with a tambourine or tambura in his hand as if performing a kirtan or service of sermon and song, and the women are clapping their hands in accompaniment. An inscription on the first step records that this brass-plating is about a hundred years old and is the work of a man from Dhar in Central India. Close to the right of the first step is a brass bust of Namdeo in Maratha dress. According to the local belief Namdeo, who was an inhabitant of Pandharpur, has his tomb or samadhi on this spot. Padukas or foot-prints of Vithoba are also worshipped in a tailor's house which is said to be Namdeo's house and which contains a tomb which also claims to be Namdeo's tomb. This house has been renovated and multi-storeyed building is erected. Opposite Namdeo's bust, to the right of the lane in a deep recess, is a stone about 2'6" high and 1'6" broad. This stone is worshipped as the abode of Chokhamela, an enthusiastic devotee of Vithoba, who is said to have flourished about 1278 (Shake 1200). The stone is dressed in Maratha fashion and is worshipped by all.
The samadhi of Chokhamela was renovated by Malojirao Mudhoji-rao alias Nanasaheb Naik Nimbalkar of Phaltan in Satara district on 23rd November 1954. The stone is now at the centre of a plinth of about 10'X10'X2' paved with white marbles. At the back of the stone there is a brass prabhaval of about 2'6"x2' engraved with peacocks and leaves. An umbrella-like construction in cement-concrete at the back provides shade over the stone. The samadhi is electrified. The scheduled caste people who were not allowed to enter the temple before the enactment of the Temple Entry Act, 1947, of the then Bombay State, the Untouchability Offences Act, 1956, of the Central Government, and the Public Entry Authorisation Act, 1956, of the Maharashtra State, used to pay their respects to Vithoba from near this stone.
The steps lead to a porch, in the back wall of which the Namdeo gate opens on the temple. In the gateway are two pillars and two
pilasters guarded by side railings of stone. The workmanship of the railing and of the pillars appears to belong to the time of the Devgiri Yadavas, that is, to about the twelfth century. The side walls of the gateway are of the same time and are carved like the wall of a temple of the twelfth century. Part of the south wall is well preserved. The faces of several of the figures in the porch and walls have been wilfully disfigured, probably by Musalmans. The old work of the gate has been restored and an upper storey of brick built over it to form a drum-house or nagarkhana. Other brick work further hides the original stone masonry. The Namdeo gate posts are modern. Over the door post a Sanskrit inscription in Devnagari characters of eleven lines each of twenty-three letters, bears date Shaka 1540 (A.D. 1618) and records the making of the gate by Rukhmaji Anant Pingal who employed Krishna, the son of Murari, as his agent. The Namdeo gate opens on a narrow passage with a roof resting on four arches and with three rooms on each side, the middle room on each side having an inner room. These rooms are occupied by devotees of Vithoba. On the left, between the third and fourth arches, is a recess with an image of Ganapati about four feet from the ground. Four steps lead down from the passage to a large paved quadrangle about 120' X 60'. The quadrangle was divided into two parts, an east half partly tiled and partly open, and a west half called the sabhamandap covered with a tiled roof. The sabhamandap was said to have been built by the Badves. The roof over part of the east half was said to have been built for the kirtans or song services of Ganduji Bava in the time of Bajirao the last Peshwa (1796-1818). In this part on the left on an altar is a nim tree and on the right is a lamp-pillar about thirty feet high. Near the lamp-pillar is a large stone jar or ranjan now filled with water. It is locally called the jar or ranjan of Bodhlya Bava, a devotee of Vithoba of Dhamangaon village in Pune, whose tomb or samadhi is in a shrine or closet close to the jar. This ranjan is so like the toll-jar or ranjan on the Deccan side of the Nana pass in Thana district and other stone Devgiri Yadav (1170-1318) toll-jars that it seems likely to have been used to gather a pilgrim-tax or some other levy. An entirely new sabhamandap of 120' X 60' was constructed about 65 years ago. Its tiled roof is supported by two rows, one each of six wooden pillars. Each pillar is about 30' high. The lamp-pillar near the samadhi of Bodhlya Bava has been demolished and the stone jar or ranjan has been shifted and fixed in the plinth just behind the temple of Maruti in the sabhamandap. The ranjan is not filled with water. Before entering the sabhamandap on the right, tap water is made available. The nim tree along with the altar on the left has also been removed. In the quadrangle are two more lamp-pillars about thirty feet high, one in the middle the other to the left. The left
lamp-pillar is said to have been built by one of the Holkars. Behind the middle pillar on a quadrangular altar was a vrindavan or basil stand. Now, this vrindavan, built in marbles, is on the left as we enter the sabhamandap. From the roof of the old wooden sabhamandap was hanging a central wooden chandelier with chain and brackets all carved out of one piece of wood. The chandelier is no more now and no one knows what has happened with it. The sabhamandap begins with a four-pillared chhatri or shade over an altar and within the chhatri in the middle a small stone shrine with a figure of Garud. On another altar close to the left was a tree which died and has been removed. Further within the hall, a little to the right of the centre is a small square flat-roofed shrine with an image of. Maruti. The hall is now used for song services and devotional dances. The floors of the quadrangle and of the temple are crowded with the names of pilgrims who have them carved under the belief that the touch of devotee's feet will purify their names. The surface of the stone pavement has now become so smooth due to constant wear that the names carved on it could hardly be read out. Several round holes in the floor and on the steps are marks of vows to present the god with money. The practice, which is now rarely followed, is to hammer the silver coin deep enough into the floor to make a hole. This hammering turns the coin into a cup. Some holes remain with cup-shaped coins in them but from most the coins have disappeared. On each side of the quadrangle runs a cloister or veranda with an inner and an outer row of arches, eleven on the left and eight on the right. The inner arches have been filled and made into doorways, each leading to a small room where a devotee used to live. The cloisters seem to be the work of more than one builder. Many of them have no record, but in front of part of the right cloister, between the third and fourth outer arches and on the fourth outer arch, are two inscriptions giving the names of builders. The inscriptions seem to show that the right cloister and probably also the left cloister were built about 1738. The first three of the right cloister rooms were built by two sons of a man named Shiv and the next four were made in the same year by Trimbakrao Pethe, better known as Trimbakrao Mama, a distinguished general under the fourth Peshwa Madhavrao (1761-1772). Both inscriptions show that the temple was then called Pandurang Nilo, that is, the nilaya (Sk.) or residence of Pandurang, a name of Vithoba which occurs in several old songs or abhangs. Six porch-covered steps lead from the quadrangle up to a narrow mandap or hall (50'X 10'). In the quadrangle to the left of the porch a large unused bell hangs from a massive beam of wood. The bell is removed and kept in a room on the left. The bell is of Indian make about 2'6" in height and about the same in diameter at the base. The hall or mandap rests
on two rows each of six pillars and ten pilasters, two in each side wall and six in the back wall. The ceiling is formed of large blocks of dressed stone resting on the pillars and pilasters in the cut-corner style. Over two of the middle pillars is an old block 7'6" long, 1'2" broad and 9" thick. It is part either of a pilaster or of a door post of the old temple and on its three faces has a Sanskrit inscription in Devnagari characters dated Shaka 1159 (A.D. 1237). The beginning and the end of the inscription are hidden by part of the pillar capital. The letters are very shallow and as the slab forms part of the roof and is in the dark the whole of the inscription can hardly be read without taking out the stone. What can be made out shows that the inscription belongs to a king named Someshwar who called himself of the Yadav dynasty. His attributes are almost the same as those of the Devgiri Yadavs. He does not appear to be a petty Yadav chief as he called himself the Beloved of the Earth, Prithvi-Vallabha, the great king of kings, Maharajadhiraja, and Sarvarajachudamani that is the crown jewel of all kings, all attributes worthy of a great king. In the accepted list of the Devgiri Yadav kings the date Shaka 1159 (A.D. 1237) falls in the reign of Singhana II (1209-1247). The probable explanation of this apparent disagreement may be that Someshwar is another name of Singhana or of his son Jaitugi II who reigned in his father's life-time. The inscription goes on to state that Someshwar conquered the ruler of the country round and encamped at Pandarige on the bank of the Bhimarathi or Bhima. At that time (1237) Pandharpur was therefore apparently called Pandarige, a name which appears to be of Kanarese origin as many Kanarese place names end in ge. In the inscription Pandarige is called Mahagrama or a great village and the god is twice called Viththal, the form of his name which is still current. Vithoba appears to have then also been worshipped, and the story of the boon to Pundlik which is still current, seems to have then also been in vogue with the only difference that Pimdlika is here called a sage or muni. This proves that in the thirteenth century Viththal was already a god of long standing. The inscription mentions a gift to the god out of the yearly presents from the people of Hiriyagaranja village probably, as H and P interchange in Kanarese, the modern Pulunj about fifteen miles east of Pandharpur where a well engraved inscription of the Yadav king Singhana II has been found.
In the back wall of the hall or mandap are three gates, of which the middle gateway and gates have been elaborately and cleverly plated with brass and ornamented. The door-frame and the doors of the middle gate are plated with silver and hence called chandicha darwaja. On one post is a figure of Vishnu's attendant Jaya and on the other post of Vijaya, each with a small fly-whisk bearer. On the threshold are carved a fame-face or kirti-mukh and a chakra or discus, and on
the outstanding front of the lintel is an image of Ganpati. The door post and two front pilasters are plain but handsome. A brass chhatra or shade carved in leaf pattern projects from the lintel over the pilasters. Above the chhatra is lotus tracery in panels and above the lotus tracery is some carving in the kangra or boss pattern. In the kangra carving two inscriptions record that the carving was the work of two Tambats who were employed by some one whose name is not given. Probably each of the Tambats completed one side. In the porch in front of the hall or mandap is a bell of European make 1'4" in diameter at the base and 1'8" high. The bell is removed and kept in a room. It bears the following inscription:-
and a little below
LDV A DOSEAOS ANTIS IMD SACRAMENTO
According to a Marathi inscription in the right wall, this hall or mandap was built in the bright half of Magha (February-March) in Shaka 1543 (A.D. 1621) Durmati Samvatsar by Mankoji Narayan and Appaji, inhabitants of Ped, sons of Bhanuri Hasoba Nayak son of Kukoba Nayak and Hasoba's wife Gangai. To the left of the middle gateway in the backwall of the mandap is a large niche with an image of Ganesh daubed with red lead. To the right of the gateway is a black stone four-armed image of Sarasvati about 2'6" high sitting on a lotus. The upper right hand holds a lotus and the lower holding a garland rests on the right knee, the upper left holds an axe and the lower left a long rectangular block apparently a manuscript. The side gateways are plain and have iron grating in the doors. The middle gateway leads to what is called the solakhamb or sixteen-pillared hall or mandap. This is a large hall (41'6"X45'6") apparently later than the last hall and said to have been built about 200 years ago by a Daudkar (inhabitant of Daud) Shenvi. The hall has four rows of four pillars and four pilasters in each wall. The workmanship of the pillars is an imitation of the old Devgiri Yadav pillars in the Namdeo gate porch. In a square part in the middle of the pillars is a sculpture with scenes from Krishna's life, the Machchha and Kachchha or fish and tortoise, the first and second, incarnations of Vishnu, three fish with one face in the Musalman style, and some ducks. Over each group of four pillars is a dome in the cut corner style, eight of which, at the suggestion of the Sanitary Commissioner, were opened for light and air. In the front wall of the hall are three gates, the middle gate old and the side gates were then opened at the suggestion of the Sanitary Commissioner. The north wall has three more gates and the south wall
two. The first door on the south leads to a veranda which goes right up to the Tarti darwaja where an image of the saint Kanho Patra is installed in a small shrine over which a tree called tarti is grown. In the east or back wall of the south part of the veranda are four rooms with images. In the last room is an image of Ganapati with its trunk on the right. The part of the veranda which goes towards the west has two rows of pillars five in each row. At the west-end of this veranda, in a deep recess, there is a room having an image of Guptling or ling of Mahadeo. This Mahadeo and the room as well are not visible from outside. The veranda then takes a rectangular turn and ends at the Paschim darwaja. In this small portion of the veranda there are two rooms having images, in one there is an image of Khandoba and his wife Mhalsa. The whole work, veranda rooms and pillars, is strong and of fine masonry. An inscription on one of the rooms records that the work was done in Shaka 1771 (A.D. 1849) by Menabai, the wife of Anandrao Pawar of Dhar in Central India. Menabai also built the wooden mandap to the south of Lakshmi's temple and supplied a boat in the Bhima. The mandap has been demolished and instead a new hall is built in cement-concrete.
Facing the north gates of the solakhamb mandap is a detached veranda with seven rooms in its back wall. The veranda roof is supported on two rows each of six plain pillars. Going from left to right, in a niche facing east is an image of Ganapati, the rooms have a ling of Kashivishvanath, images of Ram and Lakshman, a small Kalbhairav riding a dog plated with brass, a small ling called Rameshwar on a high shalunkha, ekmukhi Dattatraya in black stone, and Narsoba. The last room is empty. In the niche facing west are images of Garud and Hanuman. These rooms are said to be the work of a Badva named Kanababa. Near the east end of the narrow passage between these rooms and the Solakhamb hall, in a recess, is a large inscribed slab 4'10" long by 2'9" broad. It is locally called chauryanshi or eighty-four and the Badves used to tell pilgrims to rub their backs against it to escape the eighty-four millions of births destined for every un-rubbed human soul. A modern image of Devi has been fixed on the slab and the recess has been fitted with a modern door. The true origin of the name chauryanshi is that the slab is dated Shaka 1194, and as the third figure looks like 8, the Badves read it eighty-four or chauryanshi and connected it with the story of the eighty-four million births. The inscription is now protected by an iron grating. In the first fine of the inscription a salutation is offered to Viththal or Vithoba and then, after the data Shaka 1194 (A.D. 1272), follows a description in parallel columns of numerous gifts offered monthly to the temple by several devotees. The gifts mentioned belong to various times, and give in short the names of the devotee and his gift. As none are
written in full they are hard to make out. The first inscription runs Shripati Danna ki data ga deya danda o phule 100 van which probably means the gift by one Shripati Danna of one gadiano (a month) yielding daily 100 flowers to be offered to the god. The same column contains the following in Marathi:-Shaku 1198 Dhata samvatsaru Magh Shudi 2 Buddhe yadavi Kala Hemadi panditi Dhamana datta ga deya danda recording on Wednesday the bright second of Magha (February-March) Shaka 1198 (A.D. 1276) Dhata Samvatsar in the Yadavi period by Pandit Hemadi, the gift of Dhamana gadyana. [Gadyana appears to be the name of a coin. In Gujarat and Kathiawar gadiano is still the name of a gold and silver weight equal to about half a tola or rupee weight.] This Pandit Hemadi no doubt is the minister Hemadri of the great Devgiri Yadav Ram-chandra (A.D. 1271-1310) from whose piety and bounty all the early Hindu temples of the North Bombay Deccan and Khandesh are locally known as Hemadpanti. The next gift, which is dated Shaka 1199 (A.D. 1277) Ishwar Samvatsar, gives the name of the king as Shri Ramchandradevray.
Of the sixteen pillars in the solakhamb hall the base and capital of the second in the second row are plated with gold (now brass) and its shaft which is plated with silver bears a small figure of Vishnu's vahan Garud. Pilgrims embrace the pillar and make money offerings to it. It is said to stand in the place of an old Garud pillar which stood in front of Vishnu's shrine before the solakhamb hall was built. The solakhamb hall is paved with white marbles. Near garudkhamb is a rangsheela. The second and third pillars in the second and third rows of pillars in the solakhamb hall have a dome on which from inside are carved the images of the incarnations of god. In the back wall of the mandap a door leads to a smaller hall called the four-pillared or chaukhamb. This door was widened about 100 years ago to make the passage for pilgrims easier. It is plated with silver on the right before we enter into the chaukhamb hall and foot-prints or padukas in the name of the great poet-saint Tukaram are placed on a stone plinth 2'X2'X3'. Adjacent to this was a samadhi of Bhanudas, a great devotee of Vithoba. Now the padukas have been shifted from its original place and are kept in front of the image of Vyas Narayan. With this chaukhamb begins the original temple. The solakhamb between this chaukhamb and the mandap is modern. The original temple included the usual hall, ante-chamber, and shrine or garbhagar. The chaukhamb has two gates, one on the south called hatti darwaja because there are two old stone elephants near the steps and one leading to the solakhamb. Though, as it is now joined with the solakhamb, no steps remain on the east, the east gate like the south gate must originally have had steps with elephants. The chaukhamb is 22'2" broad by 19'10" long and has
four central pillars which give it its name. In the centre is a rangsheela carved out of white marble. The floor is paved with white marbles. In the walls are four pilasters. The roof is in the cut-stone dome style and has been pierced in six places for air. The north wall has no gate, and a deep recess faces the south gate. Near the north-east corner of the hall a second recess is used as the god's bed-chamber or shejghar and is furnished with a silver couch with bed clothes and some of the raiment. In front of the south gate over the steps is a modern roof. Between the two pillars of the chaukhamb on the ante-chamber side is a wooden bar about eight inches thick to prevent over-crowding. Also, to avoid the rush of the crowd from entering into the shrine for darshan of god the barricades are arranged right from the narrow mandap outside the solakhamb mandap till the image of god. From the four-pillared hall a later arch plated with silver resting on two later pillars carved in the Moghal style leads into the ante-chamber which is about nine feet square, and, except some empty niches in the side wall, is plain. A hole and two air shafts have been made in the roof to give more air. From the ante-chamber a small door (3'X3') plated with silver leads down to the shrine or garbhagar a small room about eight feet square with nothing of architectural interest except a quarter pilaster at each corner. In the middle is a wooden bar about eight inches thick to prevent overcrowding. Attached to the back wall is a square altar three feet high with a silver shade, and under the shade on a base fixed in an altar a standing unsupported image of Vithoba, variously called Pandurang, Pandhari, Viththal, Viththalnath and Vithoba.
Vithoba is a short form of Viththalbava, that is, Father or Dear Viththal. The Yadav inscriptions make it probable that the oldest of these names is Viththal; Viththal does not appear to be a Sanskrit name, nor, though several attempts have been made, can the word be correctly traced to any Sanskrit root. The name is probably Kanarese. Pandurang is a Sanskritised form of Pandaraga, that is, belonging to, or of Pandarge, the old name of Pandharpur. The form Pandhari appears also to come from the old name of the village. The form Viththalnath or Lord Viththal is used by the people of Gujarat who generally add nath to the names of gods as in Shrinath, Vrishabhanath and Dwarkanath. The chhatri or shade was made in 1873, when also the altar was built, somewhat further forward than before to prevent pilgrims embracing the god. Formerly pilgrims both embraced the god and touched his feet. Now the feet are touched and they are polished smooth by the constant rubbing. The saffron-bathing or keshar-snana of the god by pilgrims, which was usual formerly, was stopped since 1873, but has been re-started now. In 1873, also, a silver back or pithika with a five-hooded cobra in the middle, three peacocks and fancy tigers on each side, and a fame-face or kirti-mukh at the top, was removed. It is
now kept in its original place at the back of the god. The changes in 1873 were due to injuries received by the god. Two Gosavi mendicants while embracing the image gave it a push and the image fell and broke its legs between the knees and the ankles. The local belief was that the mendicants broke the image with a stone, because the God did not eat a fruit which they had offered. But this is less likely than the story that the image was thrown over accidentally. According to one story during these days a new image was installed, but examination shows that the present image is the old image patched at the break by iron or copper rods from within. Besides being mended, the image has also been strengthened by a support from behind up to the knee. The image is about three feet nine inches high and together with its base seems to be cut out of one block of sandstone. The base is about one foot square and its height cannot be fixed as much of it has been built into the altar, leaving a slice about 1½ inches thick which is locally believed to be a brick to suit the Pundlik story of Vithoba waiting on a brick. The image is standing with its arms akimbo and hands resting on the hips, the left hand holding a conch and the right hand a chakra or discus. On the image are carved, but so slightly as to be hardly noticeable except on close examination, a waist-cloth, and round the waist a kambarband or waist-band, the end of which hangs on the right thigh. The ornaments carved on the image consist of a necklace and in the long ears ear-rings which touch the shoulders. On the head is a long round-topped cap. A small hollow hemisphere, called chhatri (umbrella-shape) of about a foot in diameter with small globes fixed separately with chains so as to hang down around the circle, all made in gold is kept hanging over the head of the image. The general workmanship of the image is earlier than the mediaeval Rajput style of the Anhilvad Chaulukyas (943-1240), the Devgiri Yadavs (1175-1318), or the Ajmer Chohans (685-1193). The dress and ornaments of the image belong to a little later than the Guptas, probably not later than the fifth or sixth century after Christ. As far as is known no other existing Vaishnav temple in India has an image of Vishnu like the Pandharpur image, but there are two similar images of the third century after Christ in the Udayagiri Brahmanical caves near Bhilsa. The images are in two of the four cells to the left of a large image of Vishnu reclining on his serpent couch. Like the Pandharpur image these are both standing figures with arms akimbo and hands resting on the hips and a conch and discus in the hands. This type of image represented Vishnu only in his form of Hari.
Later investigations however show that there is no similarity between the Pandharpur image and Udayagiri images. The Udayagiri images have four arms whereas the Pandharpur image has only two, which is true enough. But one thing must be noted: The
two arms of the Udayagiri images which are not akimbo are holding the chakra and the club. It is therefore very likely that what the two arms in akimbo are holding are the sea-conch and the lotus, although it is difficult to be definite on account of the state of the images. The Pandharpur Vithoba also holds the sea-conch and the lotus but the two rear hands are absent.
"But although some of the characteristics are similar in both images,
it must be said that the style and the detail of the ornamentation are
absolutely different. The two statues cannot belong to the same school
of art........"[The Cult of Vithoba, G. A. Deleury, 1960, p. 160.]
"This image is not a work of art. It is not the work of an artist who could belong to one school of sculpture or the other. It has
been done by a local craftsman according to local tradition...........
The fact that it is certainly not of the Hemadpanti style shows that the image might have been carved long before the Hemadpanti temple was built at Pandharpur in the thirteenth century. The statue might have been carved when Pandharpur was only a tiny village, with a small shrine." [Ibid., p. 161.]
The ornaments and jewels of Vithoba are exquisitely designed, and display workmanship of a very high order. The ornaments which have been donated to the Lord by princes and rich devotees are quite numerous. The Badves who are in charge of the same claim that it takes about three hours if all the ornaments are to be worn on the image. The most exquisite and beautiful of the ornaments of Vithoba are described below. The Laffa, a neck ornament, is made in gold studded with jewels and gems including diamonds, emeralds, rubies and a number of pearls of different sizes. It is reported to have been donated by Dattajirao Shinde, and is estimated to be worth Rs. 15 lakhs. [The jewellers appointed by the Maharashtra. Government have estimated the value of this ornament in the context of the Nadkarni Commission enquiries.] The Shirpech, an aigrette of jewels worn in the turban, is also a very beautiful ornament made in gold studded with diamonds, rubies, pearls and jewels. The benevolent princess, Ahilyabai Holkar, presented this precious ornament to Vithoba. A very rich and valuable pearl necklace called Motyancha Kantha has been donated to Vithoba by Peshwa Bajirao II. This ornament is made of the most valuable pearls with a pendant studded with emeralds, diamonds and jewels, and is estimated to be worth about Rs. 5 lakhs. There are six Kirits (crowns or diadems), two of which are in pure gold, besides a Pagdi known as Shindeshahi Pagdi of pure gold, weighing about 165 tolas. A gold Pitamber weighing about 200 tolas is another ornament which attracts attention.
Besides, there are numerous ornaments of gold, pearls, jewels and precious stones as under:-Kaustumbh Mani of diamonds and emeralds, Hiryanchi Kundale, Motyancha Tura, Bhikbalya, Putalyanchi Mal, Moharanchi Mal, Tulashichi Mal, Tode, Kade, Kalagi, Painjan, Danda Petya, Matsya Kundale and a number of others.
The image is decorated with some of the ornaments, as it takes about three hours to adore the image with all the ornaments, on selected festive occasions such as Navaratri, Dasara, Diwali, Rathasaptami, Gudhipadava, Kojagiri Paurnima, Narali Paurnima, Prakshal Puja, Ganeshchaturthi, Independence Day and Republican Day.
Mr. G. H. Khare's description of the image of Vithoba is reproduced below:-
"The image is standing. It has on the head a 'topi' which on account of its height and its mouldings has some likeness with the head-gear of the Parsis. We can call it a ' mukuta ', but of the simplest kind. The pujaris call it a Shivalinga and the mouldings shinkyachi dori, but they do not look like a trinket.
The face itself is rather short but looks elongated due to the height of the topi. The cheeks are handsomely round. From the ears fish-shaped pendants hang down. Those are so long that they rest on the shoulders and seem to be a shoulder ornament. Round the neck, the necklace called Kaustumbha is carved. On the left and right breast there are respectively a hole on the first and a ring on the other: the hole is called shrivatsalanchhana and the ring shriniketana. Round the arms a little above the elbows are a double ring and a bracelet of pearls.
The left hand holding a sea-conch is resting on the hips. The right hand open and the thumb turned towards the ground support the stalk of a lotus, and rests on the right hip. The end of this short stalk hangs down upon the thigh. There is a mekhala (a three-stringed belt) round his hips: the loose ends of this belt hang down below the penis and the testes which are clearly visible. The moulding a stone between the two legs is called the stick, 'kathi'. There is no trace of garment around the loins, nevertheless some think that there is such a garment and in that case the 'kathi' could be a fold of the robe which would extend up to the feet. The feet rest on a parallelepiped called the ' thirty bricks '. Under the bricks there is an inverted lotus. There is no ' prabhaval' (a silver plate) behind the image, but after the breaking of the image at the hands of a shaiva gosavi the right leg was restored and a strong support built to strengthen it." [Shri Vithal ani Pandharpur, 1938-G. H. Khare] The solakhamb and chaukhamb halls, the ante-chamber and the gabhara are paved with white marbles. All the premises including the
temples of Vithoba, Rakhumai and other small temples within the enclosure wall are electrified. The thresholds in the chaukhamb hall and gabhara of the Vithoba's temple have been removed to facilitate the movement of the pilgrims.
On the outside of the shrine are images of Narsinh, Radhakrishna, and Sheshshayi whose workmanship shows that the present temple is not earlier than the sixteenth century. These images have been wilfully disfigured especially about the face, which shows that this temple also must have suffered probably from Musalmans. The temple spire or shikhar which is about sixty feet high is in the modern Maratha style and was built about 1830 by a chief of Bhor. The plinth on which the chaukhamb and shrine are based has got a lotus-like shape. A small stone fell from a corner about 20' high above the gomukh due to the great Koyana earthquake in 1967.
A hall called Gajendra hall has been constructed in cement-concrete in 1964 by demolishing the old wooden mandap in front of the hatti darwaja. On its ceiling from inside in two different circles are carved the figures of Raskreeda and Dashavtar.
The Badve's Committee has also constructed a smaller hall in cement-concrete in 1970 in front of the temple of goddess Lakshmi.
Worship: The staff of priests and attendants in the great temple of Vithoba includes Badvas, pujaris or ministrants, benaris or hymnists, paricharaks or bathmen, haridas or singers, dingres or barbers, danges or mace-bearers, and divtes or lightmen. All are Deshasth Brahmans, but all do not follow the same Veda. Except the Badvas the rest are called sevadharis or the servants of the god and have hereditary rights of personal service. The pujaris or ministrants take the chief part in the worship of the god. They remove and put on ornaments, flowers, garlands and sandal paste, and wave lights in front of the god, and are present at all services and light-wavings. The benari or hymnist directs the worship and repeats hymns or mantras at different stages; he is present at the morning and night services but seldom appears at the evening light-waving. The paricharak or bathman brings in a large silver dish of water with which the ministrant washes the god. He also brings the lamp for waving at the evening and night services. The evening lamp called dhuparti or incense lamp contains thin cotton wicks in bundles soaked in clarified butter, camphor, frankincense sticks, and holy ashes for the sticks to stand in. The night light or shejarti holds only butter-soaked wicks and camphor. The bathman is also expected to hand the lighted torch at the early morning service known as the kakadarti or wick-waving. The haridas, or slave of Hari, sings a few verses generally five from which he gets his name of panchpadi. The verses are generally in honour of the god and are sung at the morning, evening and night services. At the
morning and evening services the haridas stands outside the ante-chamber with cymbals and sings, and, after waving the evening light round the god, accompanies the bathman and the maceman round the temple, visiting the smaller deities and singing while the others wave the lights. During the night service he stands in the sixteen-pillared chamber on the slab known as the stage slab or rangshila and sings to the accompaniment of music. The dingre or barber at the early morning service holds a mirror in front of the god after he has been dressed and before the light has been waved. The dingre also spreads a strip of cloth or paulghadi on the way to the bed-chamber at the time of the night worship. The divte or torch-bearer holds a lighted torch or mashal when the last night ceremony is over. He stands with a lighted brass or silver torch to the left of the ante-chamber after the dingre has spread the cloth on the floor up to the bed-stead of the god. He goes with the god's litter when his sandals are carried in the torchlight procession thrice a year on the full-moon of Ashadha (June-July) and Kartika (October-November) and on Dasara night (September-October). The dange or mace-bearer stands with his silver or gold plated mace outside the ante-chamber at the morning, evening and night services. He accompanies the palanquin at the three-yearly torchlight processions. After the evening light-waving before Vithoba and the minor gods the mace-bearer goes out and serves holy ashes to pilgrims outside of the temple in the west part of the town, while the paricharak or bathman goes out and serves ashes and the holy-waved light among pilgrims in the east of the town.
Service: The ordinary service of the god takes place five times every day and night. The service is of two kinds, puja or worship in the early morning and arti or light-waving which is performed four times in the twenty-four hours. The temple work is done by the priests in turn. The Badvas as the chief priests were regarded as the managers and trustees of the temple. As they are the most numerous body, almost equal to the whole of the other priests and ministrants, they get the chief share of the offerings. Except during the three principal fairs when the month's proceeds are farmed, every night at twelve they put to auction and sell the right to the next day's offerings. Each of the four sections of the Badvas gets a day so that they follow one another in rotation and the sum bid for the right to the offerings goes to the section whose turn it is to officiate. Except in the case of paupers and disreputable persons who have to give security the right to the offerings is generally given to the highest bidder. The offering contractor or day-man or farming day-priest called divaskar comes to the temple at about three in the morning, bathed and dressed in a silk waist-cloth, carrying the key of the door of the four-pillared chamber. Before he opens the door the benari or hymnist as well as the pujari or
ministrant and the paricharak or bathman are all present, bathed and dressed in silk. The day-man and the ministrant stand with folded hands and the day-man humbly begs the deity to awake. The day-man opens the door, and, removing the eatables which were placed overnight in the bed-chamber, locks the bed-chamber and offers the god butter and sugarcandy. The other priests or sevadharis, who according to their number serve by daily or monthly turns, all come in except the haridas or singer who stands in the four-pillared chamber. No unbathed pilgrim is allowed to enter the god-room. Then comes the kakadarti or waving the torch a white muslin roll three or four inches long. It is dipped in clarified butter, and is brought by a Badva and paid for by one of the pilgrims. It is handed to the paricharak or bath-man who gives it to the ministrant while all present sing aloud. The ministrant very slowly waves the torch in front of Vithoba from the head to the feet. Numbers come daily to see the god's face by the light of the torch as this is lucky, especially on the Hindu new year's day in March-April and on Dasara in September-October, when hundreds of people come. When the singing and waving are over, the day-priest hands the ministrant a silver cup with some fresh butter or loni and sugarcandy which the ministrant offers to the god and puts in his mouth. The ministrant again waves lighted wicks and camphor round the god but without singing. The ministrant takes off the last night's garlands and washes the feet of the god first with milk and then with water. Lighted frankincense sticks are waved in front of the god, fruit or naivedya is offered, and once more lights are waved and songs are sung. The benari or hymnist recites some Vedik hymns and all the priests throw flowers on the god and shout Jay Jay. The service proper or puja now begins. The paricharak or bath-man brings water in a silver dish and the ministrant unrobes the god, pours milk, then curds, then clarified butter, then honey, and then sugar, one after the other over the god, the hymnist reciting hymns and verses. While the god is naked a cloth is drawn across the door so that no outsider may see. While the clarified butter is being poured over the god a lump of butter and sugarcandy is put in his mouth. After the god has been rubbed with sugar he is washed all over with water. Before he was broken by the Shaiv enthusiast in 1873 the god was washed in warm water. Since the left leg was cemented cold water mixed with saffron has been used instead of hot. Besides the bath a stream of water is poured over Vithoba's head from a conch shell while the hymnists and others recite verses from the Purushasukta, a famous Vedik hymn. After his bath Vithoba is wiped dry and dressed in new clothes provided by the Badvas, the face is wiped and is made to shine with scented oil. A turban is bound round the god's head, sandal paste is rubbed on his brow, and flower garlands are thrown round his neck.
The barber or dingre then holds a mirror in front of the god. The god's feet are washed and rubbed with sandal, burning frankincense sticks are waved, and sweets are offered. Then comes the second light-waving. In this waving called ekarti either a metal instrument is used at the upper end of which is a bowl with a lip on one side where thin cotton wicks soaked in clarified butter are laid and lighted and behind it a flat part where camphor is kept and lighted; or another metal incense burner called dhuparti, in which holy ashes from an agnihotri or fire-keeping Brahman support incense sticks. While the priests and pilgrims sing songs the ministrant holds a flat piece of wood on which the second burner is set, waves it, and then takes the first burner and waves it. The incense burner or dhuparti is handed to the dange or mace-bearer, and the lighted lamp or ekarti to the bath-man who holds a bell in his left hand. Then, along with the songster or haridas, the mace-bearer and the bath-man go round waving the incense and the light round all the smaller deities. This ends the three morning services, the two light-wavings and the worship or puja. The bath-men, singers and barber now leave and the Badva and ministrant stay changing their silk waist-cloths for linen ones. After the morning services, about three in the afternoon and a little earlier on holidays, comes the dressing or poshakh. The ministrant removes the old sandal mark, washes the face, and rubs fresh sandal-paste on the brow of the idol. He takes away the old clothes and puts on new ones applying scented oil to the face with an offering of food. On holidays costly ornaments are put on and the dress, the turban or crown, the waist-cloth and the shoulder-cloth, are all of thin plates of gold. After the god is dressed pilgrims come to take darshan or see him. The visitors keep coming till evening when a fresh dhuparti or incense-waving is held. The bath-man brings a ready filled incense burner and waving lamp and the Badva brings a copper dish with flowers, flower garlands, nosegays, sandal powder, rice, and a silver plate with food. The ministrant washes the feet of the idol with water brought by the Badva in a pot, the old sandal paste is removed, and fresh paste with rice and sandal oil is applied. Flower garlands are thrown round the neck and nosegays are stuck in the corners between the hips and hands. Then with songs, generally sung by the ministrants, burning frankincense and camphor lamps are waved, food is offered, hymns are repeated by all the priests present, and flowers are thrown over the god. The incense and light are carried and waved round the minor deities as in the morning. The bath-man takes the wick-lamp or ekarti and ashes in a cloth and goes round the east of the town putting ashes on pilgrims' brows and showing them the lamp. The mace-bearer takes ashes and serves them in the north and west of the town. The pilgrims give presents and this like other sources of revenue is farmed every year.
On ordinary days oil-sellers pour a little oil in the lamp, some give a betelnut, some an almond, while on the elevenths or ekadashis almost every one to whom the light is shown gives a copper. The last daily ceremony is the sleep-lightwaving or shejarti about ten and on holidays at twelve. Almost all the officiating priests attend this waving. The barber or dingre sprinkles a little water on the floor between the throne and the bed-chamber door and sweeps it; the Badva comes, opens the bed-chamber door, arranges the bed clothes, lights a lamp, and sets near the bed a cup of boiled sweet milk, some sweets, and a spittoon. He also brings water to wash the god's feet. The barber, after sweeping the path, draws figures in white and coloured powders on the floor, and, from the throne to the bed-chamber, spreads an eighteen-inch broadcloth covered with a cow's and Krishna's foot-prints. The mace-bearer, barber, and hymnist stand in the ante-chamber, the hymnist offers a Sanskrit prayer and the ministrant washes the god's feet. Before the ministrant undresses the god the hymnist from the ante-chamber waves a wick light or ekarti brought by the bath-man. The ministrant undresses the god, rubs sandal paste and rice on his brow, puts on freshly washed clothes and folds a fresh turban, throws garlands round his neck and puts a nosegay in his hands, with songs waves the wick-lamp and the incense stick, and offers sweets. Hymns and verses are recited and flowers thrown on the god. Except the two Badvas all the priests leave the room. The Badvas wave five lights one after another round the god singing songs. The day-priest or farmer washes the chamber, locks the door of the four-pillared chamber, and retires. Thus end the day's services and the one-day farm of the day-man. No ornaments are kept in the temple. All are in charge of Badvas who are responsible for them.
The god's special days are Wednesday and Saturday, unless they happen to be no-moon or twelfth days or the ominous conjunctions vyatipat or vaidhriti. On these days after the early morning disrobing and before the five-nectar bath, the god is washed with scented oil, sweet scented powder or argaja, and milk. Another special day is the eleventh or ekadashi on which all Vithoba's devotees fast. On lunar elevenths the daily service is as usual except that the night sweets have been cooked without water and that a wake is kept all night by the god who does not go to his bed-room, and till four in the morning the day farmer and the ministrant watch at the door of the four-pillared room. During the two large June-July and October-November fairs except the proper worship or puja in the mornings all these daily services are stopped and the bed-chamber remains closed. The god is supposed to be fatigued, and on the wash-worship or prakshal-puja day, which falls about ten days after these great fair days, most elaborate anointing and sugar-rubbing are required to soothe the
weary god. The articles of food used by pilgrims on fast days are sweets, milk, groundnuts and mashed dates. Some eat nothing at all, while others take bread, rice and vegetables, which are baked before being mixed with water.
History of the image and temple: The oldest thing in the temple is the image which resembles, as has been said, some Udayagiri sculptures near Bhilsa of the fourth century, while from the dress with the waistband hanging on the thigh, the necklace and ear-rings it seems certainly earlier than the mediaeval Rajput images of about the ninth century. The dome-like head-dress in particular resembles that of images in the Badami caves (6th and 7th centuries), but is of a simpler and apparently earlier character. The earliest inscription [A new inscription has been discovered in Pandharpur itself by Prof. S. G. Tulpule which throws new light on the history of the temple of Vithoba (Pandharpur-Viththalamandirachya itihasatil ek ajhat duva). According to Prof. Tulpule's reading, the temple, a small structure at that time, was erected in 1189 A.D. (vide Cult of Vithoba, p. 193 G. A. Deleury S. J. Ph.D.).] in the temple which bears date Shaka 1159 (A.D. 1237) shows that the image was then held in great reverence, and makes mention of a Yadav king who had subdued the country round Pandharpur paying reverence to the god as to a god of great and universal renown. The inscription alludes to the famous story of Pundlik, which serves to show that the fame of the image was even then of long standing.
The earliest architectural work in the temple is the Namdeo gate which appears from its style, sculptures and pillars to be contemporary with the above inscription or perhaps a little earlier. It resembles in its style the Hemadpanti remains of the Devgiri Yadav period. Under the Devgiri Yadavs a large and splendid temple may have been built here instead of some old small temple or repairs may have been made to an old temple going to decay. This temple seems to have been broken down by the Musalmans as several of the figures in the old sculptures are wilfully disfigured and from the fragments that remain the work appears too strong to have suffered from the effects of time alone. This period of destruction would appear to be just after the capture of Devgiri by Muhammad Tughlik (1325-1351). The original form of the gate cannot be made out as much new work has been mixed up with the old. It looks much like the gate of the Adhai Dinka Jhumpda mosque at Ajmer which has been made from a Hindu temple.
According to local information the image was removed to various places at different times to save it from Musalman sacrilege. One story which is recorded in a famous abhang of Bhanudas, a devotee, appears to be historical. It is of the time of the great Vijaynagar king Ram Raja
(1542-1565) and says that the king took the image to Vijaynagar and built for it a temple and that from Vijaynagar the god was brought by Bhanudas in a casket to Pandharpur. It is possible that in those troubled times when three such mighty powers as Vijaynagar, Bijapur and Ahmadnagar were fighting for supremacy, Ram Raja may have taken the image to Vijaynagar, while it is equally probable that after the great Vijaynagar defeat at Talikota in 1565 the devotee Bhanudas may have brought it back to Pandharpur. [At one time to save it from sacrilege the image is said to have been removed to Bhalavni village, twelve miles west by a Badva named Bapu Trimbak; once again to Narayan-Chincholi village, four miles to the north-east; and a third time to Chincholi-Badvani, a village, one mile north of Pandharpur.]
The present temple appears to have been built about the beginning of the seventeenth century probably when, under Shahaji, the Marathas rose to power in the Deccan. But the image does not appear to have remained undisturbed during the next century of Bijapur and Moghal supremacy. One Pralhad Bava whose date of death is locally given as the dark twelfth of Magha Shaka 1640 (A.D. 1718) is held in great local veneration as having often saved the image during his life-time. The exact dates are not preserved but it is probable that, during the five years (1695-1700) his camp was at Brahmapuri sixteen miles southeast of Pandharpur, Aurangzeb must often have tried to injure and desecrate the temple, when Pralhad Bava may have removed the image. The architectural appearance of the present temple and several inscriptions in it show that it was probably built about 1610, the time of Maratha rise. At this time the temple must have consisted of the Namdeo gate, a long courtyard, the chaukhamb, ante-chamber and shrine. In 1621 the mandap was added in front and under the Peshwas to avoid the trouble and confusion of ascent and descent the solakhamb chamber was made and the courtyard joined with the mandap. Since then additions have been made from time to time in the shape of cloisters and rooms.
Temple Committee: The temple committee was established by the Chhatrapati of Satara, and by the Peshwas, with a yearly grant of Rs. 3,080 for keeping horses in connection with the chariot of the god Vithoba, the establishment of the musicians and other servants, feeding Brahmans of whom seven out-siders or strangers were fed daily. The committee also used to provide oil for lamps in the idol chambers of god and goddess and other parts of the temple inhabited by ascetics and for daily and holiday services of the god and goddess. Besides garden land of about 15 acres which was then assessed at Rs. 18 was given by the Peshwas. After the fall of the Peshwas and the annexation of Satara in 1839 the British rulers continued the system under the Mamlatdar, the members being the life-members with no
responsibility attached to their actions and no control over them. The amount of grant was increased to Rs. 10,000 in 1962 by the Government of Maharashtra.
Litigations: The temples of Vithoba and Rakhumai since long have become the source of income to the Badves, Sevadharis and Utpats. This has given rise to litigations amongst these classes over the rights claimed by them. Often they became acute when for example Badves used to establish their claim over the entire property. These litigations go back to the beginning of the 16th century and were continued till 1968.
"Broadly the grievances and complaints can be divided into two categories: (1) those with which the public are directly concerned, viz., relating to the darshan of the deity and yajaman puja performed by or at the instance of the devotees; (2) the management of the temple which includes within its purview the dealings of Badves and their relations with the Devasthan Committee; the relations inter se between Badves and Sevadharis, action of the Badves and Utpats in relation to endowments; management and custody of the ornaments of Vithoba by Badves and those of Rakhumai by Utpats and lack of attention towards development of the surroundings of the temple." [Report of the Commission of Enquiry regarding Pandharpur Temples, p. 23.]
"In case of pujas, capable as they are, of yielding more income to Badves in practice, get precedence over Darshan in that they are not restricted to forenoon and take place any time and this has given rise to complaints from a large number." [Ibid.]
Nadkarni Commission: The devotees have also acute grievances in respect of pujas of Vithoba and Rakhumai. These grievances which are in existence since long as also the mismanagement of the temple led the Government of Maharashtra to appoint a one-man Commission consisting of Shri B. D. Nadkarni, a retired District Judge, under the Bombay Public Trusts Act of 1950, by its notification No. 27518-P dated 21st October 1968.
The Commission submitted its report to the Government on 31st January 1970. Government of Maharashtra, on the basis of this report, passed an Act, viz., Pandharpur Temples Act, 1973 (Maharashtra Act IX of 1974). The Badve Committee however challenged the Act and has gone in appeal in the High Court against Government decision.
Rakhumai's temple: Behind Vithoba's temple in the north-west corner of the enclosure facing east, is a temple of Vithoba's wife Rakhumai, that is, Rakhumai or mother Rakhuma, the same as Rukmini the wife of Krishna. The image is held next in importance to Vithoba. Rakhumai's temple has now a shrine, an ante-chamber, a hall, and a wooden outer hall or sabhamandap. It originally consisted of a shrine
and ante-chamber, whose work is later than the sixteenth century work in Vithoba's temple. The hall and wooden outer hall or sabhamandap are modern additions, the hall being the work of Chandulal, a famous minister of the Nizam. The wooden sabhamandap is about forty feet square and forty feet high, and has a lamp-pillar to the north of it. The wooden sabhamandap has been demolished and the work of new 18-pillared sabhamandap of about 40'X24' was undertaken in 1965. The red stone in which the entire hall is being built is brought from Gokak in Karnatak State. The black stone which is rarely used is brought from Takli village about 5 km. from Pandharpur. Near the lamp-pillar tap-water is made available. On the first floor,of the mandap, in a spacious hall, a picture gallery will be arranged where big pictures in oil paint depicting the incidents of the Rukhmini-swayamvar will be kept. A contract for such pictures has already been given to Shri Kalyan Shetty of Sangli and Rakhumai Mandap Renovation Committee has already received some pictures from him.
A door adjacent to this sabhamandap on the north is being constructed. The old wooden door-frame and doors have been removed and instead a new door-frame of 7'10"X4'3" in red stone is erected. The drum-house or nagarkhana over it has also been demolished and a new one is being built. Outside the door on the north the construction of porch of 12' X
15' with a large arch of 19' all in red stone is in progress. The door on the north, in the corner at the back of Rakhumai's temple, has recently been renovated. Four steps covered by a porch lead up from the outer hall to the main hall which rests on six pillars and eight pilasters. A door (6'X3') plated with silver in its back wall leads to the ante-chamber with four pilasters and four quarter pillars in the corners. In its right or north wall is a recess used as the bed-chamber of the goddess. The devotees or pilgrims are not allowed to go directly in the gabhara through the doors in the main hall and ante-chamber to avoid overcrowding. For this the renovation committee, with the help of an expert architect and mason, carved out two door-like passages, one in the back-wall of the main hall just in the right corner near the bed-chamber of the goddess and the other in the right-hand corner in the back-wall of the ante-chamber. Thus the pilgrims can now enter into the ante-chamber through the passage just near the bed-chamber and then along the slightly curved wall through the second passage into the gabhara. Both the thresholds, one between the main hall and the ante-chamber, and the other between the antechamber and the gabhara are still maintained in good condition. A door plated with silver in the back wall of the ante-chamber leads to the shrine. This is about eleven feet square, and in its back wall, on a four feet high silver-plated altar, has an image of Rakhumai about three feet high with a silver-plated back or pithika of the same style
and ornaments as that which Vithoba had before he was broken in 1873.
A small hollow hemisphere, called chhatri (umbrella-shaped) of about a foot in diameter with small globes fixed separately with chains so as to hang down around the circle, all made in gold is kept hanging over the head of the image. The image of Rakhumai which is generally dressed like a Maratha woman, is modern in the Karnatak style and much later than Vithoba's image. The image is standing with its arms akimbo and hands resting on the hips. In front of the altar is a wooden bar plated with silver to keep pilgrims from crowding. Close to the south of Rakhumai's temple are three small rooms with a front veranda resting on two rows each of eight pillars. The first room has an image of Satyabhama and the second of Rahi or Radhika. The images and the rooms are both very modern. In the veranda was a navagraha slab with figures of the nine planets. It is an old stone of the Devgiri Yadav period and seems to have been brought from some old temple. This stone has been shifted and kept at the back of Vithoba's temple (i.e. in Badve's premises) in a veranda outside the temple of Ganapati. This has naturally made a way out on the south in the main hall. The door in the ante-chamber on the south has been removed and fixed where formerly the stone of navagraha was kept. This has also in turn made comfortably wide space in the ante-chamber on the south through which devotees can go out easily to the small temples of Satyabhama and Radhika. The main hall, the ante-chamber and the gabhara of Rakhumai's temple are paved with marbles. Closeby are two other rooms in a veranda built about 1850. The second room has two doors and contains images of Surya and Ganesh. Closeby, beyond a lane, are two small image rooms built by a Badva named Manba Raghunath. Further on are two snake-stones or nagobas. The spire on this shrine resembles in shape the idol of Shri Viththal and was built by the wife of ex-chief of ex-Bhor State in 1830 A.D.
Unlike other goddesses who are generally installed by the side of the main deity, the image of the goddess Rukhmini is in its own shrine. The image about three feet tall stands on a silver-plated platform about four feet in height. It is carved in a black well-polished stone.
Service of Rakhumai: The goddess Rakhumai has only one set of priests known as Utpats. These priests have all the rights of personal service. They are Deshasth Rigvedi Brahmans. The Utpats are divided into four 'sections, viz., Barbhais, Khedkars, Damuanna and Undegaon-kar who inter-marry but are considered to belong to different family-stocks. No women singers, dancers or prostitutes, and no ascetic monks are connected with the temple. Musicians and others paid by the temple committee are stationed in the drum-room or nagarkhana on the upper floor of the chief doorway of the temple. Except the shoe-maker
all the servants live in the loft above the main doorway known as Namdeo's gate.
Ordinary service of the goddess takes place five times every day. The service is of two kinds, puja or worship in the morning at about eight called padyapuja followed by mahapuja and arti or light-waving which is performed four times in the 24 hours. Kakadarti takes place at about four in the morning when the priests pray to goddess to wake up. It is followed by padyapuja and mahapuja. At the time of mahapuja abhishek is done and pavaman shrisukla is recited. The goddess is dressed like a Maratha woman. After this sahashranama of the goddess is recited and kumkum or red powder is placed on her forehead. Mahanaivedya is offered at about 12 in the noon. It is prepared in a room at the back of the temple. It contains five sweets- puncha pakwanna. At about four in the noon goddess is disrobed and a new dress is put on. Naivedya of ladu is offered. In the evening at 7 O'clock dhuparti is waved. At this time curd and rice are served. The day's service ends with shejarti at about eleven in the night when ladu, shira, pohe and doodh are served to the goddess. The monthly expenditure on this service (Nityopachar and Rajopachar) comes to about Rs. 12,000.
The ornaments of the goddess consist of Kolhapuri Saz, Chinch Peri, Navaratna har, necklaces of pearls, mugut (crown) of gold, sari of gold, and many others. Estimated value of these treasures is said to be around Rs. 3 lakhs.
Among the naimitik services, i.e., occasional services of the goddess are included the festivities such as Ram Navami, Gouri-Ganapati, Radha Ashtami, Navratra, Vijaya Dashami, Narak Chaturdashi, Magha Dipotsav and Holi.
On Navratra Panchami the goddess is decked in flowers while on Ashtami goddess is dressed in white robes and white ornaments.
Lakshmi temple: A little to the south of the original part of Vithoba's temple is a temple of Lakshmi in four parts, a shrine, an ante-chamber, a mandap and a porch. The shrine, which is about eight feet broad by six feet deep, has on an altar along its back wall a white marble image of Lakshmi about two feet high with a brass back or pithika in the same style as Rakhumai's back. The ante-chamber is 8'6" broad by 7' deep and has in front of it a square hall resting on four pillars, and now partitioned into two rooms. The left room has an image of Annapurna and the right room is empty. The porch in front is small and has five steps leading to it. The temple of Lakshmi was built about 1830 by Kavde merchants of Gursala.
To the south of Lakshmi's temple is a veranda with six arches in the Moghal style and three rooms. The first left arch has been closed with a wooden lattice to make an image-room. Between the veranda
and Lakshmi's room is a wooden hall or mandap with a tiled roof about forty feet high. This wooden hall and the veranda are said to be the work of Bajirao, the last Peshwa (1796-1818). The wooden mandap called Bajiravachi Padsali on the right of goddess Lakshmi has been demolished and a new hall of the same size slightly higher and restoring its old name has been constructed in cement-concrete in 1973. On the inner side of its beam on the west are carved figures of Gauli and Gaulani with cows and in the centre the figure of the Lord Krishna. The festivities connected with the life of the Lord Krishna are celebrated in this hall. About fifteen feet south-east of Lakshmi's temple is a small modern shrine of Vishnu called Vyankoba. It has a spire like a Musalman dome with four minarets. Near the shrine is Vyankoba's gate. The minarets have been removed about five years ago.
Pundlik's temple: About 500 yards east of Vithoba's temple in the bed of the Bhima is Pundlik's temple, one of the most favourite places of worship in Pandharpur. The temple (63'X65') is built entirely of masonry on a wide plinth 2' high and has a brick and mortar spire covered with cement. The temple has two parts, an audience hall or sabhamandap and a shrine. The hall is of solid masonry with a one foot high plinth. It is twenty-five feet from north to south, seventeen feet from east to west, and twelve feet high. The flat heavy roof rests on two stone pillars and four pilasters. The two pillars support an arch and form a doorway leading into the audience hall. There are two other doors one in the north, the other in the south wall of the hall, and two niches in the west wall to the north and south of a door leading from the hall to the shrine. The north niche has a smooth quartz ling in a black case or shalunkha. The south niche is empty. The door (4'x2') in the west wall leads into the shrine whose floor is nearly seven inches lower than the hall floor. The shrine, which is eight feet square and nine feet high, is of solid and heavy masonry eight-sided and without windows. It is surrounded by a brick and mortar spire in five tiers and sixty feet high. The spire is simple and weather-worn. The topmost tier, which is surmounted by a brass pinnacle, supports a number of smaller globes, each tipped by a small brass pinnacle. In the second tier are empty niches with lattice work. The three lower tiers are adorned with designs of creepers and flowers.
In the inside of the shrine are three niches, one with a box for the daily temple receipts and another with the god's clothes and other property; the third is empty. In the shrine is a stone ling set in a case or shalunkha (4' X 2' 3" X 1') without a pedestal. The shalunkha and ling are covered with a close-fitting brass cover and on the ling is set a hollow bust of the god. The bust of the god wears ear ornaments and a crown, and is surrounded by the coils of a five-headed cobra. On either side of the case or shalunkha three feet high brass figures of
the door-keepers Jaya and Vijaya stand on brass pedestals. The two figures stand with one leg across the other, the cross-foot resting on its toes. In their hands are a mace and a fly-whisk. The daily worship is by a Koli ministrant in the early morning. It includes the usual baths in the five nectars or panchamrit-milk, curds, clarified butter, honey, and sugar-the rubbing with oil and other fragrant substances, and the offering of bel leaves, flowers and food. The hollow bust or mask and the brass covers of the shalunkha and ling are removed, the stone image is worshipped, and the mask is drawn over the stone, flowers are thrown on the mask, and it is wrapped in a silk-bordered waist-cloth and a coat. In the evening the ministrant waves burning camphor and lights round the mask, throws fresh flowers over it, and closes the temple. He opens it next morning at four, when his first act is to wave a lighted torch round the mask. In the middle of the day a Brahman, who was specially engaged for the purpose, used to bring a plateful of food cooked in his own house and offered it to the god. Since 1960 onwards the Kolis have engaged a person belonging to their own community to prepare naivedya and to offer it to Pundlik. The only festival in connection with the temple is one held for five days on the Maha-shivratra or Great Night of Shiv from the tenth to the fifteenth of the dark half of Magha (February-March). During these days, in addition to the daily worship, the Koli community used to feed number of beggars, blind, deaf, crippled, and otherwise helpless people but no Brahmans. This practice is now discontinued. The yearly revenue from this temple during the last quarter of 19th century amounted to upwards of Rs. 400 which was taken by the Koli ministrants. Now this annual income is more than Rs. 20,000. This is not a temple of a god. It marks the spot where Pundlik, a great devotee of Vithoba, spent the last years of his life and died. Of his tomb no trace remains. Pundlik is said to have been a Pandharpur Brahman, an undutiful son who ill-treated aged parents. At the urgent request of his parents, he once undertook a pilgrimage to Benares carrying his old parents with him. On the way he halted at a village where lived Rohidas a dutiful, upright, and religious cobbler. Pundlik went to the cobbler's to have his shoes mended, and waited outside while Rohidas was attending his parents. While he was waiting Pundlik saw two young and very fair women sweeping the cobbler's house. After some time Rohidas came out, mended Pundlik's shoes, and as he was a pilgrim charged him nothing only asking him as a favour to offer a copper in his name to the Ganga. Pundlik promised and as he dropped the copper into the Ganga a beautiful hand rose from the water. He laid the copper in the hand, and, in proof, took a gold bracelet from the hand to show to Rohidas. On his way Pundlik visited Rohidas and said he had offered the copper. Rohidas called on Ganga and the same hand came.
It had no bracelet and Pundlik handed the bracelet to Rohidas to be restored. Next morning Pundlik again saw the two lovely women sweeping the cobbler's house. He asked them who they were and they looked at him in scorn. He asked again and they told him they were the river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna serving the dutiful Rohidas. Pundlik remembered his own rudeness with shame. He was a changed man and grew so holy that Vithoba used to come to see him. One day just as the god came Pundlik's old parents called to him. He was in a strait between his duty to the god and his duty to his parents. He decided his parents had the first claim and asked the god to wait and gave him a brick to stand on. This, they say, is why in the great temple Vithoba is shown standing on a brick. In time Pundlik's parents Janudev and Muktabai died. They were buried in the bed of the river and two monuments which still exist were built over them. The monuments are in the Hemadpanti style of heavy masonry with square slightly domed roofs. In each temple a ling in a shalunkha set in the floor, shows the spot of burial. The samadhi of Pundlik's mother is no more in existence. In like manner when Pundlik died and was buried, a ling was set in the tomb, which is said to be the same ling that is now worshipped. When the Bhima is flooded, the brass mask of the ling and all other movables are taken from the temple and set on the river bank; but the mask is worshipped as usual. During the great flood of 1956, three-fourths of the Pundlik's temple was under water. Pundlik's temple is one of the chief shrines included in the pilgrims' holy round or pradakshina. His great devotion to Vithoba and Vithoba's regard for him have led to the coupling of the two names in the words Pundlik Var De Hari Viththal, that is, Pundlik grant us a boon, Hari Viththal. These words are always shouted by pilgrims before dinner and on other occasions. The temple has no room for Bairagis or other beggars. During the five great days in February-March and occasionally at other times the Kolis sing devotional songs or bhajans at night. No discourses or Puran readings are ever held. To the east of the temple is a small masonry pond (10' X 10' X 4') called Lohdand Tirth with stone steps all round. The pond has a niche on each of its four sides with images of Vithoba and Rakhumai in one, and of Ganapati, Garud and Maruti in the other three. The pond is said to mark the spot where the sin-struck Pundlik took up his abode to spend his days in devotion and in the service of his parents, and where in answer to Pundlik's prayers Vithoba came and settled. So holy is the water of the pool that even stone boats are said to float in it. Pundlik's temple has been repaired and re-built about four times. The original temple is said to have been built by Changdeo, a contemporary of the great Dakshani Brahman poet Dnyaneshwar who lived early in the fourteenth century. It fell and is said to have been re-built in the
Hemadpanti style. About 1550 it was again built by one Halekar and was restored in its present form about 1850 by Nandram, a Pune mason. The hall or sabhamandap was added in 1878 by Shridhar Krishna Bhate, a Pandharpur banker.
The holy book named Padmapuran includes a section named Panduranga-Mahatmya which describes the legend of the deity at Pandharpur.
"Once the wife of Indra, the king of gods, named Sachi, approached god Vishnu. She wanted him to fulfil her lustful desire but failed. God Vishnu, however, promised her that he would fulfil her desire in the next incarnation. Accordingly Vishnu became Krishna and Sachi became Radha. Both of them were living in Mathura. Rukhmini, the wife of lord Krishna, one day caught them sitting together and got furious. To teach a lesson to her husband she left Dwarka without anybody's knowledge. Her husband, on noticing this, started for her search. During the course of his search he came to a place called Dindeervan where he found her engaged in meditation. He also started penance. Both of them would have continued with the tapa (penance) but for the intervention of Pundlik.
Pundlik was a self-centred man who did not care for his old parents but used to entertain his beautiful wife. The parents started on their pilgrimage to Kashi in their old age. Pundlik also thought of undertaking the pilgrimage. He hired two horses for himself and his wife. But he missed his way and got into the jungle. He searched for a shelter for the night. There was an ashram of a saint called Kukkut. Pundlik approached him and prayed for accommodation for one night. When he came to know that the saint had never visited the holy place Kashi he ridiculed him for not having undertaken any pilgrimage to the holy place though it was so near. The couple then slept in the said ashram but in the midnight Pundlik awoke due to some sound. He saw three ladies looking ghastly and pale cleaning the courtyard of the ashram and as the work was going on they looked fresh and beautiful. Pundlik was very much attracted by this miracle and discovered that the ladies were none else but the three pious rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. They used to come to the ashram to purify themselves every morning. Pundlik inquired about the power of the saint Kukkut and was told that the saint had devoted his life to the nursing and service of his parents and thus accumulated a vast punya. Pundlik then started thinking about himself. This was the turning point in the life of Pundlik. He then followed the duties of a true son and started nursing and serving his old parents.
God Krishna was very much pleased at this vast change in Pundlik and decided to meet him. Pundlik was very much engrossed with his duties and after recognising the presence of the divine, threw a brick
as an asan (seat) for the god to stand on. After completing his service he welcomed the god. The god was much pleased with his devotion to his parents and asked Pundlik to ask for any boon he chose. Pundlik prayed for eternal presence of god Krishna, the incarnation of god Vishnu, at Pandharpur."
There is also one legend about the tirth or holy water of the river which is known as Lohadand tirth. " The lord of the heaven, Indra, was punished for his bad behaviour with Ahilya, the beautiful wife of the saint. When he propitiated god Vishnu he was asked to take bath in a holy water, tirth in which his lohadand, iron bar. would not sink, by which he was told, he would be purified and gain his beauty and power. Accordingly, he came to the spot of the river where his lohadand did not sink. He took his bath in the river and the place is known as lohadand tirth which purifies the sinful souls if they take bath in it." [Census of India, 1961, Vol. X, Maharashtra, Part VII-B, Fairs and Festivals in Maharashtra, pp. 159-60.]
Vishnupad's temple: In the river bed about three quarters of a mile to the south of Pundlik's temple, reached by a low causeway of rough stones, is the temple of Vishnupad, notable for the shraddha or funeral ceremonies performed by pilgrims. The temple is on a rock in the river-bed and has a seven feet plinth open on all sides and on all sides faced by flights of steps. It is an open hall or mandap, thirty-one feet square and twelve feet high, built of solid masonry with a flat roof resting on sixteen stone pillars. The level of the river-bed near the temple is so low that when Pundlik's temple is surrounded by water the Vishnupad's temple is half under water and for almost three months in the year it is entirely under water. The floor of the temple is paved with stone and the sixteen pillars support twenty-four arches on which rests the roof. In the middle of the temple a space five feet square is fenced off by a masonry ridge eight inches high. In this central square, which is the shrine of the temple, are three rocks, with the foot-prints of the god Krishna and of a cow. The god's foot-prints are in two positions. In one pair he is standing on both feet, each six inches long. The foot-marks are hollows as if the rock had yielded like half-dry mud. In the other pair of foot-prints the god stands on his left foot, with the right foot crossed and resting on the toes. In front of these marks is a cup-shaped hollow in the rock, which is said to be the cup out of which the god ate. At each corner of the square is a cow's foot-print. A small hollow in front of the second pair of footprints was caused by the point of the god's staff. Except two pillars to the west of the square on which images are carved in relief, the pillars are plain. Of the two carved pillars, that in the north-west corner has an image of Krishna standing with the right leg crossed and playing
on a flute. The south-west pillar has a standing Vishnu with four arms holding the conch, the discus, the mace and the lotus. The sacred square with the foot-prints is considered as the shrine, and the footprints as the god Krishna. The foot-prints are worshipped every forenoon by an agent of the Badvas. Pilgrims perform funeral ceremonies or shraddhas in honour of their ancestors on this spot. The balls or pinds, that stand for the ancestors, are set in the holy square especially on the foot-prints, and are there worshipped. Alter the ceremony the balls are thrown into the river and the rock is washed and worshipped by the pilgrims. In Margashirsha (November-December) large numbers attend this temple many families coming to eat here, those who can afford it cooking their food here, and the rest bringing cooked food. Many of them bring their relations and friends, feast, and spend the day at the temple. On the first day of Margashirsha Vithoba's sandals are taken to the temple of Vishnupad, and on the last day of the month, with much pomp and music, the Badvas carry Vithoba's car to this temple. In the evening the sandals are brought back from Vishnupad with a grand torchlight procession and are lodged in the bed-chamber of the god Vithoba. During this month Vithoba goes to Vishnupad and like Krishna feasts there with other cowherds. The Vishnupad rocks and the surrounding rocks in the river-bed which bear foot-prints are supposed to be the spot where Krishna and his companions held a festive party in honour of the peace-making between Krishna and his queen Rukmini. The three blocks of rock now in the sacred square were formerly to the east of the Vishnupad temple where stands a temple of Maruti. The rocks were originally open to the sky. They were set in masonry in centre of a square masonry platform or ota by one Dhamangaonkar, a saint, about 1640. About 1785, Chinto Nagesh, a Badva, removed them and built the whole structure as it now stands. Many rocks round this temple have cow foot-prints. To the east of the temple a niche shrine built on the rock contains a rough red two-feet high stone image of Maruti which is worshipped along with the foot-prints of Vishnu. The Maruti is said to be as old as the foot-prints of Vishnu, which were originally on the same spot as Maruti.
Trimbakeshwar: Trimbakeshwar's temple is in a close-peopled part of the town about 200 paces north of the temple of Vithoba at the corner of a lane which leads to Rokdoba's gate. It is surrounded by private buildings, in one of which was a Sanskrit school maintained by the Pandharpur municipality. A few paces north of the temple is a pool of dirty water called the kundaltirth or ear-ring pool. The temple is in two parts, a hall and a shrine. The hall or sabhamandap (17'X11') is of masonry and has a flat stone roof resting on four stone pillars and eight pilasters. The temple committee had added a wooden hall or sabhamandap to the east of the masonry hall and
a door in the north wall of this new wooden hall now leads to the temple. [The new wooden hall has an upper storey in which one of the Sanskrit school classes was held.] In the west wall of the masonry hall a small door (3' X 1' 9") opens on the shrine, a paved room six feet square and nearly eight feet high with a latticed opening in the north wall for light.
In the middle of the shrine is a rough black stone ling five inches high in a shalunkha (2'4"X 17"X 6"). In the masonry hall opposite the door which opens into the shrine is a sitting figure of the bull nandi 2' high and 1'6" long set on a stone pedestal four inches high. The roof of the shrine has no spire.
The god is worshipped twice a day. The ordinary morning worship includes the five nectar baths and is performed by an agent of the temple committee. In the evening the god is simply washed with water, the morning flowers are removed, and the case is covered with red broadcloth. Over the ling is set a brass mask with a human face, a crown on the head, and surrounded by one or two coils of a great cobra whose hood is spread shading the god. The priest applies sandal paste to the forehead of the god, ties flower garlands round his neck, and waves a light to the accompaniment of songs. A light is kept burning all night. The temple's great day is Mahashivratra in February-March, which is celebrated in much the same manner as in the Amriteshwar and Mallikarjun Mahadeos' temples. At night the bust of the god is carried through the town with torchlights.
The temple of Trimbakeshwar is believed to be more than 500 years old. The spot where the temple stands is said to be the scene of a fight between Vishnu and a demon. The demon defeated Vishnu, cutting off his arms, and Vishnu only escaped through the help of Mahadeo who smote the demon with his ear ornament or kundal. The pond near which this victory was gained came to be called kundal-tirth and Mahadeo's presence was commemorated by building the temple. Inside the temple is a small chamber (6'x6'x8'6") in which the sandals of Narsinh, the fourth form of Vishnu, are kept on a stone pedestal 1'6" high. To the east of the shrine is a masonry hall with in its right hand corner a rough stone image of Khandoba riding a horse, with his wife Mhalsa behind him and a dog by his side. The image is worshipped along with Narsinh's sandals and Trimbakeshwar's ling inside.
Panchmukhi Maruti temple: About 420 feet south of Datta's landing is Panchmukhi Maruti's temple, a small brick and mortar room (5'X4'). The temple is on a plinth two feet high and 7'6" square. The top of the temple is domed, but has no pinnacle. It faces west and is entered by one door (5'6"X3') in the west wall. The image (6'9"X4') which fills almost the entire breadth of the small room is cut in relief on a large slab and shows the tailed monkey god with
five heads standing with one foot on the prostrate body of the giant Jambu Mali, the chief gardener of Ravan. The monkey has two hands, the left hand resting on the waist and the right hand held up. He is thickly covered with red lead. The middle face is larger than the other four and has copper moulds for eyes. To the right of the image is a wooden dumb-bell, the weapon of the god, also besmeared with red lead. The proprietors and priests of the god are Bairagis who live in the temple yard.
The chief daily worship is in the morning, and in the evening is a light-waving with songs. The only holiday is on the full-moon of Chaitra (March-April) when the image is rubbed with red lead and oil. The Bairagis then sing songs. In the good old days a feast was also given to all the Bairagis of the town on the next day.
Belicha Mahadeo temple: Near the south end of the town about 250 paces south of Panchmukhi Maruti is the temple of Belicha Mahadeo. The temple is in an enclosure, the front now in bad repair. The temple, which is built entirely of masonry, faces east and includes a hall and a shrine. The hall is about 23' X 10' X 12' and has a flat roof resting on two stone pillars and six pilasters The floor is paved with bricks and in the middle is a squat stone nandi 1'6" high. To the east of the nandi is a round slab or rangshila, and between the nandi and the door of the shrine chamber is a stone tortoise buried almost level with the pavement. A door (4'x2') leads to the shrine. To the north of the door a stone represents the sun riding in a chariot drawn by a seven-headed horse and to the south of the door is a rough stone Ganapati thickly coated with red lead. The shrine (9'x9'X9') has a flat roof and a cement floor about eight inches lower than the hall. In the shrine are nine niches, the middle niche with a small image of Ganapati. In the middle of the shrine are two cases or shalunkhas and a ling. The outer case is 4'6" long by 3' wide and 8" high; in the inner case which is smaller and of copper is set a smooth white quartz ling four inches high. The worship is performed once in the forenoon. The only great day is Shivratra in February-March when abhishek water is poured. The temple was built about 1787 by a Maratha noble Janaji Baji Ghatge who is said to be buried in a tomb or samadhi near the south wall of the temple yard.
Kalbhairav: About 150 feet east of Vithoba's temple in the midst of an enclosure surrounded by private buildings and almost hidden from view is Kalbhairav's temple entered by a doorway (5'X2'6") in the south of the enclosure which opens into the thoroughfare known as Mahadvar. The temple is built of stone and mortar and has a brick and mortar spire. It is in two parts, an ante-chamber and a shrine. The ante-chamber is a square room (8'X8'X10') built of stone with a paved floor and a masonry roof, resting on four pilasters, one
in each corner. Two verandas or otas of brick and mortar stretch length-wise on either end of the shrine leaving in the north wall a middle passage as wide as the door (4'9"x1'9") which leads to the shrine. The shrine (8'X8'X 10'6") is built of stone and mortar and has a masonry roof slightly domed and resting on four pilasters, one in each corner of the shrine. The spire is eleven feet high and in the same style as the spire of Ambabai's temple. Close to the north wall are two stone pedestals one above the other; the lower of dressed stone (3'3"X2'X3') and the upper slab (2' X 2' X 6"). On the pedestals are standing images of Kalbhairav and his wife Jogeshwari. The image of Kalbhairav is two feet high of blackstone with two arms, the right holding a trident and the left holding a tabor or damru. The carving of the image shows the tracings of a waist-cloth, a crown, earrings, and garlands round the neck. Near its feet on either side of the image and cut out of the same block is a standing male figure with folded hands. These are supposed to be two of the quarter regents or dikpals, the servants of Kalbhairav. To the left of Kalbhairav is the black stone image of Jogeshwari one foot high with her arms hanging by her sides. To the right of the god on an earthen platform is a ling six inches high in a shalunkha (3'6"X2'X3").
The worship of the god is performed once everyday in the forenoon. The worship is of the ordinary kind, the god being served with sandal paste and rice, the goddess with coloured powders, and both with sugarcandy or groundnuts. The only great day is the Bhairav Ashtami, the eighth of the bright half of Chaitra (March-April). Outside the ante-chamber is a horizontal stone slab 2'6" long and 1'6" high. It is engraved with the nine planets or nava grahas and is worshipped along with Kalbhairav. About 300 years ago the site of this temple is said to have been a sacred pool called Bhairavtirth, whose sides were lined with masonry steps. On the banks were four temples of Kalbhairav, Mahadeo, Ganapati and Banshankari otherwise called Shakambhari. On the south side of the pond were corridors for pilgrims and a corridor forms the southern boundary of the enclosure in which the door leading to the present Kalbhairav temple is set- [The corridors have now been turned into shops occupied by bankers and money-lenders, book, brass, and copper vessel sellers, and oilmen. They are highly prized from their nearness to Vithoba's temple.] Under the Bijapur Adilshahis (1489-1687) the stones which formed the boundary of the pond were used in building the fort of Paranda in the Nizam's territories forty-five miles north of Pandharpur. The temples probably shared the same fate. The whole area of the pond was sold by auction, filled in, and the present temple of Kalbhairav was built about 1730 by a Brahman surnamed Konkane. So badly do the stones fit that they are probably stones left from the old Bhairav pool. In this temple is the image of
Mahadeo which in former days had a temple of its own. Of the four original temples only that of Shakambhari remains. The Mahadeo is in Kalbhairav's temple and the Ganapati is in a private building.
Ganapati: Outside the Kalbhairav enclosure in the south wall of a private building in the old Bhairavtirth is a niche five feet high, four feet wide and 2'6" deep with an image of Ganapati. The niche is open and faces south. Ganapati's original temple was destroyed by the Musalmans. Close to this niche, about ten paces across the way, is Vithoba's temple. To the south a stone marks the grave of Chokhamela, the celebrated devotee of Vithoba. Ganapati is a rough stone image thickly covered with red lead, three feet high and represents the god cross-legged with four arms, the lower pair resting on his thighs, the right upper arm bearing an elephant's goad and the left upper arm carrying a hatchet. To the right of the image a rough block of stone one foot high, 1'6" broad and 5" thick, also covered with red lead, represents Ganapati's wife Sarasvati. To the right of and below the plinth of the Ganapati niche are one or two stones with carvings of gods and other figures. Special worship is performed on Ganesh Chaturthi or the fourth of the bright half of Bhadrapada (August-September) when the image is rubbed with red lead mixed with oil. On all other days worship is performed forenoon by an agent of the Badvas.
Shakambhari: Within a private enclosure, approached by a private passage to the east of the Kalbhairav temple is Shakambhari's shrine, an old ruined temple said to be one of the Bhairav pool temples. It is a square room seven feet either way and nine feet high with a door in the east wall four feet high and two feet wide. Placed side by side against the west wall and plastered together with cement are two stone pedestals together about five feet long, two feet high, and about two feet wide. On these pedestals are set two images, of which the one to the visitor's right is the original image of the herb-nourishing goddess Shakambhari 2'6" high sitting cross-legged with four arms, the right pair holding a tabor or damru and a sword, and the left upper hand holding a trident, and the left lower hand resting on her thigh. The image which is rough and old shows tracings of a robe, a crown and some neck ornaments. The other image to the right is exactly alike but six inches smaller. It was set up about 1775 by one Angal when he repaired the temple at a cost of Rs. 5,000. The temple spire which is twenty-three feet high is in three tiers, the lowest tier of stone and the upper two of brick and mortar. At the four corners of the lowest tier are small towers with image niches. The upper tiers are star-shaped and old-looking and have no niches or images. On the uppermost tier is a globe surmounted by a second smaller globe and over the globe a wooden pinnacle.
The goddess is worshipped every forenoon. The two great weeks are the Navratra and the Mahanavratra, being the first nine days of the bright halves of Chaitra (March-April) and of Ashvina (September-October) when lights are burnt before the images and garlands are hung in front of them. On the Chaitra (March-April) full-moon, people venerate this goddess as their family-deity, prepare a dinner in her honour and bring her a plateful with no less than sixty kinds of cooked vegetables, as Shakambhari is the vegetable-nourishing goddess.
Mallikarjun : About 600 feet east of Vithoba's temple is Mallikarjun's temple more important and more largely visited than any other Pandharpur temple dedicated to Mahadeo. Its popularity is due partly to its age and partly to the neighbourhood of Vithoba's temple. The temple is in two parts, a hall and a shrine. The hall (29'X22') is of solid masonry entered by two doors, a main entrance (7'X3'9") in the south wall and a side entrance (4'9"X 2'4") in the east wall. Outside the side door is a masonry lamp-pillar twenty-two feet high. The hall has a flat roof of heavy stone slabs resting on thirty stone pillars. In the west wall are three doors, one at either end leading to the back of the temple and used for the circuit round the god and the third (5'X2'6") in the middle leading to the shrine. To the west of the hall are two chambers with no opening supposed to be partly built in. In the east wall of the left hand side chamber is a niche with a rough stone four-armed figure of Ganapati smeared with red lead. To the right is an open chamber (4'9"x4'9") with a ling (2'9"X 1'8"X 10") of Someshwar Mahadeo. The chamber has two latticed doors (5'3"X2'3"), one in the south and the other in the east wall. Behind the ling in the west wall is a niche with a stone image of the goddess Bhavani, partly broken and disfigured. Two niches in the north wall of the hall contain rough stone images of Ganapati and Lakshmi Narayan. In the Lakshmi Narayan niche is a slab with the figures of five cobras. This slab and the image of Ganapati are rubbed with red lead. To the east of the Someshwar chamber is a stone figure of a seated nandi. Besides these, several niches in the east and north walls of the hall are closed with shutters. Facing the door which leads to the shrine is a seated brass nandi on a stone pedestal (3' X 2' X 11"). In the centre of the stone floor of the hall is the usual circular slab called rangshila where visitors sit and sing verses. Two steps lead from the hall to the shrine, a small room nine feet square and eleven feet high with a stone-paved floor. In the back or west wall of the shrine is a small latticed window, and just below the window is a niche containing a tiger-riding marble image of Ambabai one foot high with four arms, the upper pair holding a sword and the top-lock of a giant, the lower pair holding a tabor and the
tail of a tiger. Several niches in the walls hold lamps and the cast-off offerings of the god and in the south wall is a masonry water cistern. In the centre of the room is the ling of Mallikarjun 2' 4" high set in a shalunkha 12'6" round. The whole is of black stone, smooth and well polished. Over the shrine is a fair brick and mortar spire in three tiers about forty-two feet high. The lowest tier has niches with figures representing the ten forms of Vishnu; the middle tier has niches with images of Mahadeo, Ganapati and other gods; the figures in the topmost tier cannot be clearly made out, but they are probably of saints. The pinnacle is of brass mounted on two globes, one above the other. The regular service of the god takes place twice a day. The worshipper is not paid for his services. In the morning the Jangam comes about eight or nine and removes the covering of the god and the last day's flowers. Before the Jangam comes the image is free for private worship and many devotees thus worship the god especially during the four rainy months (June-September) and on Monday, the favourite day of Shiv. The Jangam's worship consists of washing the ling, wiping it dry, applying sandal-paste, throwing flowers and Aegle marmelos or bel leaves, waving a light or lighted camphor and frankincense, and offering food. Both before and after the Jangam's worship people come to worship the god and make their offerings of food. The evening service takes place at seven and consists of removing the flowers, washing the ling, and repeating the other parts of the morning service except that more flowers are thrown over the god, more lamps are lighted and kept burning throughout the night, and the ling is dressed in a red broadcloth cover; the food offering is richer consisting of milk, sugar and raisins, and not of cooked food. The waving of a light or arti is more elaborate than that in the morning. After the cover is put on the god no more worship is allowed for the night.
The festivals of this temple are: Shivratra in February-March, Dashahar hi June-July, the month of Chaitra (March-April), and the month from Ashvina full-moon to Kartika full-moon, that is, October-November. The Shivratra festival, which is the most important, lasts for nearly a week from the twelfth of the dark half of Magha (February-March) to the fifth of the bright half of Phalguna (February-March). All these days there is a continual water-pouring or abhishek over the ling while hymns are recited. Purans are read by day and kathas are held at night. The temple is well lighted and on the fifth day of Phalguna, the last day of the festival, the sandals of the god are carried in a palanquin in a torch-light procession with much pomp and music. The Dashahar festival lasts over the first ten days of Jyeshtha (June-July). During these days the worship consists of the usual daily water-pourings or abhisheks and Brahman feedings. During the whole month of Chaitra (March-April), during the evening service,
the ling is thickly coated with sandal-paste, put on in such a way as to form the outlines of a human face. No cloth is put on during this month. The sandal-paste is said to be intended to cool the god as Chaitra is a hot month. During the month lasting from the full-moon of Aihvina (September-October) to the full-moon of Kartika (October-November) only the routine worship is performed, except the Diwali illumination. The gains of the temple go to Kolis who farm them every month. Besides this, the temple gets an income in the form of rent from about six shops to its south. The Bhagvat Puran is read in the monsoon forenoons, and the Ramayan for eight months on the fair-weather afternoons. Sometimes during the fair season the Maha-bharat is also read in the evenings in front of the temple but none of these Puraniks are paid by the temple. They are paid, and often handsomely, by their audience. The temple was originally limited to the shrine and is supposed to be very old. It is said to have been repaired and improved by one Narhar, a Lingayat goldsmith and a devotee of Mahadeo. Additions were made about 1820 and the spire was built in 1854.
Ambabai: In the north of the town, on the right bank of the Bhima, about 300 yards east of Vyas's temple lies Ambabai's temple. The temple faces east and is divided into an ante-chamber and a shrine. In front of the temple is a hollow altar or kund of brick and mortar, five feet square and 6½ feet deep. The altar is only used once a year on the eighth of the bright half of Ashvina (September-October) on which night a large sacrificial fire is lighted, and flesh is offered to it. On either side and to the east of this altar is a lamp-pillar of brick and mortar ten feet high with small projecting steps all round to enable the lighter to go to the top where an iron pan containing cotton seed dipped in oil is lighted on festive days. To the east of the lamp-pillar a flat roofed brick and mortar shed opens to the west. The shed (13'x10'6"X7') has a three-feet plinth and forms the base of an unfinished drum-house or nagarkhana. The ante-chamber (10'x11'6"X7') is of brick and mortar and has a flat roof coated with cement. It has no windows and opens to the east, and in the west wall has a door (4'X2') leading to the shrine which is on a 3'6" higher level. The shrine is seven feet square with a slightly domed solid masonry roof seven feet high and surrounded by a star-shaped spire of brick and mortar ten feet high. Over the spire are two globes one above the other, the upper globe smaller and surmounted by a wooden pinnacle. The shrine has no windows, but niches in the north and south walls on a level with its earthen floor. In a third and larger niche (3'6" X 2'3" X17") is a polished black stone image of Ambabai 2'8" high. The image has eight arms, the right arms holding in order from top to bottom a long sword, an arrow, the tail of a buffalo and
a spear, the left arms holding in the same order a shield, a tabor, a bow, and the top-lock of the giant Mahishasur. The giant and the buffalo are shown at the feet of the goddess, the giant being dragged by the top-knot out of the severed neck of the buffalo which lies prostrate, his head on one side. The tracery on the image shows a crown on the head, ear-rings, a few garlands round the neck, and a robe worn round the waist. In front of the goddess are a pair of stone sandals. The ordinary service of the goddess is performed once in the forenoon. The worship consists of washing the image, applying red powder to its forehead, sprinkling turmeric powder, strewing flowers, and throwing a garland of flowers round its neck, waving a light, and offering as food some groundnuts or sugar or molasses, and wrapping a robe round the image. On Tuesdays, Fridays and full-moon days in addition to the morning service the yearly lessee of the temple proceeds, comes at noon, dresses the image in a holiday robe, decks it with a paper crown coated with tinsel, and puts round its neck one or two strings of glass beads and a string of cowrie shells. The chief festivals are the Navratra or the first nine days of Ashvina (September-October). On the first of these nine days the Brahmans perform a special service. The clothes are removed, the image is rubbed with scented oil and a mixture of the five nectars-milk, curds, clarified butter, sugar and honey, and washed copiously with water. Then after the usual offerings of turmeric and red powder, and wearing of flower garlands, strings of cowries, glass beads, and a paper crown, the image is wrapped in a gay robe, lights are waved with songs and cooked rice and wheat bread are offered. After this day the regular service is stopped and no washing takes place. The face of the image is wiped with a wet rag, fresh turmeric and red powders are applied, and the old flowers are replaced by fresh flowers. Cooked food is offered and the usual light-waving takes place. No portion of the clothes or dress is disturbed for the next eight days. Two oil-lamps are kept burning day and night. On the first day, on the floor in front and to the left of the image, a small earthen bed or plot is raised and a quantity of garden wheat is sown in it. In the middle of the bed is set an earthen pot filled with water, its mouth is blocked by betel-leaves arranged in a cone, and over the cone is set a half-dry cocoa-kernel. On the kernel is placed a small brass plate, and over the plate a betel-nut which is worshipped as the goddess with offerings of turmeric and red powder. Over the wheat-plot a square bamboo frame or mandap is hung from the ceiling, and, from the sides of this frame, garlands of flowers fall to the wheat-bed, one garland being added everyday. All this is done by the worshipping priest, the materials except the food being supplied by the lessee. After the first day the betel-nut is worshipped only by offerings of powders and of flowers and food, but it is not moved. During the nine
days many visitors go to the temple to have a sight or darshan of the goddess. Some tie a string of small fried wheat-flour cakes to the bamboo frame in fulfilment of vows.
On the eighth day at about midnight all the people whose family-deity is Ambabai repair to the temple in thousands. One of the Badvas worships the goddess, offering turmeric and red powder and waves a light accompanied by songs. He comes out to the hollow altar or kund. Into this an hour or so before midnight a large quantity of fuel is thrown and a fire is lit. This is consecrated as the sacrificial fire, which, after his return from the temple, the Badva worships by offering turmeric and red powder and then standing with his face towards the temple again waves a light and all the visitors sing songs in honour of the goddess. After this the Badva throws into the fire either a cocoanut or a pumpkin, and after that the lessee brings a tender kid or young goat worshipped beforehand at home, and throws it alive into the blazing fire. Others who have vows to discharge follow and throw their kids. On the tenth day the goddess is worshipped as on the first day, anointed, and washed, and the flower garlands hanging from the bamboo frame are thrown on the frame. Next day which is Dasara, the earthen pot is lifted. On their return they go to the temple and wave their torches singing songs. From the eleventh to the full-moon day the goddess is not worshipped or disturbed as she is supposed to be sleeping and resting after her nine days of turmoil. On the full-moon day the ordinary worship of the goddess is resumed. In the evening a bower is raised in front of the goddess, and in this bower are entwined betel-leaves folded like quills. Lamps are lighted all round the temple; and the usual worship takes place in the evening instead of in the morning. Boiled sweetened milk is offered; and lighted lamps are waved with songs. At night people assemble and spend the night awake playing and singing devotional songs or bhajans.
The temple is said to have been originally built by one Sidu Koli, whose date is not known. But as the proceeds of the temple were tempting, the Badvas took it from the hands of the Kolis, set up the pair of sandals and claimed the temple revenues. Since then about 1854 the temple has been re-built by a dancing girl named Limba at a cost of Rs. 1,600.
Ramchandra: Ramchandra's temple lies close to Holkar's mansion on the river-bank to the north of the Mahadvar landing. It is strongly built of dressed stone and mortar and raised on a plinth six feet high. The temple is held in great veneration both on account of its position and of its builder the famous Ahilyabai Holkar (1735-1795). The temple consists of two halls or sabhamandaps and a shrine. The first or east sabhamandap is a large hall (60'x28'), the roof resting on eighteen wooden posts arranged in a double row; the ceiling
is boarded and has a flat roof plastered with mortar. The hall is well lighted by eleven windows and four latticed windows. At the east end of the hall is a small temple (6' X 4') of solid masonry with a black-stone Maruti 2'6" high standing with folded arms and facing the image of Ram in the shrine. This small temple has white-washed walls and a stone-paved floor. To the north of Maruti's temple is a ling on a small platform of dressed stones 2' high, and facing the ling is a stone nandi. In the back or east wall of Maruti's temple on the outside is a niche with a foot high image of Ganapati covered with red lead. At the south-east corner of the hall is a small store-room. A broad open passage with, at its north and south ends, the two chief gateways leading to the river-bed and to the Mahadvar landing road leads by a doorway in the west to a low passage (7' X 6'). This low passage opens into a small square court (6' X 6') and the court leads into the second hall or sabhamandap usually called the stone hall to distinguish it from the first which is called the wooden hall. Above the low passage is a loft and on the north and south sides of the open square court are low-roofed rooms with lofts. These three lofts have the same roofs and open into one another. They are intended to be used as drum-rooms or nagarkhanas for the temple musicians. The square court is open to the sky and serves as a shaft to let light and air into the hall. The stone sabhamandap is a hall (40' X 18') entirely built of dressed stone and mortar with an arched stone roof plastered with mortar. The roof is pierced by four openings to admit light. The hall has a latticed window in the south wall and a door in the north wall opening into Holkar's mansion. In the middle of the hall a bell hangs by a strong chain from a cross beam. In the south wall a niche contains a rough standing black stone image of Dattatraya with six hands and about a foot high. At the west end of the stone hall four steps lead four feet up to the shrine, a room sixteen feet square with a big arch in front and latticed doors or shutters. Each door consists of two pieces hinged together, so that, except on special occasions, only a small doorway is kept open, and this small doorway again is guarded by a six feet long brass-plated wooden bar fixed horizontally. At the west end of the shrine on an irregular brass plated black stone throne (7'x3'X2'3") are standing plain white marble images of Ram (2'8"), Lakshman (2'10") and Sita (2'5"), Ram in the middle, Lakshman on the right, and Sita on the left. Ram's right hand which rests on his right hip holds a marble arrow and the left hand grasps a marble bow. Lakshman's image is of a slightly darker hue and like Ram's holds a bow. Sita stands with folded hands. All the images are dressed, Ram and Lakshman wearing turbans, waist-cloths and coats, and Sita a robe and bodice. On the same throne with the images, on a small projection, to the left, is set a white marble female figure (1'7") intended to
represent Ahilyabai Holkar (1735-1795), the famous temple-building princess of Indore, who built this temple. Ahilyabai is seated and has plain features. She is dressed in a white robe and holds a ling in her left hand on which her right hand drops a bel leaf. These four images are said to have been brought from upper India. In addition to these and on the same throne are a pair of small brass sandals or padukas, brass images of Vithoba, Rakhumai, Krishna, Ganapati and Vyankoba, an arrow, and a shaligram or bored stone. The throne has a wooden post at each corner and over these on the three sides are wooden arches. The whole frame-work as well as the arches are plated with brass. At the south end of the shrine on a square stone are smooth black stone images of Garud (2'4") and Maruti (1'6"). At the north end is a ling whose case or shalunkha is placed on the floor. The ceiling of the shrine is boarded. In the shrine behind and on each side of the throne a way is left for the holy circuit or pradakshina. Behind the shrine a small room opens into a kitchen, so that the food offering may be brought direct without running the risk of a stranger's touch. Outside, on the north and south of the shrine, two passages open into an alley communicating with the public road so that people, not desirous of entering the shrine, may make their obeisance at the door and make their holy circuit or pradakshina entering the alley and passing through the northern passage in front of the shrine and back through the south passage out into the alley again. Over the shrine is a weather-beaten spire star-shaped but plain and built of brick and mortar with a wooden pinnacle. It is in two tiers twenty feet high, and, except a Maruti in a niche in the upper tier, has no figures.
The temple has two daily services. The morning service is between six and seven. It consists of washing the feet of the images, wiping their faces with a wet cloth, applying sandal-paste to the male and red powder to the female images, putting garlands of flowers round their necks, and laying loose flowers and tulasi leaves at their feet. A light is waved with burning incense and camphor; and, with the offering of food, the service closes. While waving the light, the priest and others present sing songs in honour of Ram. The evening service is shorter than the morning service and is held between seven and eight. The faces of the images are wiped with a wet cloth, fresh sandal-paste or red powder is applied; a light with burning camphor is waved, and sweetened milk is offered while the priest and the people present sing songs. Once a fortnight on the elevenths or ekadashis the worship is elaborate. The clothes are removed and the images are rubbed with sugar and pieces of lemon and bathed. The images are then rubbed with a mixture of the five nectars-cow's milk, curds, clarified butter, sugar and honey-and are again washed with water; new suits of clothes are put on, sandal-paste or red powder is applied to their foreheads,
gariands of flowers are thrown round their necks, and nosegays are fixed in the turbans of the gods. Sweetmeats, milk, plantains and other fruit are offered. As usual, lights, burning incense, and camphor are waved and songs are sung. The holidays in connection with this temple are the Ramnavami which lasts for nine days from the first to the ninth of Chaitra (March-April); and Hanumanjayanti which falls on the following full-moon, During the nine Ramnavami days the images are daily bathed and rubbed with the five nectars, Sanskrit hymns and verses are recited, and the worship is much like that on the elevenths. The special features are that the offering consists of ordinary food and not of sweets, the images are clothed in new and costly dresses with ornaments, and Ram's turban is folded in the shape of a parrot, a sparrow, or a peacock. Every evening during these days story-tellers or kathekaris discourse for one or two hours on Puranic legends, or kathas are held with music and singing. On the ninth day which is kept as a fast in honour of the birth-day of Ram, the discourse takes place about noon which is supposed to be the hour of Ram's birth. The subject on this day is the legend of Ram's birth, and, as the hour draws near, while the kathekari is telling the story of the birth, a cradle is brought, a cocoanut covered with cloth is laid in it, and the cradle is rocked, the kathekari singing songs about the birth of Ram. A mixture of dry powdered ginger, sugar, and grated cocoa-kernel is distributed among the assembled people. Formerly in the evening learned Brahmans were called to recite Vedic hymns and were treated with some sweets and a cash gift of 2 annas. Next day about 200 Brahmans were feasted, and the holiday preparation on that day consisted of gram cakes. Each Brahman received a copper and a packet of betel-leaves. In the evening Ram's sandals are carried in a palanquin in a torch-light procession round the town. Musicians accompany and fire-works are let off. The procession goes the usual holy round or pradakshina and returns at midnight. The Hanumanjayanti festival takes place four days later on the full-moon of Chaitra on which day at sun-rise Hanuman or Maruti is supposed to have been born. A kathekari gives a sermon on the birth in the wooden hall opposite the little temple of Maruti. The discourse begins at an early hour and is over by sun-rise when the people throw into the air large quantities of red powder or gulal and sweet-scented powder or buka in honour of the birth. Some people keep this day as a fast.
Babhlya's Mahadeo: Babhlya's Mahadeo on the river-bank to the south of the Uddhav landing, is a small plain temple of rough stone. It is a shrine (7' X 7') and a porch resting on two rough pillars and two pilasters in the front wall. The temple plinth is three feet and the total height sixteen feet. The porch has a stone image of nandi facing the shrine door. In the front wall on each side of the door is
a small niche, probably for oil-lamps. The roof is flat and paved with stone slabs. The door is latticed with iron bars. In the shrine is the ling in its case or shalunkha, the spout of the case facing north. Round the case is a circular ridge of mortar the inside of which can be filled with water so as to cover the ling. The chief rite is worshipping the ling is the abhishek or pouring of water drop by drop or in a thin stream over the god. The belief, that when the god has to be specially pleased the ling should be drowned in water, accounts for the floor of the shrine in most Mahadeo temples being low enough to allow the ling to be flooded. When as in this temple the floor is not low enough the ling has to be surrounded with a circular ridge or some other arrangement. The ling and shalunkha are rough and made of black stone. Behind them in the west wall is a niche with a rough stone image of Ganapati. In the south wall is a small lamp niche, and in the niche in the north wall the old flowers and bel leaves are kept. An inscription states that the temple was built by a Deshasth Brahman named Kshetrapal Naik Beri in Shaka 1694 (A. D. 1772) at a cost of Rs. 1,620. The ministrants are Koli fishermen who take all offerings made to the god. The daily worship consists of abhishek, rubbing the ling with sandal-paste, throwing flowers, and offering food in the morning. On Mondays in addition people pour water in a thin stream or abhishek while repeating verses. At the time of Mahashivratra in Magha (February-March) the Kolis paint the temple, Brahmans pour water over the ling, and many families make food offerings.
Chandrabhaga: On the river-bank close to the Chandrabhaga landing is Chandrabhaga's temple built of rough stone on a plinth five feet high. The temple is reached by two stone steps with, in front of the steps, a raised stone-pavement with a tortoise slab fixed in it. The temple consists of a shrine (9' X 6' X 7') and a front porch (12' X 6'). The porch is open on three sides with pillars supporting arches on each side. At each end of the front wall is a pilaster. The shrine has four small lamp niches, two in the front wall and one each in the north and south walls. The image of the goddess Chandrabhaga or Ganga is a smooth black stone figure of a woman about 2'6" high seated on a plain hourglass-shaped stone throne (2'7"x 1'8"x1'6"). The throne is fixed in an arch cut in the west wall and in front of the throne is a stone (1'X1'x1) on which a pair of sandals are carved. The image is in a squatting position, the hands laid on the thighs with open palms. In the right palm is a stone sweet-ball or modak and in the left a lotus flower. The image bears the tracery of female garments; the eye-balls are of brass, and the head wears a paper crown or cap. The spire, which rises in two tiers over the shrine, is of brick and mortar eighteen feet high. It has plain niches with no figures. On the top two globes, one above the other, are surmounted by a brass pinnacle.
On the top of the porch are three figures of a four-headed Brahma, of Mahadeo, and of Vishnu. At each end are two small spires. The temple was built in 1857 by one Govind Bava Chopadkar at a cost of Rs. 3,000. The daily service is in the morning. It consists of bathing the image, rubbing its brow with red powder, and offering flowers, burning incense, and waving a light. Groundnuts are the only offering. Immediately to the south of the Chandrabhaga temple, enclosed in a solid masonry hall with a flat roof, are two small Mahadeo temples. The temple nearest to Chandrabhaga's is 5'9" high and the other is 3'8" high both with shrines about three feet square. The ling in the larger temple is six inches high and that in the smaller five inches high. These temples were built in 1872-73 at a cost of Rs. 500. They have no ministrant. The temple's great day is Shivratra in Magha (February-March) when the abhishek is performed, and hymns are recited.
Murlidhar or Dwarkadhish: Close to the south of Ahilyabai's Ram and separated from it by the Mahadvar landing is the temple of Murlidhar or Dwarkadhish. From outside, the temple, which is entirely built of well-dressed stone and mortar, looks like a small castle. The temple faces north. The site of the temple is five feet above the level of the road and includes the temple and rows of stone corridors on all four sides. On entering the main door an opening in the left wall leads to an under-ground chamber and another door leads to an upper-storeyed drum-room or nagarkhana. The west corridors are walled in and have been turned into a series of rooms. In the back or south corridor is an alms-house or annachhatra supported by Shinde in connection with the temple. The east and north corridors are open and empty. At the south-west corner is a smaller tower like the tower-like loft used as a drum-room. Between the corridors and the temple all round is an open space, and at the back of the temple in this space are a few trees. The temple itself is a strong building raised on a plinth three feet high. It is in three parts: an audience hall or sabhamandap, an ante-chamber and a shrine. The audience hall is built of stone and has a stone roof resting on twenty-four stone pillars in four rows of six each, of which two on the south side are pilasters. From the pillars of the two outer rows arches rise in a colonnade; the inner rows of pillars have no arches. At the south end of the audience hall on a 2'6" higher level and reached by two stone steps a short ante-chamber six feet square opens into the shrine. In this chamber a bell is hung from a cross-beam and near the bell is kept a large brass plate in which worshippers throw their mite. The east and west walls of the ante-chamber have niches and a door in the south wall leads down into the shrine. On either side of the door is a stone figure of Jaya and Vijaya, the two giant door-keepers. These figures which are 2'8" high are four-armed
and stand on stone pedestals. The figure on the east side of the door is standing with the left leg across the right, and resting on the toes; the west figure has the right leg crossed. The east figure holds in its left hand a conch shell and a club and in the right hand a disc and a wheel. The west figure has a conch and a club in the right hand and a disc and a wheel in the left hand. The shrine is 9'6" square, and stone-paved like the ante-chamber. In the east and west walls are two latticed windows. The east wall has another opening on a large niche used as a bed-chamber, and furnished with a small bed-stead, bedding and pillows. The ceiling of the shrine is boarded. The throne or sinhasan is 3'5" high and divided into two parts, a small upper part and a lower part which forms the base and stretches from the east to the west wall. Over the throne are four arched posts, the front plated with silver and richly ornamented, especially the arch work and the front of the throne. The plating extends 4'8" from east to west and in height from the bottom of the throne almost to the ceiling. The frame-work within the arches is the holy of holies in which the chief deities are placed. Murlidhar or Dwarkadhish is in the middle and his beloved Rukhmini and Satyabhama on either side. Murlidhar's image is of smooth shining black stone; the two female figures which are exactly alike are of white marble. Murlidhar's, which is about 1'4" high, stands on a pedestal and on either side has, cut out of the same stone as the image and the pedestal, the figures of two standing Gopals or shepherds, one above the other with folded hands each about six inches high. Murlidhar has four arms, holding in the right upper and lower hands a club and conch and in the left upper and lower hands a disc and wheel. He wears a coat and a shoulder-cloth; his waist-cloth is shown by plated silver; he wears a silver crown and all his weapons are coated with silver. The two female images stand eleven inches high and wear the ordinary female dress. In front of the images is a pair of brass sandals and a shaligram. To the right is a squatting marble figure of a woman 1'10" high intended to represent Daulatrao Shinde's wife Bayjabai who built the temple, endowed it, and put her figure in it in imitation of Ahilyabai's in Ramchandra's temple. To the left of the central group are white marble images of Ganapati and Garud. Ganapati is a sitting figure four-armed, holding a rosary in one hand and an elephant's goad in another. Of the second pair one has the palm closed and the other is open with nothing in it. The image of Garud is kneeling and holds a cocoanut with both hands.
The spire is of brick and mortar. It is star-shaped at the base; above a row of elephants runs round the entire spire; above the elephants are small niches in which different deities were painted but are now mostly defaced. At the top are two globes, one above the other, with a brass pinnacle. The temple was built in 1849 at a cost of Rs. 1,25,000
by Bayjabai, the wife of Daulatrao Shinde (1795-1827) and the adoptive mother of Jankoji Shinde. At the opening ceremony thousands of Brahmans were feasted and the whole ceremony is said to have cost about Rs. 75,000.
Two services are held daily. At the morning service just before sunrise a lighted muslin torch is waved round Murlidhar's face and songs are sung. After the light-waving the feet of the images are washed, the faces wiped with a wet cloth, sandal-paste is applied to Murlidhar and red powder to his wives, and flowers are thrown over their feet. A food offering is made from food brought from the alms-house. In the evening the feet are not washed but fresh sandal-paste is applied and garlands are tied. Burning camphor is waved, songs are sung, and sugared milk is offered. The door of the sleeping chamber is opened and the worship ends. On the bright eleventh of every month the images are washed, bathed in the five nectars and dressed in new garments. On the dark elevenths new garments are used but the images are simply wiped with a wet cloth. The three great days of this temple are: the fifth of the dark half of Jyeshtha (June-July), Gokulashtami the dark eighth of Shravana (July-August) and Dasara the bright tenth of Ashvina (September-October). The dark fifth of Jyeshtha (June-July) is observed as a festival as the images were installed on that day. The images are bathed and clothed in fresh garments and a few Brahmans are fed. During the first eight days of the dark half of Shravana the images are clothed everyday in new garments. The service is the same as on ordinary days. Every evening a kathekari discourses on some Puranic legend to the accompaniment of music. The audience hall is well lighted, silk curtains are drawn all round, and the temple wears a festive appearance. At midnight on the night of Gokulashtami, the dark eighth of Shravana (July-August), Krishna's birth is celebrated by a discourse and by throwing red powder and incense. On the ninth at night the sandals of the god are carried in a palanquin in a torch-light procession round the town. On Dasara day the images are dressed in new clothes and ornaments; and the morning service includes the bathing of the images. In the afternoon the god's sandals are carried in a palanquin outside the town, and then back in a procession round the town. The temple Puran-reader reads the Ramayana or the Mahabharata during eight months in the year and during the rains in addition reads the Bhagvatpuran in the mornings.
Chophala: On the holy round or pradakshina passage at the corner of the lane which comes out from behind the temple of Vithoba is the Chophala temple bounded on the east, west and south by the public road and on the north by a narrow lane. The temple looks old and faces west. It is in three parts, a front court or sabhamandap, a central shrine, and a back court corresponding to the front court.
The plinth of the front court is 2'1" and is higher than the floor of the shrine and the back court. The front court (30'9"x 17'5") is built of dressed stone and mortar and has a flat roof of solid masonry resting on eight stone pillars and four pilasters all with arches. At the north and south ends are four arches two on each side and three each in the front and back rows. The roof is not continuous as the space between each set of four pillars has a separate roof. The four pilasters are in the front wall of the shrine. The court floor is stone-paved and in the middle has a round slab called the stage slab or rangshila on which pilgrims sing and dance. Between this slab and the shrine door is a stone engraving of a tortoise. A low door (3'4"x 1'8") leads to the shrine 10'6" square and 6'6" high at the sides. It is built of solid masonry, has a stone-paved floor and a slightly domed ceiling with the appearance of round tiers narrowing towards the top. There is a small brick latticed opening in the north wall and a back door (4'x2') opening into the back court. The objects of worship in the shrine are the Vishnu-Panchayatan or images of Vishnu, Amba, Ganapati, Mahadeo and Surya. Vishnu's is a standing black stone image 2'9" high, smooth, and polished, the right leg crossing the left and resting on tiptoe and the hands holding a stone flute. On either side of Vishnu, carved out of the same block as the image itself, a standing milk-maid or gopi holds a fly-whisk and has a cow lying at her feet. Vishnu wears a waist-cloth, a shoulder-cloth and a turban with tinsel borders. Behind and to the right of Vishnu, a black slab (1' 9"x 1') stands on a stone, resting against the back wall of the shrine. On this slab is an engraving of Surya, a spirited seven-headed horse dragging a chariot with the Sun seated in it. The Sun wears a crown and has a halo with shooting rays of light round his face. Behind and to the left of Vishnu is the goddess Ambabai a two feet high black stone standing image of a woman with eight arms, four on each side. In her four right hands Amba holds a trident, a sword, a discus, and the tail of a buffalo, and in the left four, a shield, an hourglass-shaped tabor or damru, a club, and the top-lock of Mahishasur. The image shows the goddess in the act of killing the demon who had hid himself in the body of a buffalo on whose back one of the feet of the goddess rests. The severed head of the buffalo lies on one side at her foot. The goddess holds the demon's top-lock and appears to pull out his trunk from the body of the buffalo. Behind, and to the right of Vishnu, is a squatting Ganapati, two feet high, four-armed and empty-handed and seated on a block of stone. In front of Amba is Mahadeo represented by a ling two feet high set in a large case or shalunkha. In addition to these are three other images of Maruti, Khandoba, and near Ganapati a sitting Garud 2'2" high with folded hands. Maruti's is a rough black stone figure, three feet high, with the right arm raised
and the left resting on the waist. Khandoba's is a standing figure 1'6" high engraved on a slab. The back court is twenty feet long by fourteen feet wide. All the side arches are walled in and the whole turned into a room occupied by the temple ministrant with a small door at the back in the middle arch. The spire, which is squat and weather-beaten with empty niches, ends in a large globe with a wooden pinnacle at the top.
The temple ministrant performs the morning service which consists of washing the images, applying sandal-paste, offering flowers, waving lights and offering food. This temple is said to have been built about 1770 at a cost of about Rs. 10,000 by one Narayan Nakhre of Indapur. Narayan came as a pilgrim, and slept in the temple where Vithoba appeared to him in a dream and told him to go and live with a Badva whom the god named. To assure Narayan that his dream was true Vithoba tied a quantity of wheat and four coppers in Narayan's shoulder-cloth. On awaking Narayan went to the Badva named by Vithoba who welcomed him under orders from the god who had also visited the Badva. It happened that the offering of food which the Badva carried on behalf of Narayan could not, on account of the crowds of pilgrims, be laid before the god. Narayan was unhappy, but Vithoba again appeared to him in a dream and told him not to be distressed saying that he would be well pleased if Narayan built a temple of Vishnu and the four other deities that make the panchayatan.
Padmavati: Padmavati's temple is about half a mile to the west of the town in a pond of that name which is dry during the fair weather. The pond and the temple were built by Sakuvarbai, wife of Yashwantrao Pawar, chief of Dhar, about the year 1778. The pond is about 1,200' long by 450' wide and has its four sides built of solid masonry, with steps or landings on the north, south and east sides. The wall on the west has a number of sluices and a large opening 360' wide for admitting storm-water. The temple is built on a platform (58'9"x55'x8'3") of solid masonry in the bed of the pond. It is reached by a masonry bridge (78' X 11' X 8'3") which, supported on four narrow arches, runs from the masonry platform to the nearest landing place on the east corner. At the east or entrance end of the bridge are two masonry pillars with niches for oil-lamps. One of these pillars eleven feet high is ruined and the other eighteen feet high is in good repair. To the left, in a niche in the east landing, is a rough stone image of Ganapati smeared with red lead. The bridge leads to the platform on which is the temple with a 2'6" plinth and so built as to leave ten to twelve feet of the platform open all round for the holy circuit or pradakshina. The temple consists of an ante-chamber and a shrine. The ante-chamber is a solid masonry room fifteen feet square. It has four doors, those in the north, east and south walls opening on the
open platform, and the door in the west wall leading to the shrine. The doors are 4'9" high by 2'4" wide, and except that which leads into the shrine and has shutters, all are open. Almost opposite the north and south wall doors the platform is reached by stone stairs from the pond-bed. The four corners of the ante-chamber are turned into niches but their upper parts look like joined arches, wide enough to reach the arches on the doorways, so as to give the inside roof a domed appearance, after turning the square into an octagon. The root' is domed and is made of eight belts narrowing to the top. Outside the roof has a flat surface of solid plastered masonry with short turret walls and figures of saints. The floor of the ante-chamber is paved with stones and has in the centre a flat round stone with a Marathi inscription which may be translated thus:
The pond and temple of Padmavati built and offered to the
goddess by Sakuvarbai, wife of Yashwantrao Pawar on Sunday the
fifth of the bright half of Vaishakha (April-May) in Shaka 1700, the
cycle year being Vilambi.
The cost of the buildings is estimated at Rs. 70,000. The shrine which is built of solid masonry is eleven feet square with a paved floor about a foot lower than the ante-chamber. The image is a woman's bust two feet high cut out of black trap; the features are regular with copper moulds for eyes and a bare head. The image wears no clothes, and the whole bust is thickly covered with red lead. The bust is set on an ornamental stone pedestal 3'6" long. 2'6" broad and 2' high. On either side of the image in the corner is a stone slab on which cobras are carved and covered with red lead. Over the shrine is a quadrangular spire in three tiers with side niches containing figures of gods now much out of repair. Over the spire is a wooden pinnacle.
The daily worship consists of the usual morning service of bath, red powder, flowers, and food offering. The nine nights or navratra festival in the bright half of Ashvina (September-October) is held with great show. A bamboo frame is hung in front of the image, and under this frame, in front of the pedestal, the floor is strewn with a layer of earth two to three inches thick in which wheat is sown and allowed to sprout; from the bamboo frame hang flower garlands and strings of fried wheat-flour cakes or kadaknis reaching to the floor. During the holidays one garland is added everyday by the temple priest; and other people add their own strings of wheat-cakes in fulfilment of vows or when the goddess is their family-deity. Except that on the tenth or Dasara day an offering of some sweets and rice is made the rest of the service is the same as on ordinary days. Another great festival is the night of the full-moon of Ashvina (September-October), five days after the Dasara, when number of people sing devotional songs or bhajans at the temple to the accompaniment of cymbals. The devotees
keep up all night singing and drinking milk, and those who can afford it let off fire-works. The offerings to the goddess are common salt in crystals, oil, jvari or wheat flour, pounded jvari grain, groundnuts, dry dates and sugarcandy. These offerings are said to be made to please the goddess, that she may avert from her votaries diseases, especially skin affections over which the goddess is said to have control.
Vyas: At the north end of the town close to the trenches for male pilgrims and about 300 feet west of Ambabai is the temple of Vyas, the reputed author of the Mahabharata, an old building in a mud and stone enclosure (100' X 88'). At the north-east corner of the enclosure is a masonry well. On the north is a small temple or shrine with a standing image of Maruti with folded hands and besmeared with red lead. In the middle of the enclosure is the temple of Vyas on a plinth three feet higher than the rest of the enclosure and 5½ feet above the level of the road. The temple is in two parts, a hall and a shrine. The mandap or hall (19' X 14' X 9') is 19½ paces east and has a flat mud roof resting on eight wooden posts. A door (3'6"x2') on the west leads to the shrine 9' square and 10' high with a plastered conical roof but no spire. The shrine has in a niche (3'4"x2'5"x 1'2") an image of Vyas 2'4" high sitting on a stone pedestal (1'10"X l'4"x 7") with his right thigh crossing the left. Vyas's left hand rests on his thigh and shows the tracery of a book; the fingers of the right hand are drawn together as if holding a pen; and the head has the tracery of a skull-cap. The worship consists of a morning service and a light-waving or arti in the evening. The morning service has nothing peculiar, but, as Vyas, the author of the Mahabharata, is regarded as a special patron of the twice-born, many Brahmans worship the image everyday, and many more visit the temple daily. All worship is over by twelve after which the image is dressed in a silk-bordered waist-cloth and a skull-cap and then visitors can only bow to the god from a distance. In the evening a light is waved and songs are sung. The only great day of this temple is the full-moon of Kartika (October-November) when the five nectar worship is offered in the early morning. The Bhagvata is read in the mornings.
Takpithya Vithoba: Takpithya Vithoba's temple is a mud-roofed house in a lane about 225 feet west of the great temple of Vithoba. The temple which is built of stone and mud consists of an ante-room and a shrine. Both the rooms are raised on a plinth 2'8" high and have in front a roofless mud and stone platform (14' X 8'). The ante-room (8'9" X 8'7" X 8') faces west and opens into the shrine by a small side door in its south wall. It contains a black stone image of Maruti 2'4" high standing on a stone. The small low door (4'5"x2') in the south wall of the ante-room leads to the dark shrine (10'5"x4'8" X7'3") with at its west end images of Vithoba and Rakhumai.
Vithoba, a rough black-stone image 3'11" high, stands on a plain block of stone with hands akimbo. The right hand holds a wheel and the left a conch, and on the head is a crown. On Vithoba's left stands Rakhumai, a small black-stone image of a woman two feet high standing on a raised mud and brick platform. At the east end of the shrine a raised mud platform or ota 1'3" high and 2'5" broad stretches along the entire width of the room. On this platform which is called the shejghar or bed-chamber of the god a low bed-stead is usually kept.
Only one service is held in the morning when the image is bathed, sandal paste is applied, flowers and flower garlands are offered, the arti light is waved, camphor and incense sticks are burnt and a food offering is made. The yearly receipts of the temple are chiefly from pilgrims who make vows in the name of this Vithoba, and if their wishes are fulfilled, offer cash, millet flour and butter-milk. The temple is said to have been built in 1618 (S. 1540) by Radhabai, an old Brahman widow and a great devotee of Vithoba. She was in the habit of taking a quantity of butter-milk and millet flour or takpith as an offering for Vithoba; and, whenever crowded out or otherwise unable to make her offering, she used to fast. Once she was crowded out for fifteen days during the whole of which she ate nothing. Vithoba took pity on her and appearing to her in a dream, told her to open her eyes and make her usual offering. On opening her eyes the old lady saw this Vithoba and installed him in the place where the image now stands.
Batteshwar Mahadeo: Close to Datta"s landing and the Datta-traya temple, at the corner of the pradakshina or holy-round road as it passes by the parapet wall between the Chandrabhaga and Datta landings, is a temple of Batteshwar [The temple was called Batteshwar as it was built out of the discount or batta received by Komtis from their constituents.] Mahadeo built about 1870 by the Komtis of Pandharpur. The temple is of solid masonry with a five feet plinth. It consists of an audience hall or sabhamandap (16' X 8') [During four months in the year this hall is used as an octroi station by the
Pandharpur municipality.] and a shrine (9' X 8') both with masonry roofs, the roof of the hall resting on six stone pillars. In the middle of the shrine is a ling in a shalunkha (2x1'6"x9"). The daily worship is performed in the forenoon. On the Mahashivratra day in February-March the Komtis hold a festival at the temple like that performed at Mallikarjun's temple but with less show and noise. Only the abhishek, the bath, and the bathing with five nectars are performed.
Beri's Mahadeo: Beri's Mahadeo is a small temple on the holy-round road about 500 feet to the south-east of Kala Maruti's. The temple faces east and lies in a small enclosure (50' X 30'). It is
a simple stone-built chamber (9' X 9' X 7') with two doors in the front or north and east walls, each 4' high by 2'3" wide. The chamber has a masonry roof slightly domed inside and plastered and flat outside. In the middle of the chamber is a ling which with its case is about a foot high. The floor is paved and round the shalunkha is a ridge of cement about six inches high to lead to the north all water poured over the ling. In front of the ling is a seated stone bull about a foot high. The daily worship is performed in the morning by a priest. He bathes the ling, rubs it with sandal-paste and rice grains, throws (lowers over it and makes it an offering of molasses or groundnuts. The only holiday is Shivratra, the dark thirteenth of Magha (February-March). On this day the priest holds a somewhat longer service, the chief rite in which is a water-pouring or abhishek over the ling while Vedic hymns are recited. The temple was built about 1785 by Kshetrapal Beri, a native of Pandharpur. Though it is generally called after him the real name of the god is Bhadreshwar Mahadeo.
Kala Maruti: On the pradakshina or holy-round road to the south-west of the town about 600 feet north-west of Beri's Mahadeo lies Kala Maruti's temple, a ruined building more like a hut than a temple. It faces north-east and is in two parts: a tiled room or hall (16'X13'X 7') and behind it a shrine (7'6"X6'X7'). The roof of the hall, which is open on the north and east, rests on seventeen wooden posts. The shrine which is entered by a door (5' X 2') with latticed shutters has a conical plastered roof but no spire. The floor has a raised seat or ota on either side. Maruti's is a black stone standing image about two feet high, the right knee bent a little, the left hand resting on the hip, and the right arm raised. The image is thickly covered with oil, large quantities of which are poured over it every Saturday. Near Maruti stands a rough stone image with folded hands of Jambu Mali, the gardener of Ravan, who was killed by Maruti. The shrine was built by a poor Brahman Ramchandra in 1799 and the hall by a Bombay Bhatia about 1860. The worship is done once a day. The only yearly holiday is the full-moon of Chaitra (March-April) which is believed to be the monkey god's birth-day. On this day the priest worships the image, bathes it with milk, curds, honey, clarified butter and sugar, and dresses it in a new waist-cloth. According to one story this Maruti is said to have been established here for the success of his mission by the devotee Bhanudas before he started for Vijaynagar to bring back Vithoba. Every Varkari or time-keeping pilgrim visits the temple, and every gang of pilgrims when making the holy round stands in front of the temple and repeats a few of Tukaram's verses. This mark of respect shown by Varkaris is peculiar to this Maruti and is probably due to its legendary connection with the bringing of Vithoba. Unlike other Marutis this image is never covered with red lead.
Tambda Maruti: Close to the Mahadwar gate about'400 feet west of Ramchandra's temple is Tambda Maruti's which is considered the original Maruti of Pandharpur and is the most popular. The temple is a single-roomed masonry building outside the Mahadwar thoroughfare. In front of the temple is a hall (8' X 8' X 12') with a masonry roof, on which facing the shrine, is a stone bull or nandi brought from some ruined temple of Mahadeo with cobras cut in relief on each side resting on two rough stone pillars and two pilasters. In the east wall a door (4'x2'3") opens into the shrine (9'x9'X10') with a masonry roof consisting of slabs arranged in squares, the upper squares smaller than the lower, and gradually ending in a single square keystone. In an arch (7' X 9') in the shrine is a standing Maruti six feet high, its features hid in a coating of red lead and oil. The image has two hands, the left hand resting on the hip and the right holding the tail. At the foot of the niche is a slab carved into a cobra. In addition to the chief image, the temple has eleven other images of Maruti cut in relief on the sides of each of the front pillars which support the hall roof and one on each pilaster. It is considered lucky to visit eleven Marutis everyday and for convenience eleven are grouped here in one temple. The ministrant does the ordinary morning service at about sun-rise. In the evening he waves a light in front of the image to the accompaniment of songs. Other residents of the town worship the god and many visit the temple everyday. The temple has only one yearly holiday or festival, the full-moon of Chaitra (March-April), which is regarded as the god's birth-day. The god is supposed to have been born at sun-rise. Therefore an hour or so before sun-rise many people gather round the temple, a Haridas preaches a sermon or katha relating the circumstances of the birth, and at sun-rise red powder and the fragrant buka powder are sprinkled in honour of the birth, and powdered ginger and sugar are distributed to all present. During the fore-noon, after the ministrant's worship, the god is worshipped by other people that includes the bathing of the image with a continuous stream or abhishek, then with a mixture of the five nectars: sugar, honey, clarified butter, curds and milk, and then the usual offerings of flowers and food. The image is coated with red lead mixed with oil. The temple is said to have been built by the celebrated Ramdas Swami, the religious teacher and guide of Shivaji the Great (1627-1680). The temple was repaired about 1730 by one Pandhre, and again about 1855 by Yashwantrao, a Hyderabad noble. All classes of Hindus visit this temple on wedding occasions. The bridegroom, before going to the bride's for the marriage ceremony, visits this Maruti, bows low before it, and lays a copper and a set of betel-leaves and nuts in front of the image.
Garicha Mahadeo: Next door to the west of Murlidhar's temple is Garicha or the Quartz Mahadeo's, a small ruined temple of little
importance. It is in a small yard (54' X 45') and faces cast. In the south-east corner of the yard is a pipal tree, and under it a rough red-lead Maruti. The temple which is of stone and cement includes a hall (33' X 23') and a shrine. The hall is of masonry, its flat plaster roof resting on eleven stone pillars and three pilasters. The floor is paved and in the middle has a small stone bull (2' X 2') on a pedestal eight inches high. In front of the bull is a small Mahadeo. In the north wall of the hall four windows look on the high road leading to the Mahadwar landing. A door (4'8" X 2'6") leads down by one step to the shrine (9' X 9' X 12'), in the middle of which is a ling in a case (1'7"X1'X6") both cut out of one white marble slab from which the god takes his name of Garicha. The white slab is set in a larger black stone case (4'6" X2' X 2'). The spire which is star-shaped and thirty-three feet high rises in four tiers. In the lowest tier are figures of the bull, in the second and third are the different incarnations of Vishnu, and at the top is a globe surmounted by a wooden pinnacle. The whole is ruined and weather-beaten and the figures are broken in many places. The god is worshipped every fore-noon by a priest. The only festival is on the great Shivratra, the dark thirteenth of Magha (February-March). On this day a special service is performed including the water-pouring or abhishek and the five-nectar or panchamrit bath. During the four rainy months or chaturmas a puran-reading is generally held in the hall. The temple was built by the second Peshwa Bajirao (1720-1740).
Lakhubai: On a mound on the river-bank in the north of the town, about 200 paces south of the road which leads to the town after crossing the river, is Lakhubai's temple. It is a masonry building including a hall and a shrine. The hall (21' X 17' X 9') is of stone and cement and has a plinth six feet high reached by four stone steps. The roof is flat and of solid masonry. Three of the sides are arches springing from four stone pillars and the fourth or east face is open. In the west wall a door (4'6" X 2') leads to the shrine. Of several wall niches only two to the north and south of the shrine door have images. The south niche contains a rough image of Maruti two feet high thickly coated with red lead. The north niche contains a rough sitting image of Ganapati, two feet high, the features hid under red lead and with the lower pair of hands resting on his thigh. The shrine, which is nearly eight feet square, is on the same level as the hall, and its floor like the hall floor is of masonry. It has a slightly domed masonry roof about twelve feet high in the centre. Two small holes, one in the north and the other in the south wall, admit light and air. In the west wall a niche (7' X 6' X 4'6") contains a plain black stone sitting image of the goddess Lakhubai raised on a stone pedestal (3' X 2'6" X 2'). The image sits cross-legged and has four arms, the lower two resting on the thighs and each of the upper pair holding two
elephants overhead. The hem of a robe and some ornaments round the neck and wrists are roughly shown. To the left of Lakhubai outside the large niche, is a rough image of the sun riding in a chariot drawn by a seven-headed horse with a charioteer on the box. In front of the goddess is a large block on which is set a round stone covered with red lead. The round stone, which is still worshipped with Lakhubai, is called tandla and is said to have represented the goddess before the present image was made. A wooden bar like the horizontal bar in Vithoba's temple is thrown across the whole length of the chamber in front of the image, and visitors have to pass under it to reach the goddess. The temple spire is squat thirteen feet high with no ornament. It is surrounded by a brick and mortar globe and has a wooden pinnacle. The daily worship is performed in the fore-noon. The rites have nothing special, except that the final offering is of cooked food. The temple's great days are the nine days before Dasara in the bright half of Ashvina (September-October). As in other temples of goddesses a square bamboo frame is hung from the roof and flower garlands twined in the frame hang down to the floor where is an earthen water-pot. Near the water-pot a bed of earth is heaped and wheat grown on it. A light is kept burning night and day during this festival. The rites are the same as in Ambabai's temple. The temple legend is that Lakshmi once quarrelled with her husband Vishnu and being offended came to the spot then known as Dindirvan and sat on the bank of a pond. Vishnu followed her and they made friends. Some time later, at the request of Vithoba's devotee Pundlik, she came with her husband, Vishnu being Vithoba and Lakshmi Lakhubai. The temple was built by one Dhondbhat Katke about 1780 on the site of a smaller Hemadpanti temple at a cost of Rs. 8,000. To ensure success in their journey to Tuljapur in the former Nizam's dominions, sixty miles north-east of Pandharpur, pilgrim parties generally halt in this temple for a day and live in the hall before starting on their journey.
Amriteshwar Mahadeo: On a much-frequented road near the Kumbhar landing almost opposite Holkar's mansion and Ramchandra's temple is Amriteshwar Mahadeo's which is in great local repute and is almost as popular as Mallikarjun's. The whole temple is of masonry and includes a hall and a shrine. In front of the hall a porch has been later added. On either side of the temple are corridors. These corridors are of brick and mortar with a flat earthen roof. The front hail or portico is a wooden structure with flat earthen roof resting on wooden posts. The roof is higher than the roof of the original hall of the temple and the space between them is used as a drum-room or nagar-khana. The masonry hall (33' X 16' X 9') has a masonry roof supported on eight pillars and twelve pilasters. In the middle of the paved floor of this hall a round slab called rangshila is slightly raised
above the general level. At the west end of the hall, on either side of the door which opens into the shrine, are small rooms. In the north side room (4'6" X 4'6" X 8') entered by a small latticed door (4'9"x2'6") is a case and a ling of Narmadeshwar Mahadeo. The south room, which is used for keeping the temple brass lamps, masks and clothes, is of the same size. In the passage between the two rooms is the stone image of a sitting bull (1'5"x1'6") on a pedestal (1'6"x2'6"x 1'2"). In the north wall of the hall are two niches, one with a stone image of a seated four-armed Lakshmi-Narayan with Lakshmi on his left thigh. In the other niche are two plain stone cobras. In the passage between the rooms are two other niches, the north wall niche with a rough image of Maruti and the south wall niche with a rough stone image of Ganapati. A door (4'4" X 2'4") in the west wall of the hall leads down by three steps to the shrine (8'4"X8'4"X 13'). The shrine has two latticed openings in its north and south walls. There are two niches in these walls, one to hold the cast-off offerings of the god and the other to hold lights. In the middle of the shrine in a case or shalunkha (4'x2'6"x8") is a flat-topped ling ten inches high. The shrine roof is surmounted by a plain star-shaped spire thirty-two feet high in three tiers. Topping the spire is a globe surmounted by a brass pinnacle.
The daily service is in the morning. It is preceded by a lamp-waving or kakadarti with songs at about four in the morning. After the lamp-waving the priest removes the covering of the god and the flowers offered overnight and performs the usual worship. After this is over outsiders are allowed to worship the god who is so popular that worshippers throng at all hours of the day. In the evening the priest takes away the flowers, rubs off the sandal-paste marks, and puts on fresh paste, offers fresh flowers, and waves a light and sings to the accompaniment of a drum and bells. The god is bonneted with a red sackcloth or broadcloth cap as a sign that he retires and no more worship takes place. The festivals are much like those at Mallikarjun's temple. In addition a bhajan or hymn-singing is performed every night. On the Shivratra day in February-March after a kirtan or katha that is a sermon and song the god's car is dragged round the town. The car is of wood nearly fifteen feet high, and shaped at the top like the wooden frame in which family-gods are usually kept. The car is kept next door to the temple. The original image is not taken in the car but a wooden likeness covered by a brass mask. The mask is a human face shaded by an open cobra hood and encircled by one or two snake coils. The temple is said to be as old as the temple of Kalbhairav. It was repaired by one Govind Naik Keskar about 1780 at a cost of about Rs. 8,000. The front hall was added about 1810 by a Gosavi merchant who also made the car.
Gopalkrishna: Gopalpur, a small modern hamlet, lies about a mile south-east of Pandharpur. Its chief object of interest is a temple of Gopalkrishna, the scene of a large gathering of pilgrims on the Ashadha (June-July) and the Kartika (October-November) full-moons. The temple is built on a low hill of trap. A few hundred yards to the north is the Bhima, and to the west separated from it by a road a watercourse called the Pushpavati runs north a few hundred yards to meet the Bhima. North of the temple in an open plain were six nandruk trees with mud and stone platforms built round their trunks. They are no more in existence, instead a big nim tree has grown. To the northeast is a well not now used, a service pipe, a Ganapati's temple, and a small masonry pond or ranjan. The pipe is no more in existence. This pond is said to be the dairy where Yashoda, the mother of Krishna, used to make butter-milk; the Ganapati, according to this legend, was kept as a sentry. To the east was a short parapet wall built by the Pandharpur municipality. This has been demolished. To the southeast is the village of Gopalpur and to the south were the municipal rent-houses which were used as relief houses during the 1876 famine. On this side, on the kala days in Ashadha (June-July) and Kartika (October-November), pilgrims returning from the kala ceremony make little piles of four or five stones and call them utarandi in the belief that in reward Vithoba will allow them to come again to the next year's fair. [Of the kala holidays an account is given below p. 466. Compare Indian Antiquary, XL 154.]
The enclosure is an unroofed quadrangle paved with rough stones. It is surrounded on the west, south and east by solid masonry walls of dressed stone laid in mortar and about thirty-four feet high. On the quadrangle inside of these walls are rows of cloisters of which the walls form the outer limit. The cloisters are made of solid masonry arches arranged in a single row and topped with a heavy masonry roof. On the north the quadrangle is enclosed by a row of similar cloisters but open outside. There are altogether forty-two cloisters but, except during the great fair, few beggars make use of them on account of the distance from Pandharpur. Three doorways lead info the quadrangle, the chief entrance (7'9"X4'6") being on the east side facing the shrine of Gopalkrishna's temple. Another equally important entrance (9'10"X5'11") is on the north. On either side of the third doorway (4'3" X 2') in the south wall steep stone staircases lead to the top of the cloisters. The north entrance is reached by thirty-six stone steps, with a landing at the fourteenth step, on a level with which, on the right, are three masonry cloisters similar to the inside cloister. On either side of the entrance but within the enclosure, a solid lamp-pillar of dressed stone about twenty-one feet high has niches at intervals
for oil-lamps. By the side of these pillars two steep stone staircases lead to the top of the cloisters.
In the quadrangle are four temples of Gopalkrishna, Bhimakraj-Mahadeo, Lakshmi-Narayan and Narad, and an under-ground cell with masonry walls said to have been occupied by Janabai, a female devotee of Vithoba. Gopalkrishna's temple is near the south of the quadrangle and faces east. It is built of masonry with a brick and mortar spire, and is raised on two four-sided unequal plinths one above the other, the lower two feet high of rough stone and the upper three feet high of dressed stone. The temple is in two parts, an audience hall and a shrine lying east and west. Eight steps cut into the plinth lead to the hall (25'X 15'X 10') which is topped by a flat masonry roof on six stone pillars. The hall all round is ornamented at the cornice especially in the west wall. It is walled in on three sides and is
open to the east. The north wall has two niches and three pilasters, the south wall one niche and three pilasters and a window (4'x3'), and the west wall has two pilasters and two niches one on either side of a door which leads into the shrine. The left niche has a rough Ganapati. Outside the roof looks continuous, but from inside it is in parts, each part being the area enclosed within four pillars and called a khan. The roof is in the old-fashioned Hindu or cut-corner dome which is common in Pandharpur even in modern temples. In the middle of the hall, slightly above the surrounding pavement, a round slab called
rangshila bears the following inscription in Marathi:-
The temple was begun on the dark seventh of Kartika (October-November) in Shaka 1666 (A.D. 1744) in the cycle year Raktakshi by shamjipant Nandivkar son of Anant, (his) wife of Gopikabai
daughter Bahinabai and his nephews Sadashiv and Gangadhar
Viththal. Finished by Gajendra Moreshwar Yashwant.
A small door 4'4" high by 2'4' wide opens into the shrine. Round
the lower half of the mansonry door frame are roughly carved figures of
Radha holding snakes high overhead; figures of two cowherds Krishna's
companions holding maces; two representations of fight between
a lion and an elephant in which the elephant is worsted; two figures of
the saint Bhringarishi as a man with horns squatting on his knees;
and the mythical bird Gandbahiri with two necks and two beaks but
one body, each beak holding a garland or string of pearls. The shrine,
which is nine feet square and ten feet high, is on a lower level than
the hall. Its floor is paved to allow of its being washed, the dirty
water passing by a hole in the back wall. The room has to be lighted
even during the day. The image of Gopalkrishna is about three feet
high and stands on a stone pedestal about three feet from the floor.
A wooden bar set across the room, three to three and a half feet from
the ground, separates the image from ordinary visitors. The god has
two hands which hold a flute as if in the act of playing. He stands on the left foot, the right foot crossing it and resting on the toes. On either side of Gopalkrishna is the figure of a fan-holding milk-maid and below are the figures of a cow and calf. All appear carved out of one stone. Behind Gopalkrishna are two niches in the west wall, and smaller niches in the north and south walls. Near the south-east corner is the opening of a passage now blocked which by five steps leads down to a pit about six feet deep and plastered all round. At the bottom of the cell is a smaller passage about seven feet deep probably to serve as a place of refuge in troubled times. The spire of this temple is of brick and mortar and is rather short. It is in three tiers star-shaped at the base. The lowest tier consists of a row of elephants many of which are broken; the middle tier contains globes at the four corners, mostly out of repair; and the top tier has small niches with figures of saints and some forms of Vishnu. All the figures are damaged by weather and apparently by Musalman or other image-breakers. At the top is a big globe surmounted by a gilt brass peak. The god is worshipped twice a day. The morning service includes the wick-waving or kakadarti with songs corresponding to the early morning service in Vithoba's temple, followed by the morning worship or puja corresponding to the puja in Vithoba's temple. The morning worship includes the usual washing, dressing, sandal-marking, rice-sticking, incense-burning, camphor-waving and food-offering. No hymns or verses are recited as the ministrant is a Gurav. The evening worship also consists of two services, the incense-waving or dhuparti and the bed-waving or shejarti corresponding to similar services in Vithoba's temple; but, as in the morning, they follow each other in immediate succession. In the incense-waving the priest washes the feet of the image, removes the sandal-paste, wipes the face, applies fresh sandal, and, if flowers are available, throws them over the image and then waves a burning incense-stick and camphor to the accompaniment of songs. This is at once followed by more light-waving accompanied by further songs.
The only holiday is the Gokulashtami, the birth-day of Krishna on the dark eighth of Shravana (July-August). On this day new clothes are put on the image, and the priests give a feast, and distribute powder containing pounded ginger, sugar, grated cocoa-kernel and poppy seed. On this day visitors flock by hundreds and each visitor places a copper at the feet of the image, makes a bow and retires. On the Ashadha (June-July) and Kartika (October-November) full-moons large numbers attend. These gatherings have nothing to do with the worship of the god, but, after the kala ceremony, most people visit this temple. A yearly Government grant of Rs. 2 was also paid between the 1st and the 25th of July. This grant has been discontinued.
Mahadeo or Bhimakraj: Mahadeo's or Bhimakraj's temple lies in the same enclosure to the north of Gopalkrishna's, of which except for the spire and the absence of ornament in the hall it is an exact copy. In front of the temple is a small porch (7' X 7') with two sitting stone bulls about 1'5" high. In the hail are two lings, one (2'3"x
1'4"x1'6") set in a niche in the west wall, and the other (3'10"x2'6"x1'7") on the pavement at the north-west corner. The chief ling in the shrine, which is three feet long, two feet broad and two feet three inches high, is covered with a hollow brass mask representing Bhimakraj, the father of Krishna's wife Rukmini; a cobra coil encircles the mask, and the open seven-hooded cobra shades the head. There are two small niches in the back or south wall of the shrine, one small niche in the east wall and a large niche in the west wall, the last for the last day's flowers. The temple spire is star-shaped and uniform throughout up to the pinnacle. The spire is in three tiers, each with niches and broken figures of saints or rishis. In the topmost tier are nine globes surmounted by a large globe at the top. There is no brass pinnacle. The whole is dark and weather-beaten. The service of the god is performed by the Guravs of Gopalkrishna. The daily services are exactly alike, and follow those in Gopalkrishna's temple.
Lakshmi-Narayan: Lakshmi-Narayan's temple to the east of Mahadeo's temple on a plinth four feet high was a ruined hut about twelve feet square. It had a tiled roof very shaky in parts, in the middle was an old nim tree, by the side of which was a joint stone figure of Lakshmi-Narayan, including its pedestal 1'10" high and carved out of one stone. Narayan's or the male figure is seated, the right foot hanging low, and on his left thigh sits Lakshmi. The god has four arms, the upper pair holding the wheel and conch in the right and left hands; the right lower arm rests on his thigh and the left lower arm is round Lakshmi's neck. In front of the image is a pair of rock-cut sandals. The worship of this temple takes place in the morning and evening along with that of Gopalkrishna by the same Guravs.
At present the images of Lakshmi-Narayan along with the pedestal are kept in a cloister in north-west corner behind the Gopalkrishna temple. The idols are facing east and can be seen from the door in the east. However, the pair of rock-cut sandals arc still kept on the original plinth and are covered with small temple like construction in brick and mortar closed from three sides. These sandals are known as the foot-prints or padukas of Datta.
Narad: Narad's temple is a small dingy room (10'x8') in the east cloisters facing Gopalkrishna's temple. Narad's image is three feet high and seated cross-legged. The right hand holds a lute and the left a pair of cymbals; the head is bare, showing a top-lock and round it a rosary of rudraksh beads. In the north wall in a niche is
a mutilated four-armed figure of Kalbhairav of which only the upper half is left. The right pair holds a sword and a labor and the left a begging bowl and a trident. In a niche in the south wall is set a stone cobra with open hood. The service of this temple is at the same time as that of Gopalkrishna's.
In the cloister in which Narad's idol is kept a small eyelet in the backwall is cut in such a way that the rays of the rising sun should descend on the face of the Lord Gopalkrishna only on the first day of the Hindu new year, i.e., Gudhipadva. This was done by a devotee prince about fifty years ago.
Janabai: Close to the south-east of Gopalkrishna's temple is the cell of Janabai, a devotee of Vithoba. From outside it looks a square masonry platform with a tulsi plant in the middle. There are really two platforms, a smaller one (5'8"X5'8"X7') above a larger one (9' X 9' X 3'8") and both surmounted by a tulsi pillar. At the north-east corner of the lower platform an opening 2'9" high by two feet wide, leads by six steep stone steps to an outer ante-room (9' X 6') varying in height from eight feet at the entrance to six in the western half. Near the bottom of the staircase on the left a door (2'6" X 2') in the east wall of the cell opens into a small chamber (4' X 3' X 5') which is said to have been Janabai's cooking room. In the south wall of the ante-room a doorway (2'8"x1'10") leads into an inner chamber (7' X 5' X 6'). In this chamber close to the east wall of the cell is a cot said to be (4'6" x 3' x 7") the cot of Janabai. [This cot is not the original cot belonging to the celebrated devotee Janabai. It is made in native fashion and half covered by old tape to make it look old.] In the open half of the cot, on a stone pedestal is a black stone image of Vithoba (2'4") and a woman's image (2') which is said to be Janabai. Near this is kept a worn-out piece of quilt which is said to belong to Janabai.
The cot is removed from the cell and kept outside in a south-east cloister. In this cloister are also kept the utensils of Janabai as if kept one over the other, five in number and all carved out of one black stone known as utrandi, a stone grinder and a stone fire-place (chula).
According to an inscription the temple of Gopalkrishna was built in A.D. 1744 by Anant Shamji Dabhade of Talegaon. The temple of Mahadeo and the cloisters and enclosure were built by Parshuram Angal. the famous Satara banker and temple-builder. The temple of Lakshmi-Narayan was built about 1865 by one Datar at a cost of Rs. 60. Janabai's cell is said to have been built at the same time as Gopalkrishna's temple. The rest-houses outside and the temple to the north were built by the municipality in 1865-66. The story of the temple of Gopalkrishna is that Gopalkrishna or Krishna had 16,000 milk-maids and eight wives, who, out of respect to Rukmini the chief favourite,
used to stand whenever she appeared. One day while he was living in Dwarka, Krishna sat amusing himself with Radha one of the eight favourites, who was sitting on his thigh. Rukmini suddenly came in, but lemained standing unheeded; and Radha elated with Krishna's attention offended Rukmini by not rising. Taking this to heart, Rukmini left Dwarka and came to Dindirvan now known as Pandharpur, and sat near the site of the present temple. When Krishna found that Rukmini had left him, he started in search of her with his cattle and cowherds. The mountain of Govardhan in Dwarka learning that Krishna was leaving, not caring to remain without the god, followed and forms the knoll on which the temple is built. The river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna also followed the party and settled in Dindirvan, Ganga as the Bhima now called Chandrabhaga or Bhagirathi, and Yamuna as the Pushpavati. When Rukmini and Gopalkrishna made friends they held a feast on the hillock along with their companions each bringing his own food. This gathering or feasting called kala or the mixture is said to have happened twice in Pandharpur: first on the full-moon of Ashadha (June-July) the day on which they arrived and again on the full-moon of Kartika (October-November) on which Krishna is believed to have died. In Pandharpur kalas arc often held especially during the rainy months. The thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of the tenth section of the Bhagvat Puran tell how Krishna called this social gathering. When this chapter is read at Pandharpur the people throw in the air quantities of parched maize and then eat it, in imitation of the picnic of Krishna and the milk-men. In Gopalpur different bands of pilgrims in different places hold kalas during the Ashadha (June-July) and the Kartika (October-November) fairs. The head-man reads a few verses from the Bhagvat Puran suitable to the occasion, and an earthen pot of parched maize mixed with curds hung from the branch of a tree is broken by a stone and the contents are scrambled for and mixed with large quantities of parched maize. A somewhat similar ceremony called Govardhan sometimes takes place during the reading of the Bhagvat in which it is described. On this occasion parched maize is mixed with curds heaped into a mound like the Govardhan hill and in the heap branches of wild trees are fixed. Before the mountain are laid the usual offerings, and the people present eat up the hill.
Datta: On Datta's steps or landing about 2,000 feet south of Chandrabhaga's temple, is Datta's, Dattatraya's or Vipra's Math, a temple though called a monastery. Between it and Chandrabhaga's temple the bank has a parapet wall built by the last Peshwa Bajirao (1796-1818), and the road along these temples which is used by pilgrims for the circuit is paved with flag stones. The temple is the front or east half of a large building with two quadrangles. The front
half is seven feet above the road, and the plinth of the building is 2'6" higher. The front of the building has a paved quadrangle (32' X 25') in the middle with rows of open verandas ail round. In the west veranda is the temple shrine. These verandas arc occasionally used by ascetics and often by pilgrims and the owners, who come for the Ashadha (June-July) and the Kartika (October-November) fairs. The verandas are alike cloisters though they are not built for cloister purposes, and in every respect resemble good ordinary dwellings. The quadrangle which is generally used for devotional singing and music is open, and has trellis work on the top which is covered with thick cloth. The shrine is 8'3" square and ten feet high, and the door (4'10"x2'5") is set in wooden trellis work. The shutters are also of trellis work. In this chamber, close to the west wall, is a standing black stone image of Dattatraya neariy five feet high exclusive of the pedestal which is two feet high. The image, which is well carved out of a single stone and is highly polished, was made in Pandharpur in A.D. 1808. The features and other parts of the body-are better carved than those of any other image in the town. The image has traces of a loin-cloth and a sacred thread and rosary round. the neck. It has six arms, the lowest right hand holding a short rosary and a club, the middle hand a tabor and the upper a wheel, and the lowest left hand a bowl, the middle a trident, and the upper a conch shell. On the head is a crown; and in the ears are fishes. The chamber is built of well-dressed stone and the roof is a somewhat squat dome. Besides the entrance door a small door in the south wall leads to a cookroom and is used by the priest in bringing the god's food. The god is treated with unusual respect. In the north wall is a small masonry pond and a small niche. In the pond water is stored for washing the temple at the end of the Ashadha (June-July) and Kartika (October-November) fairs and on the full-moon of Margashirsha (November-December). Two daily services are held in the morning and in the evening. The morning service takes place at about eight or nine. The image is uncovered, washed and dried, sandal-paste is rubbed on the fore-head, flower garlands are thrown round the neck, burning camphor and incense-sticks are waved, and food is offered. The image is dressed in a waist-cloth and shoulder-cloth with a scarf round the head. The evening service, about eight or nine, consists of wiping away the sandal-paste mark, removing the morning flowers, washing the feet, rubbing fresh sandal-paste, throwing garlands of fresh flowers, burning camphor and incense-sticks, and waving a light to the accompaniment of songs. On Thursdays the morning worship is as usual and in the evening is another worship like that in the morning. The image is washed twice on that day and twice worshipped followed by a light-waving. The great days are the Ashadha (June-July) and Kartika (October-November) elevenths and the full-moon of Margashirsha (November-December). On these days the image is bathed in the five nectars-curds, milk, honey, clarified butter and sugar-which are rubbed over it, and, after washing it with water, a stream of water is allowed to fall over the image for two or three hours in the abhishek or bathing fashion while texts or mantras are recited by the attendant priests. Formerly on the evening of the Margashirsha (November-December) full-moon, a torch-light procession in which the sandals of the god were carried in a palanquin used to take place, but it has stopped since. 1880. The god's everyday dress is a gold bordered scarf and a couple of silk-bordered waist-cloths of which one is tied round his waist and the other wrapped round the shoulder. Once a year on the Margashirsha (November-December) full-moon the owner of the temple presents the god with a new suit of clothes, and wraps round his head a shawl instead of the usual scarf. No regular devotional sermons or Puran readings are held. The story of the temple is that a Brahman named Pandurang, in a dream, saw the god Dattatraya who told him to build a temple in his honour, telling him that if he went to a certain pipal tree in Jamkhindi he would find ample material to make an image. The man found a slab of stone under a pipal and had it carved into shape. The image was finished, put in a niche and the niche closed for a year. During this time a peculiar sound came from the niche and the god again appeared to him and warned him not to wait longer. The temple was built and the image set in its present position. Two tombs in a room near the shrine are said to mark the graves of Pandurang and his son Narayan.
Pilgrims: In what follows is reproduced the information about Pilgrims-Varkaris and Workship as given in the old Sholapur District Gazetteer published in the year 1884, as it provides many interesting documentations.
The following table shows that during the nine years ending 1884 an average of 1,65,774 pilgrims visited Pandharpur:-
PANDHARPUR PILGRIMS, 1876-1884
Chaitri Fair n March-April
Kartiki Fair in October-November
Every pilgrim must employ a Kshetra-upadhya or local priest either a Badva or a Bhat. Unless the priest is himself a Badva he must, at least for Vithoba's worship, engage a Badva, and for Rakhumai's worship he must engage an Utpat priest of that goddess. Thus, except when a Badva does double duty, every pilgrim has three priests, a Kshetra-upadhya for river-side worship and ceremonies, a Badva for Vithoba's worship, and an Utpat for Rakhumai's worship. These classes of priests number altogether about 600 families, of whom only some of those connected with the temple are well-to-do. They live in old dingy houses, handsome outside but closely packed without much light or air. As at Banaras, Gaya and Nasik, to guard against mistakes, and prevent their patrons leaving them in favour of a rival, each family of priests keeps a record of its patrons. This record, which in some cases goes back more than 150 years, is very detailed. It is kept in the form of a ledger, and contains letters signed by each patron giving his name and address, stating that on a certain date he visited Pandharpur as a pilgrim, and enjoining any member of his family and his descendants who may visit Pandharpur to employ the owner of the book as his priest. [The patron's letter usually runs: ' To the learned and godlike Narsu Ramchandra of the holy town of Pandharpur, I Govind Apaji son of Apaji Balvant, resident of Ahmadnagar, after most respectful greeting, say that on the 12th (day) of Jyeshth of the Samvat year 1872 I came to Pandhari and worshipped the god. My kinsmen and friends, whenever they come hereafter, shall acknowledge and worship you. Be this known to you. (Date and signature).' In the case of Bhatia patrons the record is more detailed and gives the names of all the living relations of the pilgrim on the father's side.] Several of the well-to-do priestly families have ponderous ledgers with indexes filling two or three large volumes. The indexes are arranged alphabetically according to the names of the patrons and according to the names of the places where they live.
Either on alighting at the Barshi Road station, or about two miles from Pandharpur, where, in sight of the pinnacle of Vithoba's temple, the god's feet are carved on a block of stone, or on the outskirts of the town, pilgrims are met by priests or their agents. [During the pilgrim season (June-November) or when they hear that their patrons are coming, some priests go to receive their rich patrons as far as Pune, Bombay and Hyderabad.] Almost every one of them declares that he has a record of some of the pilgrim's ancestors or kinsmen, and a record of their visit to Pandharpur acknowledging him as their priest. Pilgrims who do not expect such a greeting are generally bewildered and confused. If the pilgrim is wary he ignores these attentions and declarations, and insists on seeing the record. Many of the priests slink away. But some of them, knowing that most pilgrims are eager for shelter for aged relations or young children, while admitting
they cannot produce the records, boldly declare that the pilgrim's priest is dead and that no member of his family remains. Most of the priests, who well know the value of each other's aid, support the man's statements and the pilgrim then accepts as his priest the first man who accosted him. During his patron's stay the priest takes care that he should not come to know he has been imposed on and with this view many priests keep their patrons in virtual confinements until the ceremonies are perfofmed.
As soon as the pinnacle of Vithoba's temple comes in sight, the pilgrim stops and throws himself on the ground in honour of the god. Some pilgrims, who have taken a vow to that effect, continue to prostrate till they reach the town, or throw themselves at full length on the ground making a mark ahead of them as far as their hands can reach, then rise, walk up to the mark, again prostrate themselves, and so in this way reach the holy city. Some pilgrims roll on the ground all the way from Barshi Road (31 miles) or Jeur (45 miles). Cases are said to have occurred of pilgrims rolling from Banaras, Nagpur and Hyderabad in fulfilment of vows. On the 6th of August 1813. when on his way from Pandharpur to Pune, Mr. Elphinstone met a servant of Chimnaji Appa, who was rolling from Pune to Pandharpur in performance of a vow which he had made in order to get a child. He had been a month at it and had grown so expert that he went on smoothly and without pausing and kept rolling evenly along the middle of the road over stones and other obstacles. He travelled at the rate of four miles (two kosh) a day. [Colebrooke's Elphinstone, I. 257-258; compare lnd. Ant. XI 153.]
On reaching Pandharpur the pilgrim is generally provided with board and lodging at his priest's. If the priest has too many patrons, to provide for all, he hires houses, furnishes them with cooking vessels, and, in the case of rich patrons, he keeps one of his men to get them food, to show them the chief sights, and generally to attend on them, the priest visiting his patron on occasions of ceremony or whenever he is required.
Pilgrims may be divided into two classes, regular visitors and occasional visitors. The regular visitors, who are called Varkaris or time-keepers, come under two heads, those who attend every month and those who attend twice every year at the two great fairs in July and in November. The occasional visitors come almost entirely from Khan-desh, Berar and the north, from Hyderabad and from Goa. They mostly attend at the two great fairs.
The Varkaris or time-keeping pilgrims form an important sect whose beliefs are strongly opposed to Brahman exclusiveness. The faith is simple and appeals to the lower classes to whom most of its followers
belong. So catholic is the sect that some of its members are Muham-madans. The Varkari sect was founded by the Brahman Dnyaneshwar who lived about the end of the thirteenth century. The great devotee contented himself with visiting Pandharpur, and did not try to make converts. For three centuries after Dnyaneshwar's death no attempt seems to have been made to organize the sect. This was done in the beginning of the seventeenth century by the great Vani poet and devotee Tukaram (1608-1649) who popularised the worship of Vithoba. Tukaram is said to have begun to take an active part in the spread of Vithoba's worship after a dream in which his teacher or guru Babaji, a descendant of Keshavchaitanya and Raghavchaitanya, appeared and enjoined him to repeat the words Ram Krishna Hari at the beginning of all his devotions. Tukaram took this as a hint that he ought to proselytise. Nothing was done in Tuka's life-time, but his followers made many disciples, and the Varkari sect was greatly strengthened. For a time Tuka's disciples worked together. Later on the sect split into two main divisions, Dehukar and Vaskar, which still remain. The Dehukars get their name from Dehu, thirty miles north-west of Pune, the birthplace of Tukaram and the Vaskars get their name from Vashi in the Nizam's dominions. The most noted Vaskar was Malappa whose samadhi is at Alandi in Pune. Both divisions claim to be the direct spiritual descendants of Tukaram, and both claim to possess the identical lute or vina on which Tuka used to play in holding his religious services. Both divisions have numerous followers, and their religious rites are almost the same. Nine observances are binding on all Yarkaris. Every Varkari must come to Pandharpur for the great elevenths of Ashadha (June-July) and Kartika (October-November) and for the other monthly elevenths which are technically called varis. The Varkari must come on the tenth or previous day and bathe in the Bhima. To comply with this rule Varkari inhabitants of Pandharpur go a mile or two out of the city on the evening of the ninth and return on the morning of the tenth and bathe in the river. While or after bathing every Varkari must dip his banner or pataka into the river, and, taking water in his right palm, drink it as holy water or tirth. He must then visit the temple of Vithoba and make the round or pradakshina of the town. At night he must attend a meeting of the sect of Varkaris to which he belongs. Varkaris have no initiation or gurupadesh. This peculiarity, which is found in almost no other Hindu sect, sets all the members on an unusually equal footing. Any person anxious to be a Varkari goes to the headman of the sect to which he wishes to belong and tells him his wish. Except that the elevenths or ekadashis are the luckiest days, a man may join the sect on any day or hour. The candidate brings a necklace or rosary of basil or tulsi beads and an ochre-coloured swallow-tailed banner. The head-man orders the candidate to lay the rosary on Dnyaneshwar's great
book, the Dnyaneshwari, which is kept in a niche in every Varkari monastery. He is then told to take up the rosary and put it round his neck. The candidate falls at the feet of the headman who repeats the salutation. The only advice given to the candidate is regularly to visit Pandharpur on the first eleventh, and, if possible, on the second eleventh, of all months.
A rule which is strongly impressed on every Varkari candidate is that he cannot serve two masters. He cannot serve Vithoba so long as he serves the Mammon of worldly rivalries and cares. He is also told that to serve Vithoba well he must be poor, as Vithoba dwells with the poor and lowly. For all bodily ailments a Varkari must use no medicine but the water of the Bhima and the tulsi leaves of the garland round Vithoba's neck. No Varkari can begin to eat a meal without first drinking holy water or tirth which is of two kinds, the washings of Vithoba and the water of the Bhima. Vithoba's washings are to be bad only while the Varkari is in Pandharpur. The water of the Bhima he catties in dry hollow gourds and uses very sparingly, though he can rarely run short of it as a few drops of Bhima water make holy a hogshead of other water. If ever his stock runs short, he must borrow from some other Varkari. One of the chief Varkari tenets is that to take life is sin. Flesh-eaters must forego flesh if they become Varkaris. Every Varkari, however sick he may be, should keep a strict fast on all lunar elevenths. He should watch and sing hymns during the nights of the elevenths. While in Pandharpur the Varkari should bathe daily in the Bhima. A Varkari is not allowed to read any books but the following ten: Amritanubhav, Bhavarth Ramayan, Dnyaneshwar's Abhangs, Dnyaneshvari, Eknath's Abhangs, Eknath's Bhagvat, Hasta-malak, Namdeo's Abhangs, Rukmini Svayamvar and Tukaram's Abhangs.
A strict low caste Varkari believes only in Vithoba. He keeps no religious rites, ignores caste distinctions, and leads a poverty-stricken life in which a high disdain for everyday duties blends with an intense yearning for Pandharpur and Vithoba and for the excited night preachings on the great days. Brahman and other high caste Varkaris do not so completely give up everything for Vithoba. Something of their pride of birth and pride of life remains and also something of their scepticism. They will allow Vithoba to be the chief but not to be the only god. There are also Vaishnav, Smart, Bhagwat, Ramanuj and Viththal-panthi Varkaris. The Vaishnav Varkaris may be known by their three upright brow lines, a black between two white gopichandan or white clay and sandal-paste lines. They worship Vishnu and fast on all lunar elevenths. The Smart Varkaris may be known by their two or three level brow lines of ashes and sandal-paste. They hold Shiv to be higher than Vishnu and fast on all dark thirteenths or Shivratras. The
Bhagwat Varkaris may be known by their brow marks of gopichandan or white clay in the morning and ashes in the evening. They worship Vishnu but fast like Smarts on the dark thirteenths and dark elevenths. All these Varkaris mark their arms, cheeks and temples with the conch, lotus, mace and discus of Vishnu.
The Ramanuj and Kabirpanthi Varkaris are of four sub-divisions, Garuds who apply a yellow mark to their brows, Lakshmis who apply a red mark, Sanakadiks who apply a white sandal-mark, and Sheshas who apply a black mark. Ramanuj and Kabirpanthi Varkaris mark their temples with the discus. Besides being less strict they differ in two main points from ordinary Varkaris. They keep the ear initiation or kanmantra and they wear a short rosary with a double string of beads close round the neck instead of the long 108-bead rosary of the regular Varkaris which falls to the middle of the chest. [Another minor point of difference is that round the neck of Brahman candidates the tulsi rosary is .tied by their fathers and not by the sect headmen as among the other Varkaris.] Viththalpanthis differ from the Ramanujs and Kabirpanthis in having a conch shell mark on their right and a discus mark on the left temple.
Varkari doctrines are in practice even stronger caste-levellers than Lingayat doctrines. Inspite of some traces of pride of birth an ordinary Brahman Varkari who is not a Ramanuj, Kabirpanthi or Viththal-panthi, will not hesitate to fall at the feet of a Shudra Varkari who has a name in the sect for devotion or for power as a preacher. The Brahman Varkari sits in a line with Shudra Varkaris removed by only a short distance and does not object to be Selved, by the same man who serves the Shudra. The Varkari preachings of equality find willing hearers among the Deccan Marathas who in peace as in war have always a hankering after equality.
Among the lower classes the devotion and love for the darling Vithoba, for whom their yearning seems the yearning of a parent for a beloved child, the strongest and the highest of Hindu affections, shows no sign of growing cold. On reaching Pandharpur the pilgrim's first care is to visit the temple of Vithoba and gain a sight or darshan of the god. Though it literally means a sight or view, in practice the darshan includes embracing the god, laying the head on the god's feet, waving money, laying money in front of the god, dressing the god's neck with a flower garland and tulsi leaves, and offering him a cocoanut or sugar and incense. Till this is done the pilgrim has no rest. To most of them the sight of Vithoba is their dearest hope in life. They beam with joy as they leave the temple, their longing to throw their arms round the beloved knees at last satisfied. [The enthusiasm for Vithoba is one of the most notable feelings among the Hindus of the Bombay Deccan. The intensity of the feeling which moves
to tears even cold English-taught agnostics is probably due to the exciting influence of a crowd swayed by one feeling. The ground of the yearning and love for Vithoba is not so easy to find. What has Vithoba done for them that the people should love him so kindly and so purely? The answer seems to be though it apparently is not consciously true of the present high class worshippers that Vithoba is the great guardian or spirit-scarer. Vithoba, it ii true, has not so great a name as an exorcist as the Dattatraya of Narsoba's Wadi in Kolhapur or the Abasaheb of Phaltan. Still patients suffering from spirit-attacks against whom the local guardians are powerless are sent from places as distant as Dharwar to Pandharpur (Dharwar Statistical Account, Appendix B) and the fact that the Varkaris' one medicine is the Bhima water and Vithoba's tulsi leaves shows that they believe in Pandharpur and Vithoba as great spirit-scarers, since to the low-caste Hindu all disease is spirit-caused. The fact that Brahmans mix, even eat with men of low caste at Pandharpur, Puri, Jagannath, and other holy places seems to have its origin (though the origin is forgotten) in the belief in the spirit-scaring power of the god and of the place. The pure Brahman avoids the unclean flesh-eater because the Brahman believes that his careless life makes the flesh-eater unclean, that is, a spirit-haunt. When the low caste or the flesh-eater comes to the holy place the power of the place or of the god drives the spirits out of him. He is pure and may be touched, even dined with. Compare Indian Antiquary, XI. 149-151.]
The money waved in front of the god is usually five or ten paise. Well-to-do pilgrims who mean to go through the full details of the worship content themselves with the usual offerings and lay about Re. 1 at Vithoba's feet.
Pilgrims arriving by day bathe in the river, and, after performing some ceremonies, or putting them off till the next day, go to the temple to see the god. Pilgrims arriving at night cannot go to bathe. They go straight and catch a dhul darshan or dust-glimpse of the god. [From dhul dust and darshan glimpse, that is, a glimpse of the god straight from the road with the dust or dhul on the feet.]
The complete list of ceremonies begins with the Gangabhet or meeting the Ganga, as the Bhima is here called. The pilgrim with his family if he has brought them, wearing his everyday clothes, comes to the river with the priest. The men and boys strip to the waist-cloth and all stand in a row along the water's edge. The priest gives each a cocoanut which they take with both hands and lay in front of them. Sandal-paste, a few grains of rice and tulsi leaves are laid near the cocoanut, each pilgrim making a separate offering. Except the words spoken to the river, ' I offer sandal-paste, I offer grains of rice, I offer tulsi leaves ', nothing is said. Then the priest says ' I bow, Ganga, to thy lotus feet; I bow to thee Chandrabhaga '. The pilgrims enter the water to about the waist and all dip till the water covers them except the face and head. If a Brahman man, the pilgrim stands in the water after the first dip, thrice sips water from his hollow palm, and repeats
the twenty-four names of the god he invokes in his daily devotion. He
sprinkles water on the river and prays:
Come Sun with thy thousand rays, thou mass of glory and ruler of the world, accept this my worship, and the offering of water; I bow to thee.
He takes a little earth from the bed of the river and rubs it on his chest
Earth, free me from my sins and misdeeds that my sins being destroyed by thee, I may win heaven.
He makes another dip into the water and again bathes. He once more
stands facing west, and taking a little cow-dung from the priest he rubs
it on his body saying:
Cow-dung that belongest to the wives of bulls, who roam from forest to forest eating herbs, thou that dost cleanse the body, remove for ever all my ailments and sorrows.
He again dips into the water, rubs ashes on his chest, and recites a Vedic
hymn. While still wet the pilgrim takes water in both hands and pours
it as an offering into the water, saying:
In this south-flowing Bhima on the west bank, in the holy Lohadand, in the holy town of Pandhari. near Pundalik, near the holy pipal Narayan, and near the cow and the Brahman, Bhima, by thy favour guard me, who am the image of sin, a sinner among sinners, whose soul is a sinner and born in sin. Shiv, destroy my sins. To put away the miseries and sins whose source is the body, the speech, the mind, the touch of others or the neglecting to touch others, eating or refusing to eat, drinking, or refusing to drink and all small and secondary sins, to put these away I bathe in the Chandrabhaga on this lucky day. [The details of this bathing ceremony, the sipping of water and the rubbing with earth, with ashes, and with cow-dung, four famous spirit-scarers, and also the details of the ritual misdoings and omissions which cause sin are of great interest as examples of the early idea that sin like disease is a form of possession. That those acts were sinful which, like neglecting or misdoing the spirit-scaring ritual, laid the person open to spirit attacks; and that sins, being like diseases spirit-possessions, can be driven away by the great spirit-scarers water, earth, cow-dung and ashes. Though the idea that sin is a refined form of the belief in spirit-possession is more clear and wide-spread in the Hindu religion than in most forms of religion the idea is not confined to the Hindus. In Herefordshire and Shropshire in England in 1690 (Brand's Popular Antiquities, II. 247) when a man died an old beggar was called out of the village and made to eat a meal in front of the dead body. The old man was called the sin-eater and the object of the rite was admitted to be to keep the spirit of the dead from walking. What the old man did was to take to himself either (which was probably the root idea) the spirit
of the dead or (which was probably the ordinary belief) the evil spirits which had haunted the dead man. In this case therefore sin seems to be used in the sense of spirit. The explanation of the English word sin given by Webster from the Encyclopaedia Brittannica supports this view. According to this explanation sin was originally Signa or Sinna an evil spirit the wife of the ill-disposed Loke. The use of the goddess's name to describe a disease caused by being possessed by the goddess seems closely to agree with the Hindu names Devi for small-pox and Mari for cholera and with the English name Mama, the mother of the Manes, for madness. In these cases the patient is, or when the name was given was, believed to be possessed by the goddess.] The pilgrim asks the priest's leave to bathe saying in Marathi: ' Have
I leave to bathe '; the priest replies ' May you bathe well.'. The pilgrim
dives into the water and bathes. When a Brahman pilgrim has his wife with him the hems of their clothes are tied in a knot before they enter the water. The wife does not rub herself with ashes, earth and cow-dung like her husband and repeats no words. She dips when he dips and bathes when he bathes. When the bathing is over, before coming out of the water and untying the knot, the wife must say her husband's name and the husband must say his wife's name. [The reason why the husband repeats the wife's name and the wife the husband's name before the knot is untied is hard to give. In ordinary circumstances the wife will not mention the husband's name nor the husband the wife's, because, apparently, though this is not admitted, evil spirits and sorcerers might get to know the name and so have power to work evil on the owner of the name. The reason why before the knot-loosing here, as before the knot-loosing in the wedding ceremony, the names are mentioned is perhaps because while the knot is tied the two are one, and that to divide the parts without reminding the spirit of each to which part it belonged might cause confusion.] In the knot that ties the clothes the pilgrim usually fastens a pearl, a piece of coral, or a tiny bit of gold which goes to the priest. [The object of tying the gold, coral or pearl into the knot is to increase the spirit-scaring power of the knot. The gold, coral or pearl is given to the priest because the evil spirit is believed to have gone into the jewel and the holiness of the Brahman, the fire that burns in his right hand, overcomes the evil spirit. It is because they are spirit-possessed that the accepting of many kinds of offerings by Brahmans is counted a sin. The belief that the evil spirit goes into the jewel or other spirit-scaring article is confusing. The idea that the spirit goes into the article offered belongs not to the early or scaring but to the later or pleasing stage of worship, when, by the help of guardian worship the idea that offerings are made to please the spirit drove out the earlier and ruder scaring idea. At present the idea that the spirit enters into the article offered seems universal among Hindus. It is the belief even in cases of exorcism, the earliest of rites, even though in exorcism the object clearly is to scare not to please.] After leaving the water the pilgrims dress themselves in dry clothes on the dry bed or bank. Some pilgrims present the priest with the clothing worn while bathing, some give him new clothes, some give money instead of clothes, and many give nothing. When the pilgrim is poor and not likely to pay, the priest generally cuts short some of the bathing details. Pilgrims who are not Brahmans do not undergo the rubbings with earth, cow-dung and ashes. In their case the first greeting to the river is the same as the greeting given by the Brahman and the pilgrim at once enters the water, the priest saying:
In this holy place on this day I shall bathe in the Chandrabhaga to remove all sins of body and mind due to touch or caused by speech.
After putting on fresh clothes the high-caste pilgrim and his wife sit near the water's edge and throw into the water sandal-paste, rice, flowers, sugar and fruit. Instead of by bathing some high-caste pilgrims
purify themselves by eating the five nectars-clarified butter, curds, honey, milk and cow-dung-and listening to the Vedic hymn called the Purushasukta. Offerings of money are made to the priest. The winnow gift or supvayan takes place only if the pilgrim has his wife with him. Any un-widowed woman can make this gift which is presented not to the priest but to the priest's wife who has to attend to receive it. The gift consists of the articles used by a woman in her toilet, robes and ornaments. A new winnowing fan is brought, and the following articles are laid on it, a robe or a piece of bodice-cloth, five to ten glass bangles, a couple of silver toe-rings worn on the fourth toes, two pairs of toe-rings of bell-metal worn on the second toes, a cocoanut, two small wooden boxes with turmeric and red powder, a comb, a small looking glass, a necklace of black glass beads, a few almonds or plantains, some rice or wheat, and a packet of betel-leaves. Another winnowing fan is put over it upside down as a cover. The two winnowing fans with their contents are set in front of the female pilgrim after she has bathed and put on dry clothes. The pilgrim pours water over his wife's right palm and then sprinkles a little turmeric and red powder over the winnowing fan. The pilgrim's wife offers the priest's wife a little turmeric and red powder to rub on her cheeks and brow, and, taking the fan and covering it with the hem of her robe, and with it giving about Rs. 2 in money, hands it to the priest's wife while the priest says, in the name of the pilgrim's wife:
May the Eternal be pleased to free me (the pilgrim's wife) from
the horrors of hell. I give you Ganga, wife of Narsu, this fan with
money and a packet of betel-leaves. The pilgrim, who all the while is sitting by the side of his wife, adds the words ' Accept' and the priest replies ' I take '. Many pilgrims, though willing to make the winnow gift, omit to buy the articles and tell the priest to get the winnow fully or partly filled according to the amount he is ready to pay.
The next gift usually made by a poor pilgrim is the godan or the cow-gift. The pilgrim seldom gives a cow. The priest tells what merit
flows from the gift of a cow. He has generally a cow and a calf at home. They are brought and the pilgrim pays the Brahman about Rs. 5, and sometimes as much as Rs. 10. Before the cow-gift the priest says:
On this lucky day to gain the benefits described in the Vedas and the Purans and that this pilgrimage to Pandhari may be successful, I make the gift of a cow according to my abilities, either in the shape of money or a cow with a calf.
If no cow is present the pilgrim pouring water on his right palm at the end of these words proceeds to worship the priest, and continues:
"I bow to thee ! oh Anant or Vishnu, who hast a thousand images, a thousand feet, eyes, heads, chests and shoulders, who hast a thousand names and who art eternal and who hast outlived crores of eras, I bow to thee." The pilgrim then gives the money to the priest, and while giving it says the same words as were used at the time of making the winnow-gift except that the word cow-gift takes the place of the word winnow-gift. Then the pilgrim says ' Accept' and the priest answers ' I take '. If the cow is actually present with the calf, she is worshipped, and four small silver hoofs are touched against the cow's hoofs and two small gold horns, against her horns and all are laid before her. A small copper saddle is set on her back and a bell is tied round her neck. Her udder is touched with a brass pot and the pot is laid in front of her. In worshipping the cow the usual articles are laid before her including some jvari which she at once eats. After worship the pilgrim goes thrice round the cow while the priest says:
All the sins and misdeeds of this and other births are destroyed at every step of the round. After the last turn the pilgrim stands behind the cow and, taking the end of her tail in his right hand and putting some money along with it, pours water over the money and the tail-end into the right palm of the priest, at the same time dropping the money and the tail into the priest's hand. The priest lets go the tail, sprinkles the water on the pilgrim's head, utters a blessing and pockets the money. While the pilgrim is dropping the water over the money and tail into the priest's right palm the priest says:
The cow in whom live fourteen worlds, and who therefore is able to do good in this world and the next, this cow, whose god is Rudra, who has golden horns, silver hoofs, a copper back, with a milking pot and a bell round her neck, this cow I give to you Narsu Ramchandra who art learned in the Vedas and who hast committed them to memory and who hast a wife, that Achyut or Vishnu may be pleased and I saved from hell.
The next ceremony is the gift of the shaligram or Vishnu's stone full of holes. The shaligram gift is made by Komtis, Telangis and pilgrims from
Goa. The pilgrim generally brings with him or the priest supplies from his own house the shaligram a smooth quartz pebble. He also brings a gold tulsi leaf, a small brass box or sampusht, a conch shell, a bell, and a copper plate. The pilgrim, after bathing and putting on a dry silk waist-cloth, sits in front of the shaligram which is set in the copper plate and offers it sandal-paste, rice, tulsi leaves and flowers, waving lights before it and offering food, betel-leaves and money. Then a few rice grains are sprinkled over the priest's head, sandal-paste is rubbed on his brow, and a few flowers, a betel-nut, and a copper are dropped in his palm. A prayer is repeated and the pilgrim hands the shaligram to the priest and with it some cash. The gold tulsi leaf, the conch, and bell are all used in the worship of the shaligram. The tulsi leaf is put or thrown on it, the conch is used to bathe it, and the bell is rung when the light and incense are waved.
The next ceremony is a shraddh or funeral-rite in memory of the pilgrim's ancestors. As the Bhima flows into the Krishna and not into the sea, mind-rites at Pandharpur are of less avail than at Gaya or Nasik. For this reason Brahmans seldom perform mind-rites at Pandharpur and when they do the moustache is not shaved. When they do perform them Brahmans also like to perform mind-rites near the Vishnu's feet or Vishnupad temple, or, if the river is flooded, on the bank opposite the Vishnupad. Castes other than Brahmans shave the moustache and perform the rite anywhere. There are other points of difference. In the Brahmans' mind-rites the verses are Vedic; in the mind-rites of other castes the verses are from the Purans. Also in the Brahman mind-rites Brahmans are fed on the spot, and in the mind-rites of other castes, as the performer cannot touch Brahmans at their food, he serves food on plantain leaves and behind the leaves sets two stalks of durva grass which stand for Brahmans and before which he lays water, sesame seed, sandal and tulsi leaves. In performing a mind-rite or shraddh the Brahman pilgrim bathes in the river and putting on a dry silk waist-cloth sits to the north of Vishnu's foot-prints, thrice sips water, and, after repeating the twenty-four names of his god which he uses in his daily prayers, recites a hymn pouring water on his right palm. These mind-rites are like the usual yearly mind-rites performed by Brahmans. The differences are noted in the following translation of a Sanskrit couplet:-' Five things should be omitted at a mind-rite performed at a holy place, offerings, invocation, holding of leaf-platters, rice offerings, and questions about satisfaction,' that is, the pilgrim does not sprinkle on the priest's head a mixture of sandal-paste, rice, flowers, and water as is ordinarily done at mind-rites, he does not call the spirit, he does not hold the leaf-platters on which the dinner is served, he makes no offerings of rice or vikir in memory of male or female ancestors who have died from burns, accidents, or in child-birth
and who are therefore not entitled to the pinds or rice-balls, and he does not formally ask the dining Brahmans at the end of their meal whether they have had enough. The rice-balls or pinds are offered and laid on the stone foot-prints of Vishnu. The names of all the deceased ancestors are uttered and offerings made. If the pilgrim does not remember them all, he makes a general offering in memory of those he has forgotten. After the ceremony is over, the balls are removed and the foot-prints washed, and sandal-water and sesame are laid before them. The balls offered by others than Brahmans are made either of wheat-flour, molasses or barley, and sometimes of rice-flour. Their mind-rite is called chatashraddh in which straws of darbh grass are used to represent the ancestors. This ends the ceremonies which are performed outside the temple.
The pilgrim who has performed all or any of the above ceremonies seldom fails to worship the god Vithoba and the goddess Rakhumai. The worship is of two kinds: the mahapuja, that is, the great worship also called panchamritpuja or five-nectar worship and the padyapuja or foot-wash worship. During the last few years owing to disputes between the Badvas and the Sevadharis or inferior attendants of the god, the great worship has been stopped. In performing the great or five-nectar worship the pilgrim, after bathing and dressing in a silk waist-cloth and a shawl, comes to the temple and sits in the four-pillared chamber while the priest brings materials for the preliminary worship. A betel-nut Ganapati set in rice in a leaf cup is worshipped. Then the pilgrim touches the floor with his hand and worships the earth and Varuna the god of water. A silver dish with water, a conch shell, and the bell which hangs in this chamber are all worshipped with the usual offerings. The pilgrim goes into the god's chamber and the god's clothes are taken off. The priest shows some marks on the god, especially a hollow on the chest which was caused by a Brahman's kick when Vishnu was in his eighth or Krishna incarnation. The priest also points out some marks on the back which were worn by the bundle of cakes which Krishna carried on his back when tending cattle. [This shows that the priests claim Vithoba as the incarnate Vishnu, who appeared in Pandharpur at the close of the career of Krishna in Dwarka.] After undressing the idol the five nectars - clarified butter, honey, curds, milk and cow-dung - are poured over the god. If he is a Brahman or a respectable and rich Hindu pilgrim, he pays for the privilege of pouring the articles over the god with his own hand and of rubbing the god with sugar. All this while hymns are sung by a priest called the Benari or hymner. Then sandal, flowers, incense and money are laid before the god. If the pilgrim makes presents of clothes or ornaments they are put on the god. Flower garlands are thrown round his neck, lights are waved to the accompaniment of songs, food
is offered, and money laid at the feet of the god and taken by the Badva of the day, except what is waved which goes to the pujari or ministrant. The offering of food comes from the pilgrim's house if he is a Brahman, or from his priest's if he is not a Brahman. Two or three points in this worship require mention. The mahapuja can be performed at any time between the morning and the afternoon, but never after the god has been dressed in the afternoon and is ready to receive visitors. The local priest or kshetra-upadhya, unless himself a Badva, cannot perform the worship and has to hire a Badva and contracts with his pilgrim for a sum to pay the Badva. Some local priests, who have many pilgrims and who are not themselves Badvas, have regularly engaged Badvas whom they pay from time to time at a certain rate for every service, the pilgrim having nothing to do with the amount. The priest or kshetra-upadhya, therefore, unless he is a Badva, cannot claim any money placed on the god's feet, or any money at all, but can receive anything the pilgrim chooses to pay him outside the god's room over and above the amount agreed between him and the Badva. A pilgrim who takes the trouble to perform the great worship seldom hesitates to deck the idol with ornaments. These ornaments are not presented by the pilgrim. They are the property of the temple and have at one time or another been presented by wealthy pilgrims, but they are kept in the charge of the Badvas. [The Badvas, though not the only priests in Pandharpur, have monopolised all the chief presents. Such minor presents as silver dinner services are found in almost every priest's house, and some Badvas have silver services enough for fifteen to twenty guests.] The ornaments thus presented are brought from the different custodians by the Badva who is to perform the worship and the custodians charge a fee.
Padyapuja or footwash-worship, of late years the only worship performed, is a much simpler service than the great worship. Foot worship may be performed at any time, and, during the chief fairs when great crowds of pilgrims press to get a sight or darshan, the foot worship is performed at night so as not to interfere with the pilgrims. The foot worship consists simply in washing the feet of the idol, wiping them dry, sprinkling them with sandal-paste and rice, throwing garlands of flowers round the god's neck, waving lighted incense-sticks and camphor, and laying a cash present or dakshina at the feet of the god. Some sweetmeat is offered as food and Vithoba is decked in his ornaments as in the great worship.
The next worship is of the goddess Rakhumai. It is exactly like that of Vithoba except that turmeric and red powder are served instead of sandal-paste. The great mahapuja or five-nectar worship continues to be performed to the goddess, because, as her priests the Utpats are all of one class, no differences have arisen to cause any interference on
the part of the authorities. The same arrangements with respect to ornaments are made as in the worship of Vithoba.
After worshipping Vithoba and Rakhumai the pilgrim generally feeds Brahmans in honour of the god. This is called Devbrahman. Both Brahman men and Brahman women are asked to the feast; the men in honour of Vithoba, the women in honour of Rakhumai. The priest prepares the dinner at his own house, the number of Brahmans being large or small according to the pilgrim's means. The pilgrim and his family eat at the priest's after the Brahmans have eaten. The dinner includes the ordinary articles of food used by Brahmans, while a special dish of gram-flour-cakes and other dishes may be added according to the wish and means of the pilgrim. The lowest number of Brahmans fed is two, that is, one man and one woman, but as many as fifty to a hundred are generally fed, and some Kunbis from Berar and Hyderabad make a point of feeding 500 to 1,000 Brahmans at their yearly visits. The men guests, and the women guests who are generally not so numerous as the men, eat in separate places. When the platters are served and just before the guests begin to eat, the pilgrim, if he is a Brahman, is called and water is poured into his joined and hollow hands. In the place where the male guests are seated the priest repeats a prayer in honour of Vithoba and in the place where the women guests are seated in honour of Rakhumai. When the prayer is finished, the pilgrim pours the water on the ground, bows to the guests and asks them to eat slowly. If the pilgrim is not a Brahman he may not come near the diners. On the host's behalf the priest fills his hands with water and recites a hymn in the presence of the male guests. In the presence of the female guests the priest says another hymn. In each case after the prayer the priest drops the water from his hands on the ground. Not every pilgrim performs all these ceremonies. Pilgrims, both of whose parents are alive, do not perform the shraddhas or mind-rites to their ancestors. Some Madras pilgrims treat Pandharpur in much the same way as they treat Banaras or Gaya. The women, though their husbands are alive, make the hair offering or venidan, that is, they have their heads shaved as Brahman women's heads are shaved at Gaya. The ceremonies may either be spread over three days or crowded into one, according to the time and the money the pilgrim means to spend.
Except the Varkaris or monthly pilgrims, all who come for the first time to Pandharpur, feed Brahmans, and do the foot-worship, and, if they have their families with them, they also perform the other ceremonies. When they have leisure, pilgrims do not forget to visit the temple and see all the daily services of the god. They go to the temple at ten at night to see the shejarti or night light-waving; they are also present at three in the morning for the wick-waving or kakadarti the
first light ceremony of the next day. After bathing in the river and visiting the god Vithoba pilgrims also visit the other temples in the town, and make the holy round or pradakshina. The circuit is of two kinds: the god-circuit or devpradakshina and the town-circuit or nagar-pradakshina. The god-circuit, which is the circuit usually made by pilgrims, begins from the Mahadvar landing. From it the pilgrim goes to the river, and passing round Pundlik's temple in the river-bed, crosses the river, and, entering the town at the Chandrabhaga landing keeps south till he turns west near Datta's temple. He then goes by the main road to the temple of Kala Maruti and includes this as well as a small temple of Krishnajibava. From it he passes by the main road to the temple of Chophala behind Vithoba's temple. Thence he faces north, and turning at the post office and passing down the road lacing east, enters the bed of the river by the Uddhav landing. From the bed of the river he again enters the town by the Mahadvar landing.
Every devout pilgrim makes the town-round once in his life-time. Entering the bed of the river by the Mahadvar landing and visiting Pundlik's temple the pilgrim goes to the Vishnupad and Narad temples, both of which are further down in the river. From Narad's temple he goes about three miles south to Anantpur Mahadeo's. From this he comes to the Gopalpur temple and from it west to Padmavati's. From Padmavati's he turns back and visits Vyas's temple at the north end of the town. From Vyas's he visits the Lakhubai and Ambabai temples on the bank of the river a little nearer to the town. From Ambabai's he again enters the river-bed and the town by the Mahadvar landing. The round is a walk of seven to eight miles.
Fairs: The fairs at Pandharpur are held on Sud. elevenths of Chaitra, Ashadha, Kartika and Magha. On every day in the intercalary month (Adhik Mas) a small fair is held. Fairs are also held in ' Kshaya ' Mas which comes after a period of 141 years. The day known as ' Kapila Shashthi Yoga' which comes after 60 or 100 years, is also celebrated. During the Kshaya Mas, as the month is believed as belonging to sin, many pilgrims attend the holy place to perform some holy deed (punyakarma).
The most important fairs are, however, 'Ashadhi' and 'Kartiki'. The former is the principal fair during which palanquins of different saints are carried to Pandharpur from their respective places. The chariot of the main deity is taken out in procession on the fast days, i.e., eleventh day of Ashadha and Kartika. Kala festivals are performed on the full-moon days at Gopalpur and on the following day in the temple of Shri Viththal. It is said that the main fair of Ashadha was started first and then followed the fair in Kartika. The remaining fairs were started subsequently. It is said that the Ashadhi fair was started before the birth of saint Dnyaneshwar. Nearly 3 lakhs of pilgrims visit the place
during the Ashadhi fair, and more than one lakh during the Kartiki fair. The fairs held in the months of Magha and Chaitra are attended by about a lakh of pilgrims. On every 11th day in the bright half of each month also nearly 50 thousand people visit the place. The important days are Dashmi (10th day), Ekadashi (11th day) and Dwadashi (12th day) of bright half of each month. The pilgrims reach Pandharpur on the 10th day. On the 11th day they observe fast, take bath in the holy water of the river, make obsequies to the deity Viththal and Rukhmini, make holy rounds and take darshan of saints and temples in the city. In the night they attend kirtans, bhajans etc. On the following day they offer meals to the deity before taking their meals and then leave the holy place. For the Ashadhi and Kartiki fairs the pilgrims reach the holy town on the 9th day and stay there up to the full-moon day. They attend the Kala festivals at Gopalpur and on the following day, if possible.
During the fairs in the months of Ashadha and Kartika, the main attraction is of the Sarkari (Government) Mahapuja. Sometimes this puja is performed by the Chief Minister or a Minister of the Maharashtra State; otherwise a Government official usually a Collector, Deputy Collector or Mamlatdar performs the worship on behalf of Government.
The illustrious saints of Maharashtra such as Dnyaneshwar, Namdeo, Tukaram, Janabai, Savata Mali, Gora Kumbhar, Chokhamela, etc., have spread the fame of the deities at Pandharpur throughout India. It is bhakti (devotion) cult of the common man that attracts him to these deities. This cult is more commonly known as Varkari cult.
During the Ashadhi fair most of the Varkaris accompany the palanquin procession to Pandharpur. Palanquins of different saints flock to Pandharpur during the Ashadhi fair. More than 108 palanquins come from different places; of these the palanquin of saint Dnyaneshwar from village Alandi (district Pune) is the most important one. The important palanquin processions visiting to Pandharpur for the fair are:
(1) Saint Dnyaneshwar-Alandi, district Pune, (2) Saint Nivritti-nath-Trimbakeshwar, district Nasik, (3) Saint Sopankaka-Saswad, district Pune, (4) Saint Muktabai-Edlabad, district Jalgaon, (5) Saint Eknath-Paithan, district Aurangabad, (6) Saint Tukaram- Dehu, district Pune, (7) Saint Nilobarai- Pimpalner, district Ahmadnagar, (8) Saint Janardhanswami-Aurangabad, (9) Saint Muktabai (Ram)-Jalgaon, (10) Saint Ramdasswami-Sajjangad, district Satara.
All the palanquins collect at a village named Wakhari which is about 3 miles from Pandharpur, before the evening of the 9th day, i.e., navami. In the palanquin are kept the foot-prints of the saints in a silver plaque. Each palanquin procession has a prescribed route and places of halts en-route are also fixed. The pilgrims accompany the processions on foot.
In the evening the foot-prints of the saints are worshipped at Wakkari by performing Mahapuja. On dashmi (i.e., Askadha Sud. 10) the palanquin of saint Namdeo starts from Pandharpur and joins the other palanquins. The palanquins start from Wakhari for Pandharpur at about 10 a.m. on dashmi day and reach a place called visawa. A huge procession then starts from the visawa for Pandharpur at about 4 p.m. The procession reaches Pandharpur at about 11 p.m. The procession includes about 108 palanquins accompanied by thousands of men and women singing bhajans to the accompaniments of drums (mridang), veena (flute) and cymbals.
On ekadashi day and after completion of Government (Sarkari) puja which is performed from 4-00 a.m. to 6-00 a.m. the pilgrims are allowed to take the darshan of the deity. All the palanquins in the procession make a holy round around the temple in the morning. At about 12-00 noon a procession of chariot with the images of god Vithoba and goddesses Rukhmini and Rahi starts. In the centre of a square room in the chariot a small niche of wood is made wherein the three images of Viththal, Rahi and Rukhmini made of five metals arc kept.
In the morning of ekadashi, the three images are worshipped with mahapuja and abhishek. During the puja, kirtans and bhajans are held in the sabhamandap. The lights are waved at the face of these images twice, i.e., after keeping the images in the chariot and after the completion of the holy round. On the full-moon day there is a dindi procession conducted with great festivity. It reaches Gopalpur village before 10 to 11 a.m. where all the dindis collect and the Kala festival (breaking of dahi handi) is performed. Each dindi has a separate dahi handi, an earthen pot containing mixture of curds and fried jowar, assigned to it. The earthen pot is broken by a stroke of the pole of the holy flag (pataka). The Kala festival is performed at Gopalkrishna temple, Gopalpur, by each dindi separately. The Kala festival is also performed on the following day, i.e., the 1st day of the dark half of the month and is celebrated in the mahamandap of the temple. This Kala is locally known as Namdeo Kala after saint Namdeo.
During the Kartiki fair which is supposed to be the second in importance, most of the programmes as for Ashadhi fair except collection of the palanquins of different saints are arranged. There are no programmes on Chaitri and Maghi fairs.
During the fairs at Pandharpur the main items of engagements besides rites of pilgrims are bhajans and kirtans. Many pilgrims have no time to attend to any other entertainment programme.
There are, however, three cinema theatres in the town which exhibit mythological films during this period. Sometimes dramatic companies also camp at Pandharpur during the period of the fair and stage their dramas. Horizontal bar and cradles are sometimes installed in the
broad bed of the river. Some circus troupes also camp during the period. The rites of the pilgrims are, however, so time-consuming that they have scarcely any time for enjoyment or to attend the above programmes.
As the fairs are crowded the responsibility of maintaining law and order has to be shouldered by the police who are helped in their work by many volunteers. The revenue officials supervise the procession of palanquins, chariots and dindis. Police officials along with the municipal authorities visit the village Wakhari which is the halting place for all the palanquins. The medical officer of the District Health Department supervises the mass inoculations and other sanitary arrangements at the fair.
The main trade at the fair is that of churmuras, sugar-candy, bukka, kumkum and turmeric powder. These articles have brisk trade as they are purchased by every pilgrim for carrying home as prasad. The articles of worship, viz., sahankhod, gopichandan, sandal sticks, etc., are also sold in large quantities here. The musical instruments like pakhavaj, chipalya, small brass cymbals, etc., are also sold. Rosaries of tulasi beads which are a symbol of the sect are purchased by many pilgrims. Amongst metal utensils, those of brass have a major sale. The small images of god Vithoba and the goddesses are also sold. The main commodity of clothing sold is ghongadis. It is said that during the two big fairs, ghongadis worth Rs. 2 lakhs each are sold. The annual sale of ghongadis is estimated at about Rs. 50 lakhs.
Besides the permanent shops, more than two hundred temporary stalls are opened at the time of every fair. Most of them are opened in the bed of the river on temporary licences. The municipality charges a licence-fee of Rs. 41 per stall during the four important fairs.
The pilgrim committee arranges the mass inoculation and looks to sanitation, water-supply, etc. Most of the expenditure on mass inoculation is borne by Government. A pilgrim tax at the rate of 50 paise per head is collected from every pilgrim who attends the fair.
History: In September 1659 the Bijapur General Afzalkhan encamped at Pandharpur on his way from Bijapur to Wai in Satara. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 76.] In 1774 Pandharpur was the scene of an action between Raghunathrao Peshwa and Trimbakrao Mama sent by the Poona Ministers to oppose him. On the fourth of March on a fine plain between Pandharpur and Kasegaon four miles to the south Raghunathrao made a dashing charge on Trimbakrao, and in less than twenty minutes with a force considerably inferior to that of his opponent gained a complete victory, mortally wounded Trimbakrao, and took him prisoner. This victory gave a momentary life to Raghunathrao's cause and enabled him to raise
large sums in the city of Pandharpur partly by contributions and partly by pawning a portion of some prize jewels he had brought from north India. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 367.] In 1792 Mr. Moor, the author of the Hindu Pantheon, describes Pandharpur as a city belonging to Parshuram Bhau Patvardhan and containing many buildings and a market supplied not only with grain, cloth and other local products but with a variety of English articles which filled a whole street of shops of Bombay and Poona traders. [Narrative of Captain Little's Detachment,
Janoji Bhosle who had decided to adopt Raghuji, the eldest son of his brother Mudhoji, being on good terms with the Peshwa Madhavrao after the treaty of Kamalpur, went to Thevur where Madhavrao was on his death-bed. From thence he proceeded to visit the holy places of Pandharpur and Tuljapur.
In 1815 Pandharpur was the scene of the murder of Gangadhar Shastri, the Gaikwad's agent at the Pune court, by Trimbakji Dengle the favourite of Bajirao the last Peshwa (1796-1817). Gangadhar Shastri had gone to Pune under British guarantee to settle some money disputes between the Gaikwad and the Peshwa, but finding his efforts fruitless he had determined to return to Baroda and leave the settlement to British arbitration. This disconcerted Bajirao's plans, whose real object was to arrange an union with the Gaikwad against the English, and he and Trimbakji, after much persuasion, induced Gangadhar Shastri to stay. In July (1815) Bajirao went to Pandharpur on a pilgrimage and took with him Trimbakji and Gangadhar Shastri. On the 14th of July the Shastri dined with the Peshwa, and in the evening Trimbakji asked him to Vithoba's temple where the Peshwa was. Gangadhar who was unwell excused himself, but was pressed by Trimbakji and went to the temple with a few unarmed attendants. After a prayer to Vithoba he talked with Trimbakji and then went to pay his respects to the Peshwa who was seated in the upper veranda of the temple and treated him with marked attention. When the visit was oyer, Gangadhar started for his lodging in high spirits. He had scarcely gone 300 yards when he was attacked in the street by assassins hired by Trimbakji and was almost cut to pieces. The murder of a Brahman in the holy city of Pandharpur and Trimbakji Dengle's share in the deed caused much excitement. The death of a man for whose security the British Government had pledged themselves, the proved guilt of Trimbakji and the wavering and intriguing conduct of the Peshwa led to the war between the English and the Peshwa, the fate of which was decided by the British victory at Kirkee near Pune. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 630-631.] In 1817 an indecisive action was fought near Pandharpur between the Peshwa's horse and the British troops under
General Smith who was accompanied by Mr. Elphinstone. [ Details are given above, in Chapter II.] In 1847 Raghoji Bhangrya, the noted Koli decoit, was caught at Pandharpur by Lieutenant, afterwards General, Gell. During the 1857 war the office and treasury of the Mamlatdar of Pandharpur then in Satara were attacked by rebels but successfully held by the local police.
In 1879 Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, the famous freedom-fighter, was on his way to Pandharpur from the Nizam's territories to raise money to pay his recruits when he was captured at Devar Navadgi in Bijapur, thirty miles east of Indi.
Municipality: The municipality was established at Pandharpur on October 12, 1855. Covering an area of about 4.66 square miles it is now governed under the Maharashtra Municipalities Act, 1965. The municipal council is composed of thirty members including two co-opted members. Two seats, each one is reserved for women and the scheduled tribes. The chief officer is the executive head of the municipality. The municipal administration is looked after by various committees formed by the municipality. The committees formed are the standing committee, the education committee, the water-supply and drainage committee, the public works committee, the planning and development committee and the medical and public health committee. Formerly the, management of the fairs at Pandharpur was entrusted to a separate committee. However the work is now looked after by the standing committee.
In 1961-62 the total receipts of the municipality amounted to Rs. 24,27,922, of which the receipts from the municipal taxes were to the tune of Rs. 9,09,346, the per capita municipal tax being Rs. 20.02. The per capita municipal tax, it thus appears, was high at Pandharpur. However, most of the incidence fell on pilgrims who visited the town on various occasions, the town being a centre of pilgrimage.
The total income of the municipality during the year 1966-67 excluding the opening balance of Rs. 69,569 amounted to Rs. 15,46,931 and was composed of municipal rates and taxes, Rs. 8,37,760; income derived from the municipal property and powers apart from taxation, Rs. 2,52,204; grants and contributions, Rs. 4,44,248 and income from miscellaneous sources, Rs. 12,719. Added to this was the income from the fair which amounted to Rs. 5,35,224 and which was composed of an opening balance, Rs. 53,830; tax on the fair, Rs. 3,79,859; grants and contributions, Rs. 74,934 and miscellaneous income, Rs. 26,601. Thus the total income of the municipality during the year 1966-67 amounted to Rs. 21,51,724.
The total expenditure of the municipality during the same year amounted to Rs. 17,88,610 and was composed of an expenditure on fair, Rs. 4,49,011; general administration and collection charges,
Rs. 3,05,496; public safety, Rs. 54,241; public health and convenience, Rs. 6.97,090; public instruction, Rs. 2,24,941; grants and contribution, Rs. 15,550 and expenditure on miscellaneous items, Rs. 42,281. Of the total expenditure of Rs. 4,49,011 incurred on fair, Rs. 85,446 were spent at the time of the fair in providing public safety and convenience, Rs. 94,965 on grants and contributions and Rs. 2,68,600 on the management of the fair.
The total income of the municipality including the income from regular municipal sources and from the fair almost doubled during the year 1967-68 and it amounted to Rs. 42,36,692. It was composed of an opening balance in the regular municipal fund, Rs. 7,47,945; income from the regular municipal resources, Rs. 30,13,624 and income from the fair, Rs. 4,75,123. The income of Rs. 30,13,624 from the regular municipal sources was composed of municipal rates and taxes, Rs. 10,25,982; income derived from the municipal property and powers apart from taxation, Rs. 14,77,748; grants and contribution, Rs. 4,82,338 and an income from miscellaneous sources, Rs. 27,556. The income of Rs. 4,16,411 from the fair was composed of tax on the fair, Rs. 3,67.953; grants and contributions, Rs. 36,081; opening balance of the income from the fair, Rs. 58,712 and income from miscellaneous sources, Rs. 12,377.
Though the income of the municipality doubled during the year 1967-68, the expenditure showed an increase of only Rs. 1,61,782. During the year the total expenditure incurred by the municipality on the discharge of regular municipal functions and on fair came to Rs. 19,50,392. An amount of Rs. 15,30,257 was spent on the discharge of normal municipal duties as against an amount of Rs. 4,20,135 spent on the fair. The expenditure incurred on the normal municipal duties was composed of general administration and collection charges, Rs. 3,31,774; public safety, Rs. 57,164; public health and convenience, Rs. 8,04,319; public instruction, Rs. 2,64,896; grants and contributions, Rs. 9,450 and miscellaneous expenditure, Rs. 62,654. The expenditure on the fair comprised public health and convenience of the pilgrims, Rs. 88,965, grants and contributions, Rs. 94,965 and management of the fair, Rs. 2,68,600 [The income and expenditure for the year 1973-74 amounted to Rs. 29,11,000 and Rs. 27,34,000, respectively.].
The town being a pilgrim centre, the municipality has to take special care for the prevention of an outbreak of epidemic diseases being duty-bound towards the same as the municipality gets an income from the cess on pilgrims visiting the town. The municipality has to spend on the management of the fair and it has to make additional arrangements
for lighting and conservancy measures which include anti-fly measures, arrangement for mass inoculation and disinfection of water at the sources.
For public convenience the municipality maintains one vegetable market, one mutton market, and one fish market. The municipality also maintains a slaughter-house. Under-ground drainage system has not been introduced in the town. The night-soil is carried away by the scavengers employed by the municipality and is utilized towards the preparation of compost. During the year 1967-68, 4,947.4 tons of compost-manure was prepared, the sale of which realised Rs. 38,651.
Besides the primary schools, the municipality conducts one high school known as the Lokmanya Vidyalaya which was established on February 16, 1887. During the year 1967-68 there were 1,308 students- 897 boys and 411 girls-on its rolls and had a teaching staff of 46. During the year under reference the municipality contributed to the school an amount of Rs. 918.65. Similarly freeships to 103 students and half-freeships to 185 students from the school were granted by the municipality.
To provide medical facilities to the town populace the municipality maintains three dispensaries and one maternity hospital known as the Silver Jubilee Maternity Home established in the year 1940. The three municipal dispensaries have a provision of 18 beds and the maternity hospital of 15. During the year 1967-68, 22,186 persons were treated in the municipal dispensaries, of whom 21,538 persons were treated out-doors and 648 were treated in-doors. The municipality incurred an expenditure of Rs. 10,322 on maintaining these dispensaries during the year. The benefit of the Silver Jubilee Maternity Home was taken by 586 women-patients. The expenditure incurred by the municipality on the maternity hospital during the same year was Rs. 22,433. The municipality also maintains a contagious diseases hospital with a view to serving the pilgrims visiting the town. The number of beds provided is 50. During the year 1967-68 the expenditure incurred towards the maintenance of this hospital by the municipality amounted to Rs. 19,521. Besides these dispensaries and maternity home the municipality conducts one ayurvedic dispensary established in 1923. It provides only for the out-door treatment of the patients. During the year 1967-68, the benefit of this dispensary was taken by 21,886 patients including 13,321 registered in the previous year.
For public convenience the municipality maintains one park known as the Nagarpalika Udyan. A children's corner has also been provided in the park. The municipality also maintains four camping grounds for vehicles, especially bullock-carts, which are available in the town at the
time of the fair as also at the time of the weekly markets. A pound is also managed by' the municipality for keeping stray animals. Street-lighting is also the responsibility of the municipality and the municipality had provided for 806 electric lamps and sixteen kerosene lamps in 1967-68. The town is provided with piped water-supply by the municipality.
The municipality maintains two crematoriums for Hindus, two burial-places for Muhammedans, one burial-place for Christians and one crematorium-cum-burial place for the sanyasis.