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Ashadhi Ekadashi 2019: The Religious Significance Of Pandharpur Yatra

Ashadhi Ekadashi, also known as Maha-ekadashi, Padma Ekadashi and Devpodhi Ekadashi falls on the 11th lunar day of the Hindu month of Ashada. One of the most important religious festivals celebrated in the state of Maharashtra, the day celebrates God Vitthal - a manifestation of God Vishnu, as well as in honour of Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar.

The auspicious festival falls is celebrated today, on 12 July. Began in the early years of AD 1685, Ashadhi Ekadashi is an illustrious event celebrated in the town of Pandharpur, Maharashtra. It is believed that, on this day, Vishnu goes off to sleep in Ksheer Sagar - which is ringed by fasting and the Pandharpur Wari - the most glorious part of Ashadhi Ekadashi.

Hosted in the town of Pandharpur in Maharashtra, the Pandharpur Yatra includes the devotees assembling in the town as early as 25 June and extends for 21 days. The yatra starts in Allandi and ends on Guru Poornima day at Pandharpur. Hundreds and thousands of pilgrims reach Pandharpur on foot, where the natives warmly welcome them, continuing the centuries-old customs.

The Vitthal temple at Pandharpur, on the banks of River Chandrabhaga, is the most sacred shrine of the Vaishnava worshippers all around India. Worshippers from Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and many other states come together in the holy communion - devoid of gender, caste or class barriers.

With various folklores revolving around the culmination of the grand festival, the people of Pandharpur adorn the town with glitter and flowers - creating a sense of togetherness for the dindis (people from all aspects of class and caste travelling together to Pandharpur).

Illuminated with lights and brimming with pilgrims from all over India, the town of Pandharpur becomes a vision from the dreams on the days of Ashadhi Ekadashi. The town is considered as the spiritual and religious capital of India, primarily due to the Vithoba Temple - the abode of Lord Pandurang or Vitthal.

The significance of the town Pandharpur in Hindu mythology ascends from four different stories. Also, known as the Southern Kashi of India and Kuldaivat of Maharashtra State, the town is the abode to various temples with mythological and spiritual significance, with the Vithoba Temple being the most popular.

On the event of the glorious celebration in the town of Pandharpur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a 1 minute 30-second video, where the PM has elaborated on the connection between Pandharpur town in Solapur district with Ashadhi Ekadashi.

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