Vitthal Temple, Pandharpur
Vitthal Temple in Pandharpur is dedicated to a form of Bhagawan Vishnu and is one of the most visited temples in Maharashtra.
Pandharpur is famous for its number of temples and is considered as the spiritual capital of Maharashtra.
It is the main centre of worship for Vithoba, a form of the god Vishnu or Krishna, and his consort Rakhumai. The temple was built by King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala Empire between 1108 – 1152 CE upon being convinced by the historical figure Pundalik.
Also, there is an inscription in the temple, of a Hoysala King Vira Someshwara dating back to 1237 CE, which grants the temple a village for its upkeep.
It is the most visited temple in Maharashtra. The Warkaris start marching from their homes to the temple of Pandharpur in groups called Dindi (procession) to reach Aashadhi Ekadashi and Kartiki Ekadashi.
A dip in the holy river Chandrabhaga, on whose banks Pandharpur resides, is believed to have the power to wash all sins. All the devotees are allowed to touch the feet of the idol of Vithoba. In May 2014, the temple became the first in India to invite women and people from backward classes as priests.
Although parts of the temple date to the 12th or 13th centuries, the existing structure mainly dates to the 17th century or later, and reflects the later Deccan style, with dome motifs and lobed arches.