Pandharpur is a well known pilgrimage city on the banks of Bhima river in Solapur district, Maharashtra, India. The Vithoba temple attracts about a million Hindu pilgrims during the major yatra (pilgrimage) in the month of Ashadh (June–July). Pandharpur is located on the banks of the Bhima river, which is alternatively known as Chandrabhaga because of its half-moon-like shape. The city is named after a great merchant, Pundalik, who achieved self-realization there. Pandharpur, also known as Pandhari, hosts the renowned Vitthal temple on the banks of Bhima. "Vithoba", "Pandurang", and "Pandharinath" are the popular alternate names of the deity, Vittal, who is regarded in Hinduism as a form of Lord Krishna. Krishna is considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Rakhumai or Rukmini is Viththal's consort in the temple. The worship of Vittal in the Pandharpur temple is based mainly on the contents of the Puranas, and the contributions of the Vaishnav saints of Maharashtra and Karnataka during the 13th through the 17th centuries. Some of these saints are Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Gora Kumbhar, Chokhamela, Eknath, Tukaram, Purandara Dasa, Vijaya Dasa, Gopala Dasa, and Jagannatha Dasa. The Pandharpur temple covers a large area and has six gates. The eastern gate is known as the "Namdev Gate." Pandharpur hosts four annual pilgrimages ("yatras") of Hindu devotees. Among them, the pilgrimage in the month of Ashadh (June–July) in the Hindu calendar attracts the largest number of pilgrims—around 500,000 to 700,000 people. The pilgrimages in the months of Kartik (October–November), Magh (January–February) and Shravan (July–August) attract the second, third and fourth largest numbers of pilgrims respectively.




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