Lakhs worship at Pandharpur Vithoba templeJune 30th, 2012 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS
Pandharpur (Maharashtra), June 30 (IANS) Lakhs of devotees Saturday worshipped the famous deity Vithoba, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, at the temple town of Pandharpur.
Vithoba is often depicted as a dark young boy, standing arms akimbo on a brick, accompanied by his main consort Rukmini.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and his wife Satyashila performed the maha-puja (grand prayer) at the Vitthal temple here as a part of their annual pilgrimage on the occasion of ‘Ashadhi Ekadashi’ or 11th day of the full moon of the month of Ashadh (June-July).
Pandharpur is an important pilgrimage centre on the banks of Bhima river in Solapur district. The Vithoba temple here attracts around half a million Hindu pilgrims during the annual pilgrimage month of Ashadh.
Ekadashi marks the culmination of the pilgrimage, called ‘waari’, that devotees -warkaris’ - undertake from across the state on foot to reach the temple town.
More than half a million devotees thronged the temple on the occasion forming serpentine queues of upto five kms.
Arrangements had been made to keep traffic moving smoothly, though devotees had to wait several hours before they could perform the worship.
Talking to media persons after performing the puja, Chavan said he prayed for all-round development of Maharashtra.
“I prayed for good rains to overcome the drought-like situation in the state and for welfare of the farmers.”
Security arrangements were tight in and around the temple. Bomb detection squads and sniffer dogs had been deployed and police kept strict vigil at the local railway station and bus depots.
In Mumbai, large crowds gathered at the Vitthal Temple in Wadala to worship on the auspicious occasion.
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