About the Vitthala-Rukhmini Temple

The Pandharpur Temple, also known as the Vitthala-Rukhmini Temple, is one of the most frequented religious destinations located in Pandharpur town in the Solapur District of Maharashtra.

This sacred sanctuary is devoted to Lord Vitthala or Vithobha, a manifested form of Lord Krishna as well as his consort Rukhmini.

The town Pandharapur is located on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River, often known as the Bhima River.

According to the ancient Varkari tradition, “Vitthal” is made up of Sanskrit words, where “Vit means brick”, and “Thal means Sthala” which refers to standing.

Hence the expression “Vitthal” has a deeper significance meaning “ Standing on the brick”.

Likewise, the God here represents a small kid standing on a brick

The Pandharpura Vitthal Temple Timings



Monday to Sunday  

4 am to 11 pm  

For Visitors

  • Darshan is not possible from 11 am to 11.15 am due to Mahanaivedhya
  • Also between 4.30 pm to 5 pm for Poshakh
  • Closed completely after 11.45 pm till early morning

The Pandharpur Vitthal Mandir History

The Vitthala temple is one of the oldest temple structures built during the Yadava dynasty in India between the 12th and 13th centuries.

However, a Rashtrakuta Copper Plate inscription dated 516 AD contains the name Panduranga, which is an alternate name referred to Vitthala.

This hints that the worship of Vitthal began in the early 6th century.

According to ancient sculptures found in the Pandharpur Vitthala temple, it was built as a small temple in early 1189 CE.

During that era, Yadava king Bhillama looked after the construction of the temple and other finances.

There had been a constant drift between the Yadava and Hoysala dynasties over Pandharpur temple governance.

The ancient temple of Pandharpur was built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1152 CE, it was then confiscated by the Yadava Kings.

Until 1189, the temple was under the Yadava reign.In the 1209 era, there are several inscriptions in Alandi that mention Vitthal and Rakhumai stories.

In the year 1237, it came under the Hoyasala rule and went back to the Yadava dynasty in the year 1273.

The Hoysala King Someshwara gifted a community for the costs spent during Annadanam in the Vitthala temple grounds, according to a stone tablet dated 1237 AD.

It is the same time that Pandharpur became famous with another name called “Pundalik”, a saint called Pundarika who took samadhi in Pandharpur.

In addition to this, there are numerous other inscriptions about Lord Krishna and the Yadava empire in and around the temple that date from 1249 and 1277 AD.

A devotee called Namdev was born in Pandharpur in the year 1270 CE, whose inscriptions narrate various stories related to Pandhapur Vitthala.

Accordingly, the people of the Pandharpur village worshipped Vithoba for the well-being of their cattle.

Many small temples were built at the end of the 12th century CE, in devotion to Lord Vitthala in the Hemadpanthi kind of architecture in various parts of Karnataka.

The main temple of Vitthala at Pandharpur was attacked and destroyed completely by many rulers who invaded the place.

It is a popular belief that to save the idol of Vitthala, it was taken to the Vijayanagar Empire by the end of the 15th century and restored back by the start of the 16th century by King Krishnadevaraya.

Between these periods the temple was not open for worship to the devotees. The present temple was built in the 16th century.

This Vithobha temple in Pandharpur took a final leap of existence in the year 1958 CE when the Badvas took oath as the traditional administers of the temple.

The ancient  Sthalam Puranam, Skanda Puranam, Panduranga Mahatyam, and Padma Puranam all reference tales connected to Lord Vitthala in Pandharpur temple.

Main Legend of the Temple

According to the first legendary adaption, Pundalik was a devoted follower of Lord Vishnu, he committed his entire life to helping his parents.

Lord Gopala Krishna in his Digambar avatar, paved him a respectful visit from  Govardhan.

At this juncture, Pundalik asks Lord Krishna to make the River Bhima’s banks, a tirtha Punya Kshethra by halting there.

Hence, this area is comparable to the existence of the Pandaripuram temple.

A second legend tells that, Pundalik was a rapacious person who neglected to care for his elderly and ailed parents.

After he drove them away, they embarked on foot darshan to Varanasi with other devotees.

Finally, they decided to travel to Varanasi, Pundalik took a break on the banks of the River Bhima.

He noticed that after taking a bath, three ugly women named Ganga, Yamuna, and Godavari walked to the home of a struggling shoemaker.

When he questioned their whereabouts, they responded that they had to endure the faults of others and get purified when they went to the home of the cobbler.

Another legend of the Vittala Rukmini temple

Radha who adored Lord Krishna, went to his kingdom of Dwarka, and sat on his lap.

Rukhmini the queen of Lord Krishna was abandoned by Radha though.

She left Krishna out of frustration and headed to Dindivana, a town close to Pandharpur.

After seeking her, Lord Krishna arrived in Pandharpur, on finding Pundalik’s house, he requested Lord Krishna for his love and affection and stayed there forever.

Lord Krishna was told to wait downstairs on a brick by Pundalik so that he could attend to his ailed parents.

Post that Pundalik was shocked to see Lord Krishna wait with devotion and affection, he pleaded with him to settle there with Rukhmini forever.

Special Legend of “Namdev Chi Payari” related to  Pandharpur Temple

It’s a fact that the initial phase of the Pandharpur temple is referred to as “Namdev Chi Payari”.

The locals had requested a mother to allow her son Namdev to offer the Naivedyam to Lord Vitthal.

Namdev did so and waited in the temple to see if Lord appeared and accepted the bhog, and was disappointed that God didn’t turn up.

He began banging his head on the Lord’s foot in frustration, Lord Vitthal appeared and consumed the bhog and blessed him for his devotion.

Since then the main entrance of the temple is referred to as “Namdev Chi Payari”.

The Pandharpur Temple Architecture

The temple has 6 entrances hence it is a huge temple, with a gateway from the eastern side called Namdev gate or Mahadwaara.

Here is where Saint Namdev and Saint Chokoba’s Samadhis are located

The first 12 stairs need to be stepped up to enter the Samadhi which is famous as “ Namdev Chi Payari”

At the entrance to the Pandharpur temple is a Mandap that includes a Nagarkhana where numerous musical devices are set up.

Towards the west, two Deepamalas illuminate on special occasions. Rooms for residing worshippers line on both sides of the temple chowk.

The shrines of Garuda and Hanuman are placed on the Mandap.

The Solakhambi Mandap or Mandap with sixteen pillars is reached from the Chowk.

The Krishna Lilas and Lord Vishnu’s avatars are carved in the lovely room.

A silver door known as the Rupyacha Darwaja serves as the shrine’s entryway.

Three and a half feet tall and constructed of black, the idol of the deity Vitthala or Vithobha.

The idol has a Kaustubha Mani around his throat and a Shivalinga on his head.

In the sanctum, the Prabhaval, a silver plate, is in front of which the idol is set.

A wall inside the west side of the temple is an embodiment of all of Krishna’s play with Gopika.

Deities in the Pandharpur Temple Complex

The Pandharpur Temple complex contains a number of shrines honoring

  • Lord Ganapathi
  • Garuda
  • Lord Krishna’s consorts Rukhmini, Sathyabama, and Radha
  • Kashi Vishwanath (Lord Shiva)
  • Lord Rama, and Laskhman, Kalabhairav
  • Dattatreya, and Narsoba
  • Lord Narasimha, Lord Vishnu
  • Nagaraja and Nataraja(a dancing form of Lord Shiva)
  • Maata Mahalakshmi, Annapoorna Devi

Dress code of Devotees in Pandharapur temple

  • Devotees are expected to be dressed in simple and traditional outfits
  • Men should be in formal shirt, Dhoti, or Pyjamas.
  • Ladies need to be dressed in saree, churidar, or half saree.
  • Children should wear dresses that completely cover them

The prominence of Vitthal-Rukhimini Temple of Pandharpur

  • A sacred dip in the Chandrabhaga River is said to wipe away all sins and provide prosperity to all who take part.
  • The Pandharpur Temple became the first temple in India to accept women and members of lower social groups to take on the duties of priests in May 2014.
  • A distinctive aspect of the temple is the Dindi Yatra.
  • Numerous Varkaris-religious worshippers of Lord Vitthal-march on food from their homes all over the country to the temple.
  • The Dindi Yatra is the name of this pilgrimage, which occurs in June and July.
  • One of the priceless stones supposedly found amid the fabled account of the swirling of the sea event is the Kaustubha Mani.
  • This mani is hung around the neck of the deity’s idol.
  • In the past, The God Vitthala has ties to a number of other deities.
  • He is revered by rigorous Shaivites as an avatar of Lord Shiva, by Vaishnavites as the supreme Lord Vishnu.
  • There is a popular belief in the locals that Saint Sri Adi Shankaracharya even penned the Pandurangashtakam Stotram in the 8th century, honoring God Vitthal, as Punduranga

Festivals celebrated in the Vitthala Temple

  • The Varkaris, in particular, celebrate the Magha Ekadasi and the Chaitra Ekadashi.

Throughout this time of year, a huge number of them visit the Pandharpur temple to seek the blessings of their cherished Lord.

  • Shayani Ekadasi is celebrated on the eleventh day of the Karthik masam(Nov-Oct)

It is mentioned in legends, on this day at the Ksheerasagar (Samudra) Manthan incident happened. Lord Vishnu is said to awaken from a nap and bless the devotees.

  • Ashadi Ekasdasi or the Shayani Ekadasi is observed in the month of Ashada(June-July), on the 11th day of the month.

On this day Palkhi with the “Padukas” or “ Feet” of the Lord as they move from their homes to this temple praising the lord.

This is called Dindi Yatra, where the journey is full of songs, bhajans and kirtan offerings to lord Vitthal.

This procession is also accompanied by performing Annadanam, repair, medical assistance, and construction work for the needy.

  • On the eleventh day of the Karthika Masam(Nov- Dec) Prabodhini Ekadashi is celebrated

Pooja and other Seva at Pandharpur temple




Kakad Aarti

4.30 am 

Performed as an early mangala aarti to wake up the deity

Nithya Pooja

5 am to 6 am

Bathing of the deity with Milk, Sugar, honey, and Ghee

Maha pooja

7 am to 8 am

Recite Sholka and other bhajans to devotees


11 am to 11.15 am

Bhog Offering to the deity in the form of rice, sweets, puranpoil, and daal

Poshakh Pooja

7 pm to 7.30 pm 

Ornaments, silk attire and other decoration to deity

Dhoop aarti

7.30 pm to 8 pm

Naivedhyam Offering with deep devotion

Shej aarti

10 pm 

Closing time pooja with dress and ornaments removal followed by bhajans to make the deity sleep.


How to book pooja and other seva

Devotees can directly contact the temple through their official website and avail/book pooja and other seva services.

How to reach Pandharpur Temple

By Road: There is a frequent MSRTC bus facility available for visitors to this temple from major nearby cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bidar, Bijapur, Solapur, etc.

By Train: The Kurduvadi railway station is 50 km from Pandharpur, and it connects via train to major states and cities across the country. 

Travelers can avail of a taxi from Kurduvadi to Pandharpur town.

By Air: The nearest airport to Pandharpur temple is Lohegaon airport in Pune at 205 km, devotees can hire a taxi, car, or local tourist buses to reach the temple.

Accommodation near Pandharpur temple

  • Vitthal Inn
  • Balaji Lodge
  • Pandarinatha Lodge
  • Hotel Shamaina
  • Hotel Prabhu residency


  • What is Varkari dress of Pandharpur?

It’s the costume of the community of people of Pandharpur, varkari people worship Pandharput Vitthal -Rukhmini

  • Is paas required for Pandharpur temple darshan?

The darshan to Pandharpur temple is free and can be reserved online, devotees need to carry the printout of the paas at the entry time.

  • What is the significance of Pandharpur Palkhi?

Palkhi tradition in Pandharpur was introduced by a devotee called Narayana Baba in the year 1685, which involves carrying silver padukas in a pallaki(palanquin) from a place called Dehu near Pune to the deity at Pandharpur.

  • How many Palkhis go to Pandharpur?

Presently, about 43 Palkhi go to Pandharpur every year.


Do you know Additional Information?

If the listed information is incorrect or If you know more information about this temple,
Please let us know through the mail to sakalamblog@gmail.com, We will change it so other devotees will know the correct information.

Also, If you could send the photos of the temple, we will upload it for devotees references.

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