Barshi is famous for the BHAGWANT MANDIR. Bhagwant temple is dedicated to Shri Vishnu. The uniqueness of this temple is that, this is the only one temple of Shri Vishnu all over India having Shri Vishnu’s name as BHAGAWNT. The temple is build in Hemadpanthi style in the year 1245 A.D. There are four entries to the temple from all the four directions, but the main entry is east-facing. There is one GARUDKHAMB in front of Garbhagraha. The idol of main diety Shri Bhagwant is in black stone having SHANKH, CHAKRA and GADA in the hands and picture of devotee king Ambrish below the right hand. Shri Laxmi is on the back of Bhagwant idol. Shivlinga is there on the forehead and marks of Footsteps of Bhrigu Rishi on the chest of the diety.
There are old records showing the grants released by Shri Nanasaheb Peshve in the year 1760, by East India company in 1823 and by British Government in 1784. The temple management is looked after by a Panch Committee. Badves carry out the work of daily rituals of the temple. The daily rituals include Kakada Arti, Nitya Puja, Mahapuja in the morning, Dhuparti in the evening and Shejarti in the night. Large no. of devotees visit during the Chaitri, Maghi, Aashadi & kartiki (Hindu Months) Ekadashi. During the Aashadi & Kartiki Ekadashi a large procession is taken out covering the town with Bhagwant riding on Garuda. A CHABINA is taken out on every full moon day.
Shri.Siddheshwar is the Gramdaivat of Solapur city. A Siddheshwar Temple is located at the heart of the city. It is surrounded by a large water tank which resembles as view of an island. The brief history of Shri.Siddheshwar runs like this. There was a great saint Shri.Siddaram, who preached the teachings of Shri.Basaweshwara. A young girl, inspired by the teachings of this saint wished to marry the saint. Shri.Siddaram being a brahamachari denied to marry her and gave permission to marry with his Yogadanda. The same marriage function is celebrated every year on the Makar Sankranti for three days on Bhogi, Sankrant and Kinkrant. The Nandi Dhwajas are presumed as Bride and Groom for the marriage. This festival falls around 14th Jan. every year. A fare popularly known as Gadda Jatra is arranged for fifteen days during this period.
This is a holy place of Shri.Vitthal and Shri.Rukmini. It is also known as the Southern Kashi of India and Kuldaivat of Maharashtra State. It is located at a distance of 72 kms by road. from Solapur District headquarters. The Pandharpur Railway Station falls on the Miraj-Kurduwadi-Latur railway track.
The ancient temple of Shri.Vitthal was renovated in 1195 A.D. There are many other temples of Indian Dieties and Mathas (Dharmshalas) of many Saints. The Chandrabhaga (Bhima) river flows through the City. Large number of devotees from all over Maharashtra and surrounding States gather at Pandharpur mainly to celebrate the Aashadhi and Kartiki Ekadashis every year in addition to the regular rush of devotees everyday.
The Palaquins (Palakhi) of various Saints originating from various locations gather at Wakhari, five kms. from Pandharpur for the Waari festival. The various daily rituals like Kakda Aarati, Mahapooja, Mahanaivedhya, Poshakh, Dhooparati, Padyapooja, Shejarti etc are performed in the main temple of Lord.Vitthal. The following are the temples inside the main temple as one enters from Namdev Payari and come out of Pachhim Dwar of the temple.
In Pandharpur, Wednesday is regarded as the auspicious day in the week and Ekadashi, the auspicious day in the month. The Aashadi, Kartiki, Magh and Chaitra Ekadashis are the four major festivals of the temple. Out of these four, the first two festivals attract a large crowd about 8 to 10 lakhs.
Apart from these, festivals like Gudipadwa, Ramanavami, Dasara and Deepawali are also celebrated. There are three major events Ashadhi Ekadashi i.e immediately after onset of Monsoon season. All the farmers complete their pre mansoon farming works. All the Warkaris (pilgrims) visit Pandharpur Pilgrim Centre from allover India including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, and Andhra Pradesh. States. It is a very big long march of Warkaris (Pilgrims) from the various other pilgrim centre from Maharashtra as below.
About 2 lakh Warkaris marching from pilgrim Alandi of Sant Dnyaneshwara and from Dehu of Sant Tukaram’s pilgrim centers and many other warakaris join this march on their way to this long route of Alandi-Dehu to Pandharpur. In all about 7 – 8 lakh devotees visit Pandharpur for Aashadi Ekadashi. Katiki Ekadashi comes immediately after the monsoon season is over and many warakaris visit Pandharpur from Dehu, Alandi, Newasa etc. and other parts of Maharashtra. About 3 – 4 lakhs devotees visit Pandharpur. Maghi Ekadashi comes in the initial period of summer season. About 2 lakh devotees visit Pandharpur. Chaitri Ekadashi comes generally in the month of April. About 1 lakh devotees visit for this ekadashi.
Vithoba Temple which is the main temple is situated in the central part of the town. The temple has eight entries. The main entrance is the eastern one known as Mahadwar which is also called as Namdev Payari, because one of the steps known as Namdev Payari is built up over the places where the remains of the great saint Namdev are believed to have been burried at his desire.
After Namdev Payari there are three small rooms called Mukti Mandap. After crossing the Mukti Mandap there is a quadrangle of about 120’ x 60’ with wooden pillars, presently called as Vithal Sabha Mandap. After crossing this sabha mandap one enters a hall known as Solkhamb, by reason of the fact that its superstructure rests on 16 pillers. One of the pillar is plated with Gold at the base and silver above it and is known as Garood Khamb. Near solkhamb there is a large stone slab with inscription of 1208 A.D. Close to the Solkhamb mandap, towards the sanctum is a small hall called Chowkhambh as the superstructure rests on four pillars.
From the chowkhambhi hall one is let into the shrine or Gabhara, a small room about 6’ square consists of a platform of 3’ height with silver canopy above and on this platform stands the idol of Shri. Vithoba which attracts millions every year. The idol is called by different names Vithoba, Pandurang, Pandhari, Vithal, Vithalnath etc. Behind Vithoba temple in the north east corner of the temple, facing east is the temple of Rukmini, the consort of Vithoba. It has a Gabhara, entry / exit, outer hall and a sabha mandap.
Every devotee not only entere the sanctum irrespective of the dress/caste/creed, but even places his or her head on the feet of the deity actually touching it. And this is a privilege prized and exercised by all devotees. This Padsparshadarshan is unique and not found in most of the Hindu temples elsewhere. For padsparsha Darshan it requires 2 to 3 hours on ordinary days, 4 to 5 hours on weekly holidays and Ekadashi day and upto 24 to 36 hours on Yatra days.
For the devotees who cannot spare long hours in queues for Padsparshadarshana one can have the Mookhdarshan. Bhakta or devotee can take darshan of Vitthal from the distance of about 25 metres and of Rukmini, from the distance of about 15 metres. It requires only 15 to 20 minutes for darshan. Darshan in Pandharpur has a distinctive meaning valued sentimentally by all devotees which does not obtain in any other temples in India.
Karmala is famous for the temple of Shri. Kamaladevi. There is a significance of no. 96 for the temple. The Kamala Bhavani Temple is built by Rao Raje Nimbalkar in 1727. It is considered to be the second seat of Tulajapur Tulaja Bhavani. Built in Hemdpanthi style, the temple has entry doors in East South and North directions. The uniqueness of this temple architecture is, the temple is having well of 96 steps. The temple is constructed with 96 pillars. The temple top consists of 96 pictures and 96 ‘overyas’. Navaratra festival is celebrated with great devotion. The annual festival (yatra) is held during Kartik porrnima to Chaturthi.
Akkalkot is a Holy place of Shri.Swami Samarth Maharaj. It is located at a distance of 38 kms. by road from Solapur District headquarters. This Saint is believed to be the reincarnation of Lord Dattatraya. The Samadhi of this Saint is worshipped by the devotees. The Death Anniversary is celebrated on Chaitra Shuddha Trayodashi every year. Large number of devotees visit the place everyday.
The present temple is built around famous banyan tree. This is the same banyan tree sitting under which Shri.Swami Maharaj used to meditate and preach the followers. The temple consists of main temple, sabha mandap and accommodation. Annacchatra (free meals to devotees) is organized daily (two times in day) by temple authorities.
The Swami Samarth Maharaj came to Akkalkot at the beginning of Shake 1779. The total period of reincarnation of Swamiji as the fourth Avataar of Shri. Datta is forty years of which he spent 21 years in Akkalkot.
From the historic point of view Shri.Swami Maharaj brought to an end his avatar in Shake 1800. But after three months, he resurrected and appeared before the faithful in Kashi (Varanasi). The holy Samadhi of Shri. Swamiji is loacated in the house of shri. Cholappa in the place already reserved for it before his bodily demise. This is known as Samadhimath. The spiritual fearless slogan in marathi ‘BHIU NAKOS MI TUJHYA PATHISHI AAHE’ (Don’t fear, I am with you) is given by Shri. Samarth Swami Maharaj himself.