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Where Vittala stood at Pandaripuram

Pandaripuarm is the abode of Lord Panduranga on the banks of Chandra Bagha river in Maharashtra. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Panduranga and thus the place came to be called Pandaripuram.

The boy Pundareegan is tested by Lord Krishna. The lord appears before his house but the boy Pundareegan refuses to come out and welcome him, saying that he is busy serving his parents. The lord is asked to stand on a brick. The brick is none other than Indran who takes the form of a brick as he killed an Asuran - Virutharasura. Indran is cursed to become a brick and lie in front of Pundareegan’s house.

When Krishna stood on the brick, Indran got redeemed from his curse thanks the lord and the boy. Meanwhile, Pundareegan, after serving his parents, appeared before the lord and worshipped him. The lord blessed Pundareegan bountifully. Thus, the lord is called Panduranga Vittala and the temple exists on the spot where the brick was placed.

The petit icon of the lord with both hands on the hip as if he is ready to dance, is bewitching. His consort is Rukmayee. The temple is crowded with devotees on Ekadesi as they observe vrata and propitiate the lord by singing Abhangs popularised by Eknath, Surdas, Namdev to name a few.

With the famous tiny tambura, devotees render bhajans in this temple. Sweets are offered to him and then distributed to the public. It is a famous temple in Maharashtra and the whole town reverberates with the chant of ‘Panduranga Vittala ki jai’.

With my little knowledge of Abhangs, I rendered an Abhang – Kudumbhathiji in the raga Durbari Kanada - which was accepted by the gathering as they acknowledged my song with a slight nod.

We bid adieu to Pandaripuram and travelled to Sholapur by car to the famous temple which Chatrapathi Shivaji visited often.

(To be contd)

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