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Ashadi Ekadasi

Ashadi Ekadashi, as the name indicates, is the Ekadasi during the waxing phase of moon in the month of Ashada (July). In 2017, the date of Ashadi Ekadasi is July 4. It is popularly referred as Ashadhi Ekadashi in Maharashtra and is associated with Lord Vitthal, an incarnation of Lord Krishna. The famous Pandharpur Yatra culminates on this day at the Vitthala Temple in Pandarpur.

Ashadi Ekadashi is popularly as Deva Sayani Ekadasi in other parts of the country. Scores of devotees also take a holy dip in Godavari River on the day and pay obeisance to Lord Rama at Kala Ram temple.

The day is of great significance to the Bhakti cult in Maharashtra. Sant Tukaram and Sant Jnaneshwar two of the great Bhakti exponents in Maharashtra reached the abode of Lord Vitthal in Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadasi. They had set out on foot around fifteen days before the auspicious day from their villages. Sant Tukaram started from Dehu village near Pune and Sant Jnaneshwar from Alandi. They walked on foot singing the praise of Lord Vithal and reached the shrine on the auspicious day for the darshan of the Lord.

In memory of this pilgrimage, Maharashtrians undertake Dindi Yatra or Pandharpur Yatra by foot to the Pandarpur shrine of Vitthala. The devotees are known Varkaris and they go in a procession carrying the ‘palki’ of Sant Tukaram and Sant Jnaneshwar.