Nivdungya Vithoba Temple – Vitthal Mandir in Pune

by Dec 21, 2023


Aarti Time
6:30 AM,  7:30 PM
Special Traditions in the Temple

Nivdungya Vithoba Temple is located at Navi Nana Peth in Pune. This temple was established by Gujarati Seth Kanhaiya ji. It was established in 1830 CE.

According to Hindu Puranas, Vitthal is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There is obviously a story behind this temple being named Nivdungya Vithoba Temple.

Locals believe that a great devotees of Lord Vitthal found an idol of lord Vitthal carved in black stone under a cactus tree at this place. After that a small temple was established here. Then in 1929 CE, Purushottam Sheth, a Gujarati businessman, restored and established a temple here. Today this temple is an important public place and is open to all.

History behind Name

In ancient times, Peth where this temple located was called “Nihal Peth”. In 1861 CE, it was named Nana Peth in honor of Nana Fadnavis. After the reign of Madhavrao Peshwa, he was the most senior minister in Pune during the period of Peshwa. Nana Fadnavis kept the Maratha Empire beyond the reach of the British East India Company during his lifetime.

Name of Sonopant Dandekar was Shankar Vaman Dandekar. He was a philosopher and educationist in Maharashtra. He followed the Varkari sect and became a scholar of the sect which leads to spread the sect and promoted the Bhakti movement.

Speciality of Temple

According to the PMC, this temple is a Grade III structure among the monuments of Pune city. The temple is a tall and imposing stone-brick structure with a self-styled idol of Vithoba in the Garbhagriha. The Sabha Mandap in front of the Garbhagriha has beautiful wooden carvings on its ceiling and pillars.

Nivdyunga Vithoba Temple in Nana Peth of Pune City
Nivdungya Vithoba Temple in Nana Peth in city of Pune.

This construction design is considered to be acoustically superior. Because the hall is surrounded by a circular path around the sanctum sanctorum. Due to which the intensity of the sound is not transmitted outside, the sound reaches the end even at low volume of the speaker in the hall.

It is said that the Garuda idols here are made of marble. These idols are based on the legends of Yogi Changdev and Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj. The silver idol of late Shri Sonopant Dandekar can also be seen here. These all idols have enhanced the beauty of the temple. The beautiful architectural design and rare idols make this temple a special sight.

Hundreds of years Dindi Tradition of Varkari Sect

Sant Dnyaneshwar, Sant Tukaram emphasized on Bhakti movement. Due to which Warkari sect gradually grew. Even today, every year these Warkaris come to Pandharpur barefooted from many places in Maharashtra. But among them, the Dindas coming from Alandi, Nashik, Lohgad are prominent and big.

Among them, the number of Dindas traveling on Shukla Paksha Ekadashi are more, which falls on the eleventh day in the month of Ashadha (June-July). Among these numerous small Dindis, the Dindi emanating from Alandi has a large number of Warkaris.

Young, old, and to some extent even children join these Dindis. People travel in harmony regardless of caste, socio-economic status. Out of respect, all people refer to women as Mauli (mother) during the journey. All the Warkaris stop and reach Pandharpur singing poems on Gods and chanting “Ram Krishna Hari”.

Every year palanquin of Saint Tukaram halts at this temple both on its way to and from Pandharpur. During this stay, all the devotees move around the circular arena singing devotional songs and chanting the name of the Lord. It is also called Chakra Bhajan.

Not only in this temple in Pune city, but in every place of stay, the local people of the place offer services in various ways. Some donate food, some take care of tent and accommodation, while others are ready to provide tea and breakfast.

Locals and other volunteers tell about the problems on the way to Wari. Some artists organize something special combining their art with the traditions of Wari which creates a devotional atmosphere.

About the Author

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Ashish Salunke

Ashish is a skilled biographer and content writer specialized in crafting captivating historical narratives. Through HistoricNation, he skillfully merged his IT expertise with the art of storytelling.

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