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Rise of a Folk GodVitthal of Pandharpur$
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Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199777594

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199777594.001.0001

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In Search of the Original Image of Viṭṭhal

In Search of the Original Image of Viṭṭhal

(p.94) 6 In Search of the Original Image of Viṭṭhal
Rise of a Folk God

Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the image of Viṭṭhal described in the Māhātmyas is most closely replicated by that in the Viṭṭhal temple at Māḍhe (Madhe Taluka, Solapur District). Dhere shows that the obscure mantra carved on the chest of that image is the mantra referred to in the oldest Māhātmya of Pandharpur. He then discusses the numerous occasions on which the image of Viṭṭhal was moved from Pandharpur, including one time (in a.d. 1659) when it was moved to Māḍhe. He argues that the image presently at Māḍhe is, in other ways too, much closer to the descriptions in literary sources than is the image presently installed in the Viṭṭhal temple at Pandharpur. Dhere concludes that the original image was returned to Pandharpur from Māḍhe, and the image presently in Māḍhe is a replica made to commemorate the original one from Pandharpur that stayed there temporarily.

Keywords:   Madhe Taluka, Pandharpur, literary sources

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