Fast, Fair and Festivals of India Fast, Fair and Festivals of India
Type : Religious Procession Festival
Celebrated at : Pandharpur
In the month of : June - July
Ashadhi Ekadashi is more of a religious procession festival and is celebrated during the months of June- July (Aashaadh Shukla paksha). People consider the two eleventh days, "Ekadashi", of every month to be of special importance. But the eleventh day (bright) of Ashadh is known as the great Ekadashi or Mahaekadashi. This Mahaekadashi is also known as Shayani Ekadashi, because on this day Vishnu falls asleep to wake up four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi in the Kartik month. This period is known as Chaturmas and coincides with the rainy season.
Ashadhi Ekadashi is the day of fast and on this day people go walking in huge processions to Pandharpur singing the Abhangas (chanting hymns) of Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar to see their God Vitthal. The yatra starts in Allandi and ends on Guru Poornima day at Pandharpur.
The Feast
The feast of Ashadhi Ekadashi is celebrated with great solemnity at Pandharpur. Hundreds of thousands go in procession from different parts of Maharashtra, some carrying palanquins with the images of the great saints of Maharashtra. Dnaneshwar's image is carried from Alandi, Tukaram's from Dehu, Eknath's from Paithan, Nivruttinath's from Trimbakeshwar, Muktabai's from Edlabad, and Sopan's from Sasvad.