Solapur: More than eight lakh devotees on Monday reached the temple town of Pandharpur in the district,
to witness the `maha-puja` of Lord Vitthal and his consort
Rukhmini, on the occasion of `Ashadhi Ekadashi`.
It marks the culmination of pilgrimage, called `waari`,
that devotees undertake from across the state on foot to reach
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and his wife
Satyashila performed the maha-puja, as is the custom.
Alongwith them, Ganesh Sakharam Doke (65) and his wife Rukmni
(58), a farmer couple from Buldhana district, too took part in
the puja, as representatives of ordinary pilgrims.
AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh was also present
on the occasion.
"In our family, we have been walking long distance on
foot annually to reach the feet of the Lord for the last three
generations," Doke said.
The Chief Minister told the reporters afterwards that he
"prayed for good rains across the state for farmers`
prosperity, and state`s development on all fronts".
State ministers Jayant Patil, Harshvardhan Patil and
district guardian minister Laxmanrao Dhobale too were present.
Chavan also handed over a cheque of Rs one crore to the
Pandharpur municipal council on this occasion.
Security around the temple and in the town was tight.