Solapur, a town
and district in
Maharashtra, western India has many religious places.
Many Hindu saints have hailed from this place and the city
is proud of its history.
Let us first look at the pilgrimage spots in this district.
They are Pandharpur, Akkalkot, Karmala, Barshi and
Pandharpur is famous for saints like Shri Sant Dnyaneshwar
and Shri Sant Tukaram who worshipped Lord Vitthal, the
Supreme God of the Universe. The incarnation of this God is
Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu and the deity is called “Shri
Siddeshwar”.Since Pandharpur is the holiest place in
Maharashtra for Hindus, every year in the month of July
about 7 to 8 lakh devotees gather here to carry the
palanquins of the saints from neighboring villages like Alandi to Pandharpur, walking hundreds of miles to perform
certain religious rituals. It is the biggest festival here
and is called the Waari festival.
Barshi and Mangalwedha have many temples and the
saints who belong to these temples are worshipped even
Akkalkot there is a famous banyan tree under which
the great saint Shri Swami Maharaj used to meditate and
preach, and he is considered also an incarnation of a Hindu
God. It is now a temple and is called the
Karmala the temple architecture is unique. One temple has
the number 96 as its cue number: it has 96 steps, the
construction of the temple is with 96 pillars and there are
96 pictures in the temple.
Don’t miss the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary at Solapur.
One of the rarest birds of the Indian Sub-continent is the
Great Indian Bustard or Maldhok, which is its local name.
The Sanctuary covers an area of 8000 sq. kms. and is easily
accessible by road. There is also a 14th century fort built
by the Muslims and reflecting the era of the Muslim rule
when Solapur was a fortress town.
The citizens of Solapur take pride in the fact that Solapur
is the only city in India which enjoyed freedom for 3 days
before the country got independence as far back as 1930. So
the Solapur Municipal Council is known as the first
Municipal Council of India which hoisted the National Flag
on the Municipal Corporation Building in 1930. This was
initiated by Mahatma Gandhi and followed by many freedom
fighters who belonged to Solapur in 1930. The statues of
these freedom fighters have been erected in the middle of
Solapur City and this Martyr’s memorial is called Hutatma