Warakaris to miss Deity Vitthal’s ‘Charan-Darshan’ till May-end due to incomplete conservation works

‘Mukh-Darshan’ allowed only for 5 hours a day since 15thMarch

Shri Vitthal idol kept in a glass box

Pandharpur – The State Government allocated funds worth Rs 73 crore for the conservation and repairs of Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Temple, a place of reverence for millions of devotees in the State. The fund is utilised for repairs and conservation of the cluster of temples in the premises, along with the temple of the main Deities. The work started on 15thMarch 2024 and devotees are allowed to have ‘Mukh-Darshan’ of the Deities from 6 a.m. till 11 a.m. The work has not been completed even after 1.5 months. Warakaris, therefore, will not be able to have ‘Charan- Darshan’ and will have to manage with only ‘Mukh-Darshan’ till the end of May since the work is yet to be completed.

1. Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Temple Committee visited the site on 4thMay 2024 for inspection, along with the Archaeology Department and contractors.

2. Many unforeseen jobs cropped up since the actual work started; therefore, the completion of work has been extended till May-end.

It takes time to do quality work : Vilas Vahane, Assistant Director, Archaeology Department

When actual work started and tiles were removed, it was realised that the walls and a few stones also required repairs. The work is taken up to give these stones their original appearance. Devotees can have live darshan of Shri Vitthal idol throughout the day, which is kept in a glass box. Removing the tile behind Shri Vitthal idol is a difficult task that required skill. The glass box will also have to be removed for some time and the live darshan of Shri Vitthal will be kept on hold. The matter has been discussed with the temple committee and has been approved. The conservation work needs to be carried out carefully, giving adequate time; only then, can the quality be maintained. It is a big task, and we are trying to complete it by the end of May 2024. After its completion, the outside work will continue.

We are trying to complete the work by 25 th May : Ha Bha Pa Gahininath Maharaj Ausekar, Joint President, Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Temple Committee

Ha Bha Pa Gahininath Maharaj Ausekar

We are keeping a watch on the work presently underway. The work is taking time to maintain good quality for the temple’s restoration to its original glory. We are trying to complete the work related to the garbha-griha and the hall and others by 25thMay 2024.