Photograph courtesy: Soumitra 911/Creative Commons

Photograph courtesy: Soumitra 911/Creative Commons

Today is Ashadhi Ekadashi, the day that marks the beginning of a pious period of fasting and abstinence. Celebrated with great pomp in Maharashtra, Ashadhi Ekadashi is one of the most important festivals in the state. Pandharpur, the pilgrimage site in Solapur district, is the center of all activity today. Thousands of pilgrims, especially from the Warkari community throng at Pandharpur to pay their respects to Vithal or Vithoba. Also Read - Sonu Sood Sends 173 Migrants to Dehradun on Plane, Says 'Most of Them Never Travelled by Air'



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Photograph courtesy: Animesh Hazra/Creative Commons

Photograph courtesy: Animesh Hazra/Creative Commons

Vitthal is believed to be an incarnation of Krishna and the Ashadhi Ekadashi pilgrimage has been held uninterrupted for over seven centuries. While the bulk of the devotees arriving in Pandharpur are from all over Maharashtra, the pilgrim town also sees devotees flocking from the neighboring states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh too. In the more recent past it is also not unusual to spot non-Indian faces in the crowds too. Also Read - Fake News Busted: Jyotiraditya Scindia Never Added BJP to His Twitter Bio



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Ashadhi Ekadashi has also found its way to the silver screen with Elizabeth Ekadashi, the acclaimed 2015 Marathi film by Paresh Mokashi that narrates the heartwarming tale of two siblings setting up shop during the pilgrimage to help save their late father’s beloved bicycle. Shot in parts during the festivities itself, the movie received rave reviews and remains a landmark film in Marathi cinema. Also Read - LEP vs PDB Dream11 Team Prediction Bundesliga 2020: Captain, And Fantasy Football Tips For Today's RB Leipzig vs SC Paderborn 07 Football Match at Red Bull Arena 07:00 PM IST June 6 Saturday

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Even Devendra Phadnavis couldn’t resist the allure of Padharpur as he flew into the town to pay respects to Vithoba. He shared this photo of thousands of pilgrims thronging the banks of the river Chandrabhaga:

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Photograph courtesy: pbs.twimg.com

Photograph courtesy: pbs.twimg.com

This Ashadhi Ekadashi, Pandharpur also earned a special status with the world’s biggest toilet facility being thrown open to service over 300,000 pilgrims. The eight mega toilet complexes have been constructed in the vicinity of the Vitthal Rakhumai temple in Pandharpur and comprise 1,417 toilet units, beating China that boasts of a toilet block comprising 1,000 units. But this just marks the end of the second phase of construction. By the end of next year, the toilet complex would have 2,858 toilet units.

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