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Sant Dhyaneshwar Samadhi at Alandi

Devotees reading Gyaneshwari at Dhayneshwar Samadhi

I first heard of Alandi when I was reading about Vari pilgrimage. This is when I learnt about the Palki of Dhyaneshwar Maharaj that leaves from here to Pandharpur. I quickly looked for it on Google Maps and found it not too far from Pune. I parked it in my mental list for the next Pune visit.

It was in May 2023 that I had an opportunity to visit Pune and along with it – Alandi. Little did I realize that it is so close to Pune airport that you can always take a small detour to visit Alandi.

Sant Dhyaneshwar Maharaj

Dhyaneshwar Vithal Kulkarni ji is best known for his work Gyaneshwari – a commentary on Bhagwad Gita. It is treated as the most important sacred scripture in Maharashtra today.

Dhyaneshwar Maharaj was born in 1275 CE in Apegaon on banks of Godavari, near Paithan on the auspicious day of Krishna Janamashtmi. He married Rakhumabai of Alandi but soon after left for Kashi to pursue his spiritual journey. He returned from Kashi to live the life of a householder in Alandi.

Devotees reading Gyaneshwari at Dhayneshwar Samadhi
Devotees reading Gyaneshwari at Dhayneshwar Samadhi

In his short life of 21 years, he wrote Amritanubhava and Gyaneshwari. These are considered the first texts written in Marathi language. He used the Ovi meter for his work that is commonly found in the folk songs of the region.

His Abhangs were mostly composed during his pilgrimage to Pandharpur and other pilgrimage places in India. His biography is the oldest recorded account of Varkari tradition including the Pandharpaur Vari Yatra.

Dhyaneshwar Maharaj performed many miracles like making a buffalo recite Veda mantras and riding on a wall. He was associated with Nath Yogi Parampara.

His samadhi is in the Siddheshwar temple premises on banks of Indrayani in Alandi.

Indrayani River

Just like Dehu, Alandi is located on the banks of Indrayani River. The riverfront here is well developed and reminded me of Narmada Riverfront at Maheshwar.

Indrayani River at AlandiIndrayani River at Alandi
Indrayani River at Alandi

There are well laid ghats on both sides of the river, well connected by a bridge. Temples dominate the skyline of Alandi. An aura of divinity dominates with shops selling Tulsi Mala, cymbals and Murtis of Vithoba-Rakhmai, Sant Tukaram and Dhyaneshwar Maharaj.

You hear the chanting; you see the folded hands and you see the infinite faith that connects all of us to that one supreme reality.

Among many festivals through the year, last rites of the departed are also performed here on river banks.

Visiting Alandi

As you approach the town…

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