Falls On: June-July
Ashadhi Ekadashi is more of a religious procession
festival and is celebrated during the months of June- July (Aashaadh
Shukla paksha). People consider the two eleventh days, "Ekadashi",
of every month to be of special importance. But the eleventh day (bright)
of Ashadh is known as the great Ekadashi or Mahaekadashi. This Mahaekadashi
is also known as Shayani Ekadashi, because on this day Vishnu falls
asleep to wake up four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi in the
Kartik month. This period is known as Chaturmas and coincides with
the rainy season.
Ekadashi is the day of fast and on this day people go walking in
huge processions to Pandharpur singing the Abhangas (chanting hymns)
of Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar to see their God Vitthal.
The yatra starts in Allandi and ends on Guru Poornima day at Pandharpur.
The feast of Ashadhi Ekadashi is celebrated with great solemnity
at Pandharpur. Hundreds of thousands go in procession from different
parts of Maharashtra, some carrying palanquins with the images of
the great saints of Maharashtra. Dnaneshwar's image is carried from
Alandi, Tukaram's from Dehu, Eknath's from Paithan, Nivruttinath's
from Trimbakeshwar, Muktabai's from Edlabad, and Sopan's from Sasvad.