By Smitakshi Guha
Vithoba is a popular Hindu deity, mainly considered to be an incarnation of popular Hindu deities Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna, who is represented as a dark young boy, standing firm on a brick with his arms akimbo and is always accompanied by Rakhumai: his primitive consort.
The worship of Vithoba is mainly prominent in the Indian states of Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, as well as Telangana. The main temple of Lord Vithoba is the Vitthal Temple situated in Pandharpur.
Architecturally, the temple is grand and has as many as six gates. The worship of Lord Vithoba, also known as Lord Vitthal in this area was coined by the contributions of the Vaishnav saints from the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka to the contents of the Puranas. The names of some of these popular saints include Vijaya Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa, Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Gora Kumbhar, Eknath, Tukaram, Chokhamela, Purandara Dasa, and Gopala Dasa.
The most popular festivals celebrated in a grand scale for Lord Vithoba are the festival of Shayani Ekadashi, celebrated in the month of Ashadha, and the festival of Prabodhini Ekadashi, celebrated in the month of Kartik.
One of the fascinating aspects of Lord Vithoba is that, although he is depicted with dark skin with determined posture, in Hindu culture, he is referred to as the White God.
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