The Priesthood of the Temple of Vithoba in Pandharpur, Maharashtra

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After outlining some general features of Hindu sacred places and their priesthoods, the present paper focus on the regional town of Pandharpur in Maharashtra, its Viṭhobā temple and priesthood. After a brief historical introduction to the town and its deity, and its special relation with the bhakti Vārakārī Sampradāya, a description of the scheme of daily temple rituals and darśana is given, followed by presentations of the two priesthoods of the Viṭhobā temple, the Baḍavas and Sevādhārīs, their organisation and income which seems to have been increasingly limited to the performance of the temple rituals. This leads naturally to the final chapter which gives an overview of the many conflicts and litigations around the management of the temple which have resulted in a long list of litigations in court both among the different priesthoods and among the priesthood and the government. After independence and the introduction of the modern state, the position of the local priesthood has been increasingly undermined by modern legislation which have, finally, led to the priesthood losing their inherited rights and privileges, as well as the management of the temple.
Translated title of the contributionPræsteskabet ved Vithoba-templet i Pandharpur, Maharashtra
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPractising Cultural Geographies : Essays in Honor of Rana P. B. Singh
EditorsRavi S. Singh, Bharat Dahiya, Arun K. Singh, Padma C. Poudel
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature Singapore
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)9789811664137
ISBN (Electronic)9789811664151
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesAdvances in 21st Century Human Settlements

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