ALANDI

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Alandi is a city and a municipal council in Pune district in the state of Maharashtra, India.

Geography
Alandi is located on the banks of the Indrayani River, 25 km east of Pune, India. It has an average elevation of 577 metres (1893 feet).

Demographics
As of 2001 India census, Alandi had a population of 17,561. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. Alandi has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 62% of the males and 38% of females literate. 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Pilgrimage center
Saint Dnyaneshwar, after translating the Bhagavad Gita into Marathi attained Samadhi in a cave at Alandi. Alandi is thus a place of pilgrimage and is venerated by many Hindus. A temple complex has been built near the spot of Sant Dnyaneshwar's samadhi. It is visited by thousands of pilgrims, and in particular, those of the Varkari Sect. On every Kartika Ekadashi (eleventh day of the Hindu month of Kartik), a big festival is held at Alandi, when the Yatra (procession of pilgrims) reaches the town.

Among other important sites at Alandi are the Vitthala-Rakhumai temple, Siddhabet, Jalaram mandir (just like the one at Virpur Gujarat) and Dnyaneshwar's wall. The town of Dehu, where the samadhi of Sant Tukaram is located, lies not far from Alandi.

Alandi has also the distinction of having a prehistoric collection of Shivling. In one of the Saint Dnyaneshwar's verses he speaks of it being called "Sidheshwar". The name of the reigning deity of the place as also one of the names of Shiva. He states then that a collection of eighty-four Sidha]s meet or exist here. Under a dense green and flower laden canopy emitting a heavenly fragrance and birds singing celestal tunes. This stanza is to be found in Saint Dnyaneshwar's book about the power of chanting Hari's name. The book is called Haripath. Even till this day Haripath is recited by countless rich and poor in Maharashtra. They experience its beauty and believe in its powers as also in the person who created them.

Alandi has become known as a place for mass-marriage ceremonies for impoverished eloped lovers and parents who would avoid expenses for a daughter's marriage. An "Alandi marriage" has therefore become a derogatory term in urban area around Pune.

Distance from Pune: 
25 km