Pandarpur – a kinda ‘Woodstock feel’ in India….

…. intimacy, yes, with higher consciousness and not between man and woman…get ‘high’, yes, through music and not by getting ‘stoned’……..

Ashada Ekadesi, the most auspicious time in Pandarpur is round the corner (July 19th) and here is a blast-from-the-past –

In the early 1980s I lived in Bombay. On my way to Chembur rail-road to catch train to work, a catchy chorus music would emerge out of an obscure street-side temple. The musicians inside would be in their typical but soiled-white Maharashtrian outfit of dhoti, shirt and Nehru cap that reflected their simplicity, soaked in poverty. This was my first exposure to this genre of music – Abhang !

Since then, an Abhang cassette tape of the Bollywood singing diva Lata Mangeshkar travelled with me to the shores I went. On my return to the roots, I went back to what is now called Mumbai and also to Chembur to rediscover Abhang but with no success. As it is not Bombay of the 1980s anymore, I reconciled to ‘Mumbai’ and returned home to the city of Chennai down south, just with a couple of Abhang CDs in the bag.

Voila ! an ‘Abhangmela’ right near my house, within a month of return, something that a Maharashtrian city could not offer when looked.  Taking in the mela music for a week, the spirit stirred for the ‘real’ – the place is Pandarpur and the time is Ashada ! Off I went through a divine design, which I would rather not get into here, but following is what unfolded –


Abhang at one


Abhang at another while ladies blissfully make roti with music as backdrop


on the banks of holy Chandrabhaga river


music on the street….and everywhere


vermilion seller

following is a piece by yours truly, published in the Hawaiian based publication –

Joyous Festival of Bhakti, A Pilgrimage of Songsters

here’re a couple of abhang audios – by the legendary Bhimsen Joshi and the diva Lata Mangeshkar –

10 thoughts on “Pandarpur – a kinda ‘Woodstock feel’ in India….

      • thanks, Yashesh.

        yes, had planned to do it again this year, but a bit of health issue and an upcoming local heritage tour on 21st prevented it…keeping fingers X for the next year and may be you could do it too

        p.s. Hope you received the WordPress notification for this article posted


  1. Though not included by VASHNAVITES in 108 divyadesam temples, Pandaripur stands tall unmatchable
    to any other holy shrines


    • agreed, totally ! I honestly could feel the ‘vibes’ from the time set out on that trip – guess, it’s lot to do with that amazingly single-minded bhakti movement of the maharashtrians from the time of the great saints !

      thanks for taking time to comment !


  2. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article and abhangs by Lata Mangeshkar and Bhimsen ji .
    Bhimsen Joshi’s Abhangvani is very popular in Maharashtra .


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