Lord Caitanya visited Pandharpur on a trip through southern India, apparently to seek out his brother Sannyasi, Sankararanya, formerly known as Visvarupa.
After traveling along the east coast of India through the province of Tamil Nadu and to the west coast through Kerala and Karnataka, Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered Maharashtra. As stated in Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 9: 228-283), the Lord went to Pandharpur, where he happily saw the divinity of Lord Vitthala and sang and danced.
In Pandharpur, Lord Chaitanya met Sri Ranga Puri, a spiritual brother of his spiritual master, Isvara Puri. They spoke continuously about Lord Krishna for five or seven days.
Sri Ranga Puri recalled that he had already been to Navadvipa, birthplace of Lord Caitanya, where he had visited the house of a brahman named Jagannatha Misra. Sri Ranga Puri recalled the taste of a curry cooked with banana by the wife of Jagannatha Misra. The eldest son of Jagannatha Misra accepted the resignation order. Later, Sri Ranga Puri learned, he said, that this son had died in Pandharpur.
Jagannatha Misra, Lord Caitanya then revealed, had been his father, and the son who had died had been his brother.
Lord Caitanya stayed another four days in Pandharpur before continuing. During his tour of southern India, Lord Caitanya was constantly on the move, but stayed in Pandharpur for about eleven days. His hobbies there, and those of his brother, establish an additional link between Pandharpur and the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition followed by the devotees of Hare Krishna today.
Lord chaitanya stayed in pandharpur for eleven days.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visits to Pandharpur Dham
In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya Lila, Chapter 9, we read about Lord Caitanya’s visit to a famous Krishna temple in Maharashtra state:
tatha haite pandarapure aila gauracandra
viththala-thakura dekhi’ paila ananda
“From there Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Pandarapura, where He happily saw the temple of Viththala Thakura.”
The city of Pandarapura is situated on the river Bhima. It is said that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu initiated Tukarama when He visited Pandarapura, and thus Tukarama became His disciple. Tukarama Acarya became very famous in the Maharashtra province, and he spread the sankirtana movement all over the province. The sankirtana party belonging to Tukarama is still very popular in Bombay and throughout the province of Maharashtra. Tukarama’s book is known as Abhanga. His sankirtana party exactly resembles the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sankirtana parties, for they chant the holy name of the Lord with mridanga and karatalas.
Later in Madhya Lila 9, we find further information about Lord Caitanya’s association with Pandarapura, this time in relationship with His brother Vishvarupa :
ei tirthe sankararanyera siddhi-prapti haila
prastave sri-ranga-puri eteka kahila
“Sri Ranga Puri informed Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that the sannyasi named Sankararanya had attained perfection in that holy place, Pandarapura.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s elder brother was named Visvarupa. He left home before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and accepted the sannyasa order under the name of Sankararanya Svami. He traveled all over the country and finally went to Pandarapura, where he passed away after attaining perfection. In other words, he entered the spiritual world after giving up his mortal body at Pandarapura. Sri Ranga Puri, a disciple of Sri Madhavendra Puri and godbrother of Isvara Puri, disclosed this important news to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
prabhu kahe,—-purvasrame tenha mora bhrata
jagannatha misra—-purvasrame mora pita
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “In My previous asrama, Sankararanya was My brother and Jagannatha Misra was My father.”
ei-mata dui-jane ista-gosthi kari’
dvaraka dekhite calila sri-ranga-puri
After finishing his talks with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Ranga Puri started for Dvaraka-dhama.
dina cari tatha prabhuke rakhila brahmana
bhima-nadi snana kari’ karena viththala darsana
After Sri Ranga Puri departed for Dvaraka, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu remained with the brahmana at Pandarapura for four more days. He took His bath in the Bhima River and visited the temple of Viththala.”