THE MOVING ICONOGRAPHY: PANDHARPUR

Architecture and Urbanism of pilgrimage cities are complex and constantly transforming by forces that shaped religious beliefs and customs. They are complex due to its sacred geography, religious significance or mythological values, while they are constantly emerging/ transforming due to their increasing significance in context of socio-politico-economic subservience. This duality is often difficult to deconstruct from discipline point of view and are often relegated its destiny to it its own self-organizing capabilities.
Pandharpur is a pilgrimage city along the Bhima River, known for its annual ritual visit by thousands of devotees, especially from Maharashtra. The city continues to gain its popularity as most desirable destination for pilgrimage along with several other cities in the state. It also continues to be emerging on the line of undisciplined &  incidental mode, as other pilgrimage cities in India.
The genesis of the city is Bhima River, the ghats and the temple along with the several shrines that are built by several rulers. These shrines are scattered on the banks of the river and carrying immense wealth of Architectural types of the diverse region. The inner city also houses the large Wada’s (Distinct Type of Large House that are seen in the Region) built by several ruler from various parts of the state.
Along with the distinct large Architecture and religious buildings, the city fabric is further punctuated by small houses and mixed used public buildings of significant architectural attributes & relevance. These series of architectural intervention gives the city a sense of strong history and character. The orientation within the city is also guided by presence of such distinct architectural types and paves the way for religious and economic dominance.
Pandharpur, in the process of its transformation, is also dotted up with the most undesirable architectural and urban interventions. The deterioration of the city fabric is evident due to negligence and unplanned transformation.  The growing importance of city is apparent in its transformation as it attempts to adjust itself with crowd management & economic necessities. The city is typically classified as various other pilgrimage cities across India. The history of wealth of architecture, as on now is obliterated with the remains of iconography that continues to drive the physical transformation. The material conditions that has been historically evolved and survived through successive generation which once were seen to be as resolution of architecture with mythology or social/cultural resonance. But the present conditions of the urban fabric don’t seem to acknowledge the symbiosis relationship.  It is yet to be seen that how collective wisdom of iconography passes the wealth of such vibrant cities to next generation. 


Infrastructure for Layering of Queues
Bridge Connection to Shrine
Stepwell 

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