Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada
Throughout the provinces of India, the Supreme Lord is worshiped in various forms. And in Pandharpur, the spiritual capital of Maharashtra, the Lord is worshiped as Sri Vitthala. His devotees also fondly call Him 'Vithobha' or 'Panduranga'. Pandharpur Dhama is located about four hundred kilometers southeast of Bombay.
The slightly smiling, blackish-complexioned Deity of Sri Vitthala is three and a half feet tall. He stands on a brick, His hands resting on His hips. This posture reflects His pastimes in Pandharpur.
The Padma Purana and the Skanda Purana briefly describe why the Lord journeyed to Pandharpur and why He stays there in this form.
Once Srimati Radharani, Lord Krishna's consort in the village of Vrindavana, visited Dvaraka, where Lord Krishna lived as a king. At that time, Rukmini Devi, Lord Krishna's queen, noticed that Krishna was dealing more intimately with Radharani than He had ever done with her. Upset, she departed for the forest of Dindirvana, near Pandharpur.
Lord Krishna followed Rukmini to apologize, but His apology left her unmoved. So the Lord moved on to Pandharpur to visit one of His devotees, Bhakta Pundarika. When the Lord reached Pundarika's asrama, Pundarika was serving his elderly parents. So Pundarika gave the Lord a seat of brick and asked the Lord to wait. The Lord did as told. He stood, lotus hands on His hips, waiting for Pundarika to return.
While He was waiting, Rukmini, having forgotten her distress, came from Dindirvana and rejoined Him. Both of Them stayed in Pandharpur in Deity form. To this day the Lord stands on the same brick, but now He's waiting for all His devotees to come see Him.
While waiting, the Lord seems to tell the devotees, "Do not fear. For those who have surrendered unto Me, I have reduced the depth of the ocean of material suffering. See, it is only this deep." He indicates the shallowness of the ocean by placing His hands on His hips.
Elegantly dressed in yellow and other colors, Lord Vitthala wears around His neck a vaijayanti garland and tulasi, whose aroma permeates the darsana hall and the surrounding area. His right hand holds a lotus flower and His left a conchshell. On His chest He bears the mark of Bhrgu's foot. His ears are decorated with shark-shaped earrings, and on His forehead beneath His crown is a broad mark of tilaka. The Lord's smile irresistibly enchants His devotees. Each pilgrim who approaches Him gets a glimpse of His peaceful smiling face and considers this the perfection of life.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Visit
Lord Chaitanya visited Pandharpur while on a journey through South India, apparently to search for His sannyasi brother, Sankararanya, formerly known as Visvarupa. As stated in the Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya 9.282–283), the Lord went to Pandharpur, where He happily saw the Deity of Lord Vitthala and chanted and danced.
In his writings, Bilvamangala Thakura warns travelers passing through Pandharpur, "Do not walk on the bank of the river Bhima. A bluish-black person stands there, and even though His hands rest peacefully on His hips, He is expert at stealing the heart of anyone who sees Him."