Pundalik nayak dating
Various Indologists have proposed a prehistory for Vithoba worship where he was previously: a hero stone, a pastoral deity, a manifestation of Shiva, a Jain saint, or even all of these at various times for various devotees.
Though the origins of both his cult and his main temple are likewise debated, there is clear evidence that they already existed by the 13th century.
Historian Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar offers yet another possibility—that Vitthu (Viṭhu) is a Kannada corruption of the name Vishnu adopted in Marathi. Mate of the Deccan College, Pundalik—who is assumed to be a historical figure—was instrumental in persuading the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana alias Bittidev to build the Pandharpur temple dedicated to Vishnu.
The suffixes -la and -ba (meaning 'father' in Marathi) were appended for reverence, producing the names Vitthala and Vithoba. The deity was subsequently named as Vitthala, a derivative of Bittidev, by the builder-king.; all IAST: Paṇḍuraṇga), also spelt as Pandurang and Pandaranga, is another popular epithet for Vithoba, which means 'the white god' in Sanskrit.
Thus, Vitthala would mean 'one standing on a brick'.Vithoba's arms-akimbo iconography is similar to Bir Kuar, the cattle-god of the Ahirs of Bihar, who is now also associated with Krishna.Vithoba was probably later assimilated into the Shaiva pantheon and identified with the god Shiva, like most other pastoral gods.He was first worshipped by the Dhangar, the cattle-owning caste of Maharashtra.
The rise of the Yadava dynasty, which had cowherd ancestry, could have led to the glorification of Vithoba as Krishna, who is often depicted as a cowherd., IAST: Viṭhobā) is known by many names, including: Vitthala, Panduranga, Pandharinath, Hari and Narayan.