The god Wittoba, also known as Vithoba or Vitthala, is a deity primarily worshiped in the Indian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. He is often associated with the deity Vishnu or his avatar Krishna in Hinduism. The name “Wittoba” or “Vithoba” could be a variation in pronunciation or transliteration, and “Telingonese” or “Bilingonese” seems to be a misinterpretation or an archaic reference to the Telugu-speaking people or perhaps a mix-up with the region’s name.

Vithoba is typically depicted as a dark young boy standing on a brick, arms akimbo, with a slight smile, and often accompanied by his consort, Rakhumai or Rukmini. The most famous temple of Vithoba is located in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. This temple is the focus of a major pilgrimage known as the “Wari,” which attracts millions of devotees annually.

The deity is particularly revered in the “Varkari” movement, a devotional tradition within Maharashtra. Vithoba is celebrated in numerous festivals, the most significant being “Ashadhi Ekadashi.” Devotees express their devotion through songs called “Abhangs,” written by saint-poets like Tukaram and Dnyaneshwar.

The worship of Vithoba blends elements of Vaishnavism (worship of Vishnu) and Shaivism (worship of Shiva), indicating a syncretic tradition in Hinduism. His worship emphasizes values such as humility, devotion, and the importance of community, reflecting a deep cultural integration into the lives of his devotees.