Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will run 4,700 special bus services to Pandharpur from various parts of the state on the occasion of the coming Ashadi Ekadashi festival, it said on Wednesday.
Lakhs of devotees or ‘warkaris’ throng Pandharpur, 360 km from Mumbai, on Ashadhi Ekadashi to visit the Lord Vitthal temple there.
Special buses would be run from July 6-14, along with 200 buses for the ‘Ringan’ ceremony at Wakhri, about 5 km from Pandharpur.
Ashadhi Ekadashi, observed on the 11th lunar day of the Hindu month Ashadh, falls on July 10 this year.
Palanquins of Dnyaneshwar, Tukaram and other saint-poets in the Bhakti tradition which set out from across the state congregate at Wakhri before reaching Pandharpur.
The MSRTC runs special services to and from Pandharpur every year for the festival, but the practise was discontinued for the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shekhar Channe, vice chairman and managing director of MSRTC, on Tuesday held a special meeting at Pandharpur and reviewed bus operations for the coming festival.
As many as 1,200 buses would be operated from Aurangabad region, 1,200 from Pune, 1,000 from Nashik, 700 from Amaravati, 500 from Mumbai and 100 from the Nagpur region.