Mumbai: Warkaris Converge At Pune To Begin Annual Wari To Pandharpur

Mumbai: Warkaris Converge At Pune To Begin Annual Wari To Pandharpur

Meanwhile, Mumbai's main temple to the deity, the Vithal Rakhumai shrine at Wadala, prepares for its biggest annual festival on Ashadi Ekadashi.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Tuesday, July 02, 2024, 02:28 AM IST
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Mumbaikars who will take part in the annual wari or walking pilgrimage, called dindi, to the Lord Vitthal temple in Pandharpur for Ashadi Ekadashi, have reached Pune to join the processions of pilgrims to the temple town.

The waris, as the processions are called, start from towns and villages across Maharashtra and other states, but the main processions start from Alandi and Dehu, towns near Pune. Many smaller groups of pilgrims converge with the processions from Alandi and Dehu which first meet in Pune before taking different routes to Pandharpur.

The pilgrimage is rooted in the Bhakti tradition, a religious revival and reform movement believed to have begun between the 7th to 10th centuries and continued till the 18th century. 

The pilgrimage is believed to have begun in the lifetime of Sant Dnyaneshwar, the 13th-century poet and philosopher and an important figure in the Bhakti movement. This year, a procession carrying the padukas or footwear worn by the saint left from Alandi, his resting place, on June 29 towards Pune. On June 28, another procession left Dehu, carrying the sandals of Sant Tukaram, another Bhakti poet from the 17th century. The processions from Dehu and Alandi met at Wakdewadi in Pune on June 30. 

On July 2, after a stay in Pune – the Sant Dnyaneshwar palkhi at Palkhi Vithoba temple and the Sant Tukaram palkhi at Nivdunga Vithal temple – the processions will leave for Pandharpur. The waris reach the temple town on July 16, a day before Ashadi Ekadashi, an auspicious day for Vaishnavites and the pilgrimage's most important day. Lord Vithal is the manifestation of Vishnu.

Doctors from Mumbai have reached Pune as members of the 'Doctor Dindi' to attend to pilgrims who may need medical help during the strenuous walk of nearly 250 kilometres. Dr Suresh Bhat from Bandra Government Colony, was in Pune on July 1. He will leave on Tuesday for Saswad town on the Sant Dnyaneshwar palkhi route. His team, traveling in four ambulances, will follow the pilgrims, providing emergency medical care and transporting them to nearby hospitals.

Meanwhile, Mumbai's main temple to the deity, the Vithal Rakhumai shrine at Wadala, prepares for its biggest annual festival on Ashadi Ekadashi. Nitin Mhatre, a temple trustee, said they were expecting five to seven lakh devotees between July 16 and 17. "Last year, the queue of devotees was so long that the temple was open till 2.00 am."

On June 28, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar told the legislative assembly that the Maharashtra government will send a proposal to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for world heritage nomination for the Pandharpur pilgrimage. Bengal's Durga Puja, and the Kumbh Mela,  are Indian religious festivals included in UNESCO's 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity' list.

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