Maharashtra’s biggest annual pilgrimage, having 800 years old history the Palkhi tradition to honor “God of knowledge” a Saint Dyaneshwar and Saint Tukaram has successfully passed the hardest Diveghat.
The pilgrims called ‘Warkaris’ and the group of Warkaris called “Dindi”. This Journey from Dehu and Alandi to Pandharpur,is called “Wari”. The Warkaris travels nearby 450 kms during their Wari to reach Pandharpur to Worship Lord Vitthoba, Vithal (An incarnation of Lord Vishnu).
The Palkhi carries the silver Padukas (footsteps) of Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyneshwar. The tradition of Wari (devotee’s procession) was introduced by the youngest son of Sant Tukaram Maharaj in the year 1685.
The Palkhi procession is the multi-colored and energetic event of Maharashtra. Lakhs of pilgrims walks together for 21 days, having one and only aim to worship their God “Vithoba”. People [Warkari] carry musical instruments like local Veena, Mridungas, Dholkis and Chiplis. They also carry out a custom folk dance called Fugdi which keep them energized. The atmosphere becomes holy and liveliness all the way in their journey period.
The Warkaris keep the spirit by singing Bhajans (Devotional Songs) composed by Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram and several saints of Maharashtra, during their journey. Some of women devotees carry Holy Brasil plant on their head top.
Pandharpur Payi Wari is an excellent Model of Management. Massive faith combined with careful planning and efficient management results in incredible stimulating liveliness force.
The daily recital of prayers, hymns and Hari Path keeps the tradition and spirituality aliveness.
Mainly Warkari are from the farmer community of Maharashtra but now a days it also backed by academicians, professionals, foreigners and natives of urban areas within Maharashtra and all parts of country.
Apart from traditional Taal, Chipli and Mrudung, some new age companions like smart phone cameras, mobile ambulances, mobile apps has became the part of this procession.
India is a great Nation promoting Spiritual Tourism like Pandharpur Payi Palkhi Yatra in Maharashtra or Kumbh Mela, Puri Jagannath Procession have always involved the International community to be the part of devotees to ‘experience’ these “Soul” searching events.