Palkhi Festival :
Delegates from several countries, who are in the city for the G20 Digital Economy Working Group Conference, got a glimpse of the 800-year-old Warkari community’s palkhi festival.
- Palkhi festival is a 1000 year old tradition which was started by some saints of Maharashtra (India) and is still continued by their followers called varkaris i.e people who follow a vari, a fundamental ritual.
- It is an annual pilgrimage (yatra) to Pandharpur – the seat of the Hindu god Vithoba in Maharashtra, in honour of the deity.
- They walk with palkhis (chariots) carrying paduka (sandals) of various saints – most notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram.
- Dnyaneshwar’s palakhi leaves from Alandi, while Tukaram’s begins at Dehu, both in Pune district of Maharashtra.
- The Palkhi starts in the month of Jyeshth (June), and the whole process lasts a total of 22 days.
- Every year on the eleventh day of the first half of the month of Ashadh, the Palkhi reaches Pandharpur.
- Upon reaching Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadashi, these devotees take a holy dip in the sacred Chandrabhaga River/Bhima River before proceeding to visit the Vitthal temple.