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Pandharpur Wari or Wari (Vari) is an annual pilgrimage (yatra) to Pandharpur - the seat of the Hindu god Vithoba in the Indian state of Maharashtra, in honour of the deity. Palakhis (palanquin processions) carrying the paduka (foot prints) of various saints - most notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram - from the Varkari (Warkari, "one who performs the Wari") sect (which venerates Vithoba), are taken from their respective shrines to Pandharpur. The tradition is more than 700 to 800 years old. Dnyaneshwar's palakhi leaves from Alandi, while Tukaram's begins at Dehu; both in Pune district of Maharashtra. This March on foot from various locations in Maharashtra to Vithoba temple, Pandharpur, attracts a total of over a million pilgrims. The journey takes 21 days. Numerous palakhis join the main Tukaram and Dnyaneshwar palkhis that starts from Dehu and Alandi respectively. The wari culminates at the Vithoba temple on Ashadhi Ekadashi. Devotees from Maharashtra and nearby areas set out for Pandharpur, wearing holy basil beads and singing the glories of Vithoba and songs like "Gyanba Tukaram", commemorating the saints. 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.
There are various views on the origins of the Wari. Devotees of Vitthal were holding pilgrimages prior to the 14th century. According to one theory, Vitthalpant, the father of the Varkari saint Dnyaneshwar began the Wari to visit Pandharpur in the month of Ashadha and Kartik. The Wari is generally regarded to exist for more than 800 years.
Another theory credits Dnyaneshwar ( 13th century) and the saint Tukaram (17th century) to have started the pilgrimage. They used to journey to Pandharpur by foot for fifteen days, reaching Pandharpur's Vithoba temple on Ashadhi Ekadashi.
The tradition of carrying the paduka (sandals) of the sants was started by the youngest son of Tukaram, Narayan Maharaj, in 1685. Further changes were brought to the pilgrimage in the 1820s by descendants of Tukaram and a devotee of Dnyneshwar called Haibatravbaba Arphalkar who was a courtier of Scindias,the Maratha rulers of Gwalior. Haibatravbaba is credited with the organization of the wari in use today. This involved carrying the paduka in a palkhi, having horses and organizing the devotees or varkaris in dindis.[clarification needed]
Vari in present times
The Varkaris - whose patron deity is Vithoba - undertake the annual pilgrimage (Wari) to Pandharpur, reaching there on Ashadhi Ekadashi, the eleventh lunar day (Ekadashi) of the bright fortnight (Shukla paksha) of the Hindu month of Ashadha (June - July). Pilgrims carry palanquins of the saints from their samadhi shrines. This is said to be the World's largest and oldest people movement where people gather on a specific day every year and perform a walk of a distance of around 250 km. Pandharpur Ashadi Ekadashi Wari journey has been honoured by World Book of Records, London under the title 'One of the Most visited places in a day'.
The Wari begins on the 8th/9th lunar day of the waning moon in the Hindu month of Jyeshtha and reaches a day before Ashadhi Ekadashi at Pandharpur. People from various castes and socio-economic backgrounds participate in the Wari, with the common goal to reach Pandharpur.
Along with the Dindi (palakhi) procession, service (seva) to the poor and needy, like Amrut Kalash (annadana - donation of food), Narayan seva, medical help and building and repairing of rural infrastructure, is done. This is known as Seva dindi.
From last two years "Niramal Wari" has also started to keep all villages clean during the possession of Wari.
It is believed that participation in Ashadi Dindi and Seva Dindi helps an individual in many ways by bringing good health, peace & prosperity in his life. Chanting the continuous glory of the God in the Ashadi Dindi procession and Seva Dindi purifies an individual, there is an inner cleansing that takes place in Mind, Body and Spirit and the participants tend to lose their individual identities and experience bliss. It develops all aspects of human personality and helps us understand the true purpose of Life.
There are two routes on which Wari performs. Dehu - Pandharpur and other Alandi - Pandharpur.
Route of Tukaram Palkhi
The pilgrims known as "warkaris" starts the main pilgrimage from Dehu in Pune district on foot, carrying the palkhi (palanquin) of Saint Tukaram, a renowned devotee of Lord Vitthala, a form of lord Vishnu. It is known as Sant Tukaram’s Palkhi procession. It starts from Dehu & reaches Pandharpur via Akurdi, Loni Kalbhor, Yavat, Varvand, Baramati, Indapur, Akluj & Wakhri respectively.
Dehu - Pandharpur Palkhi Schedule
|Day||Tithi||Starting Location||First Break||Lunch Break||Post lunch Break||Night Stay|
|1||5th July 2018||--||--||--||Start from Dehu Inamdar saheb wada, Dehu||Dehu|
|2||6th July 2018||Dehu||1. Angadhshaha Baba Abhang Aarti 2. Chincholi Paduka Abhang Aarti||Nigdi||--||Aakurdi Vitthal Mandir|
|3||7th July 2018||Aakurdi Vitthal Mandir||1. H. A Colony Pimpri Shri Vitthal Nagar 2. Kasarwadi||Dapodi||1. Shivajinagar 2. Shri Sant Tukaram Maharaj Paduka Mandir, F.C.Road, Pune||Shri Nivdunga Vitthal Mandir, Nanapeth, Pune|
|4||8th July 2018||--||--||--||--||Shri Nivdunga Vitthal Mandir, Nanapeth, Pune|
|5||9th July 2018||Shri Nivdunga Vitthal Mandir, Nanapeth, Pune||Bhairobanala||Hadapsar||1. Manjari Farm 2. Loni Kalbhor Railway Station||Loni Kalbhor Vitthal Mandir|
|6||10th July 2018||Loni Kalbhor Vitthal Mandir||Kunjeervadi Fata||Urali Kanchan||Jawjibuwachi Wadi||Yavat Shri Bhairavnath Mandir|
|7||11th July 2018||Yavat Shri Bhairavnath Mandir||--||Bhandgaon||Kedgaon-Chaufula||Varvand Shri Vitthal Mandir|
|8||12th July 2018||Varvand Shri Vitthal Mandir||Bhagvat Vasti||Patas||1. Roti, Abhang Aarati. 2. Hingani Wada 3. Vasunde 4. Kharadwadi||Undwadi Gavalyachi|
|9||13th July 2018||Undwadi Gavalyachi||Undwadi Pathar||Brhanpur||1. Morewadi 2. Saraf Petrol Pump, Baramati||Baramati Sanskrutik Bavan, Baramati|
|10||14th July 2018||Baramati Sanskrutik Bavan, Baramati||1. Motibaug 2. 1.Pimpli Grape 3.Limitech||Katewadi||Bhavaninagar Sakhar Karkhana||Sansar Maruti Mandir|
|11||15th July 2018||Sansar Maruti Mandir||Belvadi(Golringan)||Belvadi||1. Lasurne Junction 2. Lasurne||Anthurne|
|12||16th July 2018||Anthurne||1. Shelgaon Fata 2. 54 Fata||Gotandi||--||Nimgaon Ketki|
|13||17th July 2018||Nimgaon Ketki||1. Tarangwadi-Cannol 2. Gokulicha Odha||Indapur(Golringan)||--||Indapur|
|14||18th July 2018||--||--||--||--||Indapur|
|15||19th July 2018||Indapur||1. Gokulicha Odha, Vitthalwadi 2. Vadapuri 3. Surwad||Bawada||--||Sarati|
|16||20th July 2018||Sarati||Mane Vidyalay(Golringan)||--||--||Akluj, Shri vitthal Mandir|
|17||21st July 2018||Akluj, Shri vitthal Mandir||Malinagar(Ubhe ringan)||Malinagar||1. Payaricha Pul 2. Kadam Vasti 3. Shripur Sakhar Karkhana||Borgaon (Borgav)|
|18||22nd July 2018||Borgaon||--||Malkhambi||1. Tondale Bondale(Dhava) 2. Tappa||Pirachi Kuroli Gayran|
|19||23rd July 2018||Pirachi Kuroli Gayran||--||Pirachi Kuroli||1. Vaghad Vasti 2. Bhandi Shegaon 3. Bajirao Vihir Ubhe Ringan||Wakhari|
|20||24th July 2018||Vakhari||--||--||Paduka Abhang Aarti(Ubhe Ringan)||Pandharpur|
Route of Dnyaneshwar palkhi
The pilgrims starts from Alandi in Pune district on foot, carrying the palkhi (palanquin) of Sant Dnyaneshwar’s Palkhi and reaches Pandharpur via Pune, Saswad, Jejuri, Lonand, Taradgaon, Phaltan, Natepute, Malshiras, Velapur, Shegaon & Wakhri to Pandharpur.
Both the palkhis meet at Pune, then at Wakhari and then further meet just before Pandharpur.
Besides these, two more Waris viz the Chaitra (or spring - first lunar month) and Maghi (eleventh month of the Hindu lunar calendar) Ekadashis are also deemed to be important. The later two are particularly attended by devotees from neighbouring Karnataka.
Alandi - Pandharpur Palkhi Schedule
|Day||Tithi||Starting Location||First Break||Lunch Break||Post lunch Break||Night Stay|
|1||Jeshtha Vadya 7||--||--||--||Alandi|
|2||Jeshtha Vadya 7||Alandi||1 Thorlya Paduka Aarti, 2 Bhosari Phata||Phule nagar||Sangamwadi||Palkhi Vithoba Mandir, Pune|
|3||Jeshtha Vadya 8||--||--||--||--||Palkhi Vithoba Mandir, Pune|
|4||Jeshtha Vadya 9||Pune||Shindechatri Aarti||Hadapsar||1. Uruli Devachi 2. Vadki Nala 3. Zendewadi||Saswad|
|5||Jeshtha Vadya 10||--||--||--||--||Saswad|
|6||Jeshtha Vadya 11||Saswad||Borawake Mala||Yamai Shivri||Sakurde||Jejuri|
|7||Jeshtha Vadya 12||Jejuri||1. Doudaj Shiv 2. Doundaj||Valhe||--||Valhe|
|8||Jeshtha Vadya 13||Valhe||Pimprekhurd Vihir||Neera||Neera Snan||Lonand|
|9||Aashadh Shuddha 1||--||--||--||--||Lonand|
|10||Aashadh Shuddha 2||--||--||Lonand||Chandobach Limb Near Lonand||Taradgaon|
|11||Aashadh Shuddha 3||Taradgaon||1. Datta Mandir, Kalaj 2. Surawadi||Nimbhoreodha||Vadjal||Phaltan|
|12||Aashadh Shuddha 4||Phaltan||Vidani||Pimprad||Nimlak phata||Barad|
|13||Aashadh Shuddha 5||Barad||Sadhubuvacha Odha||Dharmapuri Patbandhare Bangla Canol||Shingnapur Phata – Panaskar wadi||Natepute|
|14||Aashadh Shuddha 6||Natepute||--||Mandavi Odha||1. Sadashivnagar 2.Yeliv||Malshiras|
|15||Aashadh Shuddha 7||Malsiras||Khudus phata||Vinjori Dnyaneshwar nagar||Dhavbavi mount||Velapur|
|16||Aashadh Shuddha 8||Velapur||Dhakurbuva Samadhi||Tondale Bondale||Sant Sopandeo Bhet||Bhandishegaon|
|17||Aashadh Shuddha 9||--||--||Bhandishegaon||Bajiravachi Vihir||Wakhari|
|18||Aashadh Shuddha 10||Wakhari||--||Pandharpur||--||Pandharpur|
Management in Wari
The Dnyaneshwar Palkhi is managed by the descendents of Haibatraobua Arphalkar who started the palkhi in Modern times, the hereditary Chopdars, and Alandi Devasthan trust. The whole procession divided into sub groups called Dindi. Most dindis are registered with the Palkhi organizers. There are more than 200 Dindi on each route. Each dindi has between 100 and 500 members. The palkhi is at the centre of the Wari procession and around half the number of Dindi are ahead of the palkhi and the other half are behind. All Dindis are assigned their number and position in the procession and the sequence is strictly followed. The numbers are mentioned as follows: e.g. 5th Dindi ahead of palkhi. There are many unregistered dindis also who walk well ahead or extreme back of the official Wari procession.
The timetable of Wari route is published well in advance and is strictly followed. It is well defined and minute details are made available including starting location, the location of breaks including lunch, rest, night stay location. Every morning, early dawn, after worshiping the Saint's footwear, the palkhi sets out at 6am. A Tutari (wind instrument) is blown thrice to alert all Warkaris. At the first signal, all Warkaris get ready to leave. At the second signal, the dindis stand in the queue as per designated sequence and at the third signal, they starts walking. After 4 to 5 km, they take a quick break for breakfast. They take break for lunch as per the given schedule.
Every dindi has one truck or a similar vehicle where the luggage and food material is kept. This is used at the night stay location everyday. The Warkari just carry the emergency material, Tal, Abhang book etc. during walk. The management ensures that the tents are set up and the food is prepared before the respective dindi arrives at the location. The dindis also decide the sequence in which the Abhang to be sung. Most of the dindi members know all the abhang but the newcomers carry the small book while walking. At any point of time, only one Abhnag is sung in while dindi. The varkari who adorns the garland of Tulsi is called as Malkari. The person who carries Veen in the entire journey is called the Veenekari. These persons have a special status in the dindi and whole management is driven by them. Any dispute during travel between the dindis is resolved by then at the stay.
From last few years, the additions of doctors have improved the medical facilities in the Wari. The doctors do take care of the members who have got infected or become weak during travel due to walking. There are few professional doctors who close their city practice devote their 21 days in the wari and take care of the dindi people every year.
The stay arrangements of each dindi are well defined and planned at every location. Most of the dindis make stay in the temples available in village or in the tents.
The Ashadhi wari has tremendous economic impact on the town of Pandharpur.This is the period when demand for equipment and items associated with worship of Lord Vitthal goes through the roof. The estimated one million pilgrims, either varkaris traveling with the palkhi or independent travelers also need accommodation which is provided by the permanent Mathas and temporary lodging houses. The period also sees demand for temporary restaurants and also for groceries such as milk and rice because a number of devotees cook their own food
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