Of: 1000-Year-Old Tradition
Falls On: Ashadh (June-July) And Karthik (November-December).
Held For:22 Days
Two Palkhis: Tukaram Palkhi From Dehu And The Dnyaneshwar Palkhi
Palkhi, a unique feature of Maharashtrian
culture, is a 1000-year-old tradition followed by the warkaris (people
who follow the wari, a fundamental ritual). People collectively
go singing and dancing, chanting Dnyanba-Tukaram in what are called
as Dindis (organised group of warkaris) to the holy town of Pandharpur
in Hindu months of Ashadh (June-July) and Karthik (November-December).
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. Every saint, right from Sant Dnyaneshwar
to Sant Tukaram was following the wari tradition.
In the year 1685, Narayan baba, the youngest son of Tukaram was
a man of innovative spirit and decided to bring about a change in
the dindi-wari tradition by introducing the Palkhi, which is a sign
of social respect. He put the silver padukas (footsteps) of Tukaram
in the Palkhi and proceeded with his dindi to Alandi where he put
the padukas of Dnyaneshwar in the same Palkhi. This tradition of
twin Palkhis went on every year, but in 1830 there were some disputes
in the family of Tukaram, concerned with rights and privileges.
Following this, some thoughtful persons decided to break-up the
tradition of twin Palkhis and organise here after, two separate
Palkhis - Tukaram Palkhi from Dehu and the Dnyaneshwar Palkhi from
From that time till date, both the
Palkhis meet in Pune for a brief halt and then diverge at Hadapsar
to meet again at Wakhri, a village nearby to Pandharpur.
Along with times, the popularity
of this ancient tradition has soared immensely. A total of approximately
1.5 lakh devotees proceed along with the Sant Tukaram Palkhi from
Dehu village, while a total of 2.25 lakh devotees march along with
the Sant Dnyaneshwar Palkhi. At present a total of 43 Palkhis including
the above two visit Pandharpur every year.