Pune: Sant Tukaram Maharaj palkhi procession begins with low key affair

ST Staff
Friday, 12 June 2020

Departing from its 335 years' tradition, the annual Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi pilgrimage to Pandharpur began on Friday at around 3.15 pm sans rhythm of taal and mrudungas and 'warkaris' in the Sant Tukaram temple courtyard. 

Dehu: Departing from its 335 years' tradition, the annual Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi pilgrimage to Pandharpur began on Friday at around 3.15 pm sans rhythm of taal and mrudungas and 'warkaris' in the Sant Tukaram temple courtyard. Usually thousands of warkaris gather at the temple and participate in the palkhi procession but this year due to coronavirus outbreak, the government had appealed all devotees to maintain social distancing and avoid coming at the temple.
 
Government and the Sant Tukaram Maharaj Sansthan had decided to continue the tradition of wari but without the crowds and only in presence of 20 warkaris to prevent spread of coronavirus.
 
The traditional palkhi procession ceremony started at around 4am on Friday. The Mahapooja was conducted at the hands of Palkhi Procession Chief Manik Maharaj More, Vishal Maharaj More, Santosh Maharaj More, Sansthan President Madhukar Maharaj More, Trustee Sanjay Maharaj More, Ajit Maharaj More and Kashinath Maharaj More. After the abhang recitation and pooja, the palkhi pilgrimage started.
 
SHOPS CLOSED IN DEHU
The civic and police authorities had closed all roads leading to the temple. All shops in Dehu were also asked to remain shut. Every year, thousands of devotees - comprising mostly of farmers from across Maharashtra - throng Dehu village and nearby areas and walk along with the palkhi up to Pandharpur. These devotees usually take a bath in the Indrayani river and then begin their pilgrimage. But this year due to several restrictions on movement of people across the state, devotees were asked to stay at home.

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