Alandi Pandharpur Yatra

Spiritual site
The Vari (procession) time of the year is back in the monsoons. Asia’s largest pilgrimage, Alandi-Pandharpur Yatra is undertaken by many people in Maharashtra and several parts of India. The Alandi-Pandharpur Yatra is seen to be the most sacrosanct procession with a history as old as eight-sanctuaries. The tradition traces back to Sant Dyaneshwar who founded the Bhagats sect adopted by Sant Namdeo, Sant Tukaram, and Eknath in due course of time. All these Saints contributed immensely to the Varkari tradition. Thus, the Vari is the procession that carries the Padukas, the wooden footwear of the four saints to Lord Vitthal’s Temple in Pandharpur.

Every year more than 150 Palkhis (palanquin) commence from southern and western parts of India, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Devouts walk for 10 days to three weeks to two months during the yatras. The concluding date is fixed but there is no fixed date to start the yatra. Varkaris reach Pandharpur on the Ashadi Ekadashi in July. 

The Route
The beginning point for Alandi-Pandharpur Yatra is at Aland. There are fixed halts at Pune, Saswad, Jejuri, Walha, Lonad, Phaltan, Barad, Natepute, Malshiras, Taradgaon, Bhandi-Shegaon, Velapu, Varkhari ( the point where the Palkhis of Sant Dyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram meet), and Pandharpur. The Yatra goes as schedule but there are many schedules that allow days of rest en route. Several stretches of the Yatra allow an easy walk and others are facilitated with comforts to the Varkaris, and still others stretches are ecstatic with chants and abhangs of Sant Dyaneshwar. 

The Varkaris
Taking up the Vari is not that difficult as there are dindis who carry appropriate rations, medical aid and other help in material and kind. The dindis provide food and accommodation on registration of a nominal fee. Aspiring Varkaris can register with Sriharikatha Seva Pratisthan Charitable Trust for any medical aid and assistance. The Pandharpur Vari is just not about the temple and lords. The Vari is a great opportunity to taste local delicacies and Villagers are always keen to know how the Varkaris like their product. All halts have small meals and dance. There are several conquests such as Ringan and Dhava that mark the uniqueness of the Vari tradition. During the Ringan a sacred horse called Maulincha Ashva, who is believed to be the soul of the saint whose idol is being carried in the Palki runs through the rows of pilgrims who try catching the dust particles kicked off and smear their head with the same. Dhava is another kind of race where everyone wins and it is held to commemorate the same way Saint Tukaram caught the view of Pandharpur Temple and started running in sheer exhilaration.

Latest Articles

Best Domestic Holiday Tour Packages

Top Places to Visit in India

Secure Payment