Warkari community’s Palkhi festival

Tags: Festivals

Warkari-community’s-Palkhi-festivalDelegates attending the three-day G20 Digital Economy Working Group conference in Pune recently got a first-hand glimpse of the palanquins of the Warkari community.

About Palkhi Festival

  • The Palkhi festival is a tradition that dates back 1000 years and was initiated by saints from Maharashtra, India. 

  • The Palkhi festival takes place in the month of Jyeshth (June) and lasts for a total of 22 days. It involves a journey from the departure points to Pandharpur.

  • It is still practiced today by their followers known as varkaris. 

  • These varkaris are individuals who follow a vari, which is a fundamental ritual associated with the festival.

Purpose and location of the festival

  • The Palkhi festival is an annual pilgrimage (yatra) to Pandharpur, a town in Maharashtra that serves as the abode of the Hindu god Vithoba

  • The festival is held to honor this deity and express devotion towards him.

  • During the festival, varkaris walk in groups, carrying palkhis or chariots. 

  • These palkhis contain the paduka or sacred sandals of various saints, with Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram being the most prominent ones.

  • The Palkhi procession begins from two different locations in the Pune district of Maharashtra. Dnyaneshwar's palakhi starts from Alandi, while Tukaram's palakhi commences from Dehu.

Warkari community

  • This community or sect is associated with the Bhakti spiritual tradition of Hinduism and has a long history in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

  • It has been a prominent part of the religious fabric since the thirteenth century CE.

  • Saints of this community have contributed significantly to the spiritual and cultural heritage of Maharashtra.

  • Some of the famous saints associated with this community include Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Chokhamela, Eknath and Tukaram.

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