A delegation of devotees from the Bhakti tradition of Maharashtra, including descendants of the 17th century saint, Sant Tukaram, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to thank him for identifying a designated road for the annual pilgrimage on foot to Pandharpur.
Modi had recently attended the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony in Pune of Palkhi Marg for the annual pilgrimage on foot to Pandharpur, called Wari.
Lakhs of devotees walk every year to Pandharpur with palkhis of Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar among others from different places, all headed to reach Pandharpur on Aashadhi Ekadashi, generally falling in June. Those who walk are called warkaris.
As per the warkari tradition, PM Modi was offered a headgear akin to Sant Tukaram (called Tukaram pagadi), a traditional stole, Veena, chipalya (a clinky single hand-held musical instrument) to wear and gifted a tulsi mala and a copy of Tukaram Gatha, a compendium of Sant Tukaram’s couplets).
“The delegation also invited Modi ji for the Lokarpan ceremony of the Shila temple at Dehu (near Pune),” former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted after the meeting.
Apart from descendants of Sant Tukaram, the delegation also included president of the Sant Tukaram Maharaj Sansthan, Dehu, Nitin More, member of Vitthal Rukmini Temples Committee, Pandharpur, Shivaji More and BJP’s Spiritual Front Maharashtra chief Aacharya Tushar Bhosale.