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Palkhi Festival

A unique feature of the wonderful Maharashtrian culture, Palkhi is a 1000-year-old tradition followed by the Warkaris, people who follow the custom called Wari. People celebrate this festival by getting together, singing, dancing, and chanting Dnyanba-Tukaram in Dindis (a group of Warkaris). The pilgrimage takes place in the Hindu months of Ashadh and Karthik to the divine town of Pandharpur.

Every year, the Palkhi festival starts in June (Jyeshth), and lasts around 22 days. The Palkhi reaches Pandharpur every year during the first half of Ashadh month, on the eleventh day. Every Saint has been following this wari tradition for centuries. For Palkhi 2021, Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi starts on July 2nd, and the Sant Tukaram Palkhi starts on July 1st.


During the year 1685, the youngest son of Tukaram, Narayan Baba, with an innovative mind, was the man who decided to bring a change in the tradition of Dindi-Wari by introducing the Palkhi. This was a sign of social respect and peace. He put the silver padukas that belonged to Tukaram in the Palkhi. He proceeded with the dindi to a place called Alandi, where he put the Dnyaneshwar’s padukas in the same Palkhi.

This tradition was followed every year since then until 1830, when disputes occurred in the Tukaram family because of privileges and rights. Due to this reason, people decided to break this tradition of the twin Palkhis and organize separate ones, namely Dnyaneshwar Palkhi from Alandi and Tukaram Palkhi from Dehu.

For years, separate Palkhis meet in Pune for a brief time and then separated again at Hadapsar. The Palkhis meet again at Wakhri, a village near Pandharpur. The tradition's popularity only increases yearly, with thousands of devotees following the procession every year. At present, around 43 Palkhi visit Pandharpur each year.


There are two major routes where the Waris take place: the Alandi-Pandarpur route and the Dehu- Pandharpur route.

Route of Tukaram Palkhi

The pilgrims begin their main pilgrimage on foot from the town of Dehu. They carry Saint Tukaram’s Palkhi, a devotee of Lord Vitthala, another form of Lord Vishnu. This procession is known as the procession of Sant Tukaram’s Palkhi. Starting from Dehu, the pilgrims reach the town of Pandharpur via the towns of Loni Kalbhor, Yavat, Akurdi, Varvand, Indapur, Baramati, Wakhri, and Akluj respectively.

Route of Dnyaneshwar Palkhi

The pilgrims start this pilgrimage from the Alandi, a town in the Pune district, on foot, and they carry the Palkhi of Saint Dnyaneshwar. They reach the Pandharpur town via the cities of Pune, Jejuri, Saswad, Taradgaon, Lonand, Natepute, Phaltan, Malshiras, Shegaon, Velapur, and Wakhri.

The main Palkhis meet at Pune, then at Wakhri, and then meet only before reaching the town of Pandharpur. Besides these, during the months of Maghi and Chaitra, two more Waris are also considered important.


The descendants of Haibatraobua Arphalkar manage the Dnyaneshwar Palkhi along with the Alandi Devasthan trust and Chopdars. The entire procession is divided into various groups called Dindis. There would be more than 200 Dindis in each route, and each Dindi has between 200 and 500 members.

The Palkhi would always be at the centre of the Wari procession. A tutari (a wind instrument) is blown thrice at the beginning of the Palkhi pilgrimage. This indicates the Warkaris to get ready. The second blow is for them to get to their positions, while the third is for the Palkhi pilgrimage to start moving. The route timetable is strictly followed and published well in advance. Everything will be included in the schedule, including breaks and stay arrangements. Most of the Dindis stay at the temples in the nearby villages or in tents.

Celebrating Palkhi

Many people gather in Pune to celebrate Palkhi with their family and friends. Using redBus, there are ways to reach Pune safely and comfortably. Various bus operators will take you to the city! You could choose your most convenient dropping points.

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