tradition followed by the Warkaris (people who follow the wari, a fundamental
ritual). Palkhi is generally in the months of June-July
or Ashad (according to the Hindu Calender). The Wakaris collectively go
in Dindis singing and dancing, chanting Dnyanba-Tukaram.
The Palkhi as a whole starts in the month of Jyeshth (June) and the whole process lasts a
total of 22 days. But it reaches Pune in the months of June or Mid July. It
has a stay in Pune and then it goes ahead on its way. It reaches
Pandharpur on the eleventh day of the first half of the
month of Ashadh.
The youngest son of Tukaram, Narayan baba in 1685, brought about a change in
tradition by introducing the Palkhi, a sign of social respect.
Silver Padukas (footsteps) of Tukaram were put in the Palkhi and Narayan
baba proceeded with his
dindi to Alandi where he put the padukas of Dnyaneshwar in the same Palkhi. In 1830 there
was some dispute concerned with rights and privileges in the family of
Tukaram. Following this, it was decided by some thoughtful persons to break-up the tradition of
twin Palkhis and organise here after, two separate Palkhis - Tukaram Palkhi
from Dehu and the Dnyaneshwar Palkhi from Alandi. Since then till date, the Tukaram
Palkhi and the Dnyaneshwar Palkhi meet in Pune for a days halt and
then diverge at Hadapsar to meet again at Wakhri, a village nearby to
Pandharpur. About 2 lakh devotees proceed along with the
Sant Tukaram Palkhi from Dehu village, while a total of 2.5 lakh devotees join
the Sant Dnyaneshwar Palkhi.
The harvest festival is celebrated by farmers all over Pune. On this day bullocks, which are an
integral part of the agricultural chores and consequently the village
economy, are honored. They are bathed, colourfully decorated and taken out
in processions across the village, accompanied by the music of drumbeats. Pola brings out an important
appear of Hindu culture, which
does not look upon cattle as mere beasts of burden, but treats them with
dignity and gratitude.
On Ratha-Saptami, a low platform is placed next to the Tulsi
plant. Seven horses are drawn using red sandal paste (representing the seven
horses of the Sun-god's chariot). Everything is used, in fact, red in colour
on this occasion, as a symbol of the Sun God Surya, including
flowers, kumkum etc. In the courtyard of the house, milk is heated in
an earthen pot placed on dung-cakes. When the milk boils, it is allowed to
spill over the edge of the pot.
On this day every Shiv Mandir is decorated. Lord
Shiva is supposed to be very sacred & attracts lots of deities not only
from Belgaum but also from distant places.