Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Festivals in news: Pandharpur Wari


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Wari, Warkari

Mains level: Not Much

Pandharpur Wari

The Sant Tukaram and Sant Dyaneshwar Palkhi processions started their three-week-long journeys from the temple towns of Dehu and Alandi in Pune.

Pandharpur Wari

Pandharpur wari
The deities are said to be shifted to Pandharpur right away from Vitthala Temple, Hampi (Karnataka) to avoid demolition.
  • Tradition: The Wari tradition is an 800-year-old pilgrimage in Maharashtra, where devotees, known as Warkaris, undertake a foot journey to the Vithoba temple (Incarnation of Vishnu) in Pandharpur.
  • Largest walking event: The event is said to be one of the world’s largest and oldest movements where people gather on one day each year and walk a distance of around 250 km.
  • Guinness Record: The Wari has been classified by the World Book of Records as “one of the most visited places in a day”
  • Essence of Wakari Panth: The Wari is a ritualistic practice and a distinctive part of Maharashtrian culture, representing the essence of the Wakari Panth, which is a sect within the Bhakti tradition.
  • Four Processions: The Wari takes place in four months – Chaitra, Ashadh, Kartik, and Magh. The Ashadhi Ekadashi Wari is the most popular and significant among these processions.

Historical Evolution

  • Changed over time: Over the years, the Wari procession has evolved with changing practices, associated legends, and unique systems of organization and management.
  • Influence of Sant Dyaneshwar: The Wari tradition can be traced back to Sant Dyaneshwar, the father of Sant Dyaneshwar, who played a pivotal role in promoting the pilgrimage to Pandharpur.
  • Legacy of Sant Namdev: Sant Namdev (whose verses find mention in Guru Granth Sahib), a contemporary of Sant Dyaneshwar, also followed the tradition and composed devotional compositions expressing his devotion to Lord Vitthala.

Rituals and Cultural Aspects

  • Dindi and Musical Fervor: Dindis, comprising groups of devotees, accompany the palkis during the Wari, singing, chanting, and dancing. Musical instruments like the veena and mridangam enhance the devotional fervor.
  • Seva Dindis and Social Initiatives: Seva Dindis perform selfless service along the Wari route, including annadana (donation of food), medical assistance, and rural infrastructure development.
  • Social Messaging and Initiatives: The Wari has been utilized as a platform for social messaging and initiatives such as promoting cleanliness through the ‘Nirmal Wari’ campaign and women-centric drives like ‘Wari Nari Shakti’ focusing on menstrual hygiene.

Try this PYQ:

Consider the following pairs:

Traditions Communities

  1. Chaliha Sahib Festival — Sindhis
  2. Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra — Gonds
  3. Wari-Warkari — Santhals

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) None of the above


Post your answers here.
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