Palkhi festival is an annual yatra to Pandharpur – the seat of the Hindu god Vithoba in Maharashtra, in honour of the deity.
About the festival:
- The Palkhi starts in the month of Jyeshth (June)
- Every year on the eleventh day of the first half of the month of Ashadh (July), the Palkhi reaches Pandharpur( a pilgrimage town on the banks of Candrabhagā River in Solapur District, Maharashtra)
- The devotees take a holy dip in the sacred Chandrabhaga River before proceeding to visit the Vithoba/Vitthal temple in Pandharpur
- The whole process lasts a total of 22 days.
- Palkhi is a 1000 — year old tradition which was started by some saints of Maharashtra and is still continued by their followers called warkaris (people who follow tradition ‘Wari’)
- In the year 1685, Narayan Baba, the youngest son of Sant Tukaram started the Wari tradition
- The word ‘Warkari’ is derived from Wari, which means to travel
- Warkaris are devotees of Lord Vitthal or Lord Vithoba
- Vithoba is a form of the god ‘Vishnu’ & it means ‘Lord who stands on a brick’
About the Hindu calendar:
- Our national calendar is based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days
- It was adopted from 22 March 1957 along with the Gregorian calendar for the official purposes