Thousands of pilgrims entered the city on Tuesday carrying the palanquin of saint Dnyaneshwar en-route to temple town of Pandharpur, chanting the name of Lord Vitthal as they commenced their Ashadhi Ekadashi "wari".
Mayor of Pune Mohansingh Rajpal welcomed the "warkaris" as long widening procession carrying the palanquin of the 12th century saint arrived from nearby Alandi, his samaadhi place.
The city traffic came to a halt at various points as the authorities diverted routes to facilitate smooth passage of the pilgrims, who will undertake the onward journey on foot after an overnight stay.
The palanquin of saint Tukaram arrived in Pune from Dehu on Monday. The civic health authorities have taken extra measures for medical checkup of the pilgrims in order to isolate and treat suspected cases of Swine flu which has been rampant in Pune district.
Mobile clinics have also been provided along the routes of the Vitthala devotees, who will be converging at Pandharpur on the Ashadhi Ekadashi day on July 21st.