10 lakh devotees visit Pandharpur | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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10 lakh devotees visit Pandharpur

The town of Pandharpur wore a saffron look on Wednesday, with almost ten lakh warkaris making the annual pilgrimage from across Maharashtra and neighbouring states on Aashadhi Ekadashi.

mumbai Updated: Jul 22, 2010 01:01 IST
Satyajit Joshi

The town of Pandharpur wore a saffron look on Wednesday, with almost ten lakh warkaris making the annual pilgrimage from across Maharashtra and neighbouring states on Aashadhi Ekadashi.

A record number of warkaris visited Pandharpur this year because of a good start to the monsoon season, which is considered to be an auspicious sign.

The warkaris take a 250-km long procession, known as Pandharichi Wari, from Dehu-Alandi to Pandharpur every year. This year, the procession reached the holy town two days ago.

Devotees across Maharashtra observed a fast on account of the festival. There were long queues at all temples devoted to Lord Vitthal.

The warkaris, who follow the Bhagwat sect, carried saffron flags, which is a sign of the sect, and sang traditional bhajans and kirtans in Pandharpur.

The queue outside the main temple of Lord Vitthal in Pandharpur was 15-km long.

Government officials said although 50 devotees were being allowed inside the temple at a time, it would take at least two days for all devotees to get darshan.

The temple committee usually prepares 110 quintals of laddoos every year. However, this year, the quantity has been increased to 180 quintals to cater to the large number of devotees.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and his wife Anita performed the maha pooja at the temple on Wednesday.

Chavan told the media that he prayed for peace, progress and development for Maharashtra on the auspicious day.