Maharashtra’s centuries-old tradition of Pandharichi Wari will be depicted at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi this year.
An annual pilgrimage, where devotees walk more than 200 kilometres to the holy town of Pandharpur for the blessings of Lord Vitthal and Rukmini, the Wari also pays tribute to the state’s rich heritage of saints. The pilgrimage was popularised by Sant Dnyneshwar and Sant Tukaram, said authorities of the state cultural department.
Sanjay Patil, the director of the state archeology and museums, said the tableau will feature around 40 artistes who will perform the traditional ringan (moving in a circle) and santwani. “We are displaying a replica of the famous Pandharpur Temple. The Palkhi and Tulsi Vrindavan will also be a part of it. The replicas will be as high as 48 feet,” he said.
The float will feature statues of the deities and the two saints. “Our team reached New Delhi on December 25 and have been creating the tableau and rehearsing for the parade,” said Patil.
The theme, he said, was approved six months ago and was put forward by the state government’s Directorate Of Culture. “Ours is the biggest tableau at the parade,” said Valsa Nair, the principal secretary of the cultural department.
US President Barack Obama will be the special guest at the 67th Republic Day celebrations on Monday. A total of 25 tableaux will feature in the parade. Last year, the state displayed Narali Purnima, a major festival celebrated by the fishermen.