Pune: The warkaris set out on a pilgrimage each year to Pandharpur and believe it to be a calling from Lord Vitthal. The yatra comprises singing songs in praise of the Lord and dancing to the tunes of the veena and the pakhwaj (drums). The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) along with Janwani this year has arranged for Pune citizens to witness the Palkhi and participate in it without actually going for it. Jagdish Patil, Managing Director of MTDC said, "The Wari tradition is unique to Maharashtra. Visitors from world over come to India to experience this pilgrimage and this initiative allows even those who cannot actually go for the Palkhi, a true feel of it".
The mock Palkhi which will be held at Amanora Town Center will comprise a tiny procession. Anyone wanting to take part has to dress like warkari for the procession. There will also be a sale of souvenirs and playing of games like 'ringan'.
"Pune city today is increasingly cosmopolitan. Many, who have lived here for long are also unaware of such an ancient tradition" said Prajakta Panshikar, Janwani's Deputy Director. "Keeping this in mind, the mock Palkhi which is a first of its kind will allow the urban crowd away from the city a chance at being a part of the Palkhi and getting a feel of it", she added. There will be a total of 50 volunteers from Janwani and MTDC combined in the mini-wari. Since it is a weekend they are expecting a turn out of 500 to 1,000 people.
The mini-wari will take place at Amanora Park Town Center, East Block Central Atrium on 22nd June Sunday 6 p.m. on wards