June/Jule 2008: Since childhood we had heard about the anual Wari piligrimage which takes place in the month of Aashadh which per Julian Calander would be June/July. As we used to keep moving our base due to father’s transferable job, I could not attend it. So finally when we were well setled in Pune and the oppurtunity which I was waiting for knocked on the door when Ashk asked us to join him for it. It was Sunday and so we all could go there. The plan was to first meet at Ashk’s place, then along with Ram go to Hadapsar at Sandy’s place and then head to Solapur road/Saswad road to take darshan of Paduka’s and join the Wari till the Saswad leg and return. Unfortuanelty I had some appointments later in the afternoon and so I was going to join the Wari till the start of the Deve ghat and then return.
So I woke up early, got ready and went to Ashk’s place. I was to come on my own bike as I had to return before others. We then moved towards Hadapsar and went to Sandy’s place to park our vehicles and walk the remaining way, which we had planed to start immediately. But Sandy had made all the arrangements for Breakfast and tea. After having a nice poha and tea, we were on our way.
We were heading towards the Saswad road, for which we crossed the Gliding Center on which we learnt few things that day. Per Sandy, this huge ground is used to fly the gliders and they also offer rides for newbies for a ticket. We were excited to do it one day, but Sandy was worried that it does not have an engine and more importantly can it hold him 🙂 . Nevertheless that was for another day. As we reached the road, we were not sure if the Palki has passed or not. So we walked back to Solapur junction and it seems Palki had just reached there.
Every year as part of Wari, Palki of Dnyaneshwar maharaj and Tukaram maharaj start from Alandi and Dehu respectively and make a 21 days journey to the temple of god Vithoba at Pandharpur on the day of Ashadhi Ekadashi. Today was the 4th/5th day and the palki was to start from Pune city, where it had rested yesterday and pass through Hadapsar -> Deve Ghat and then rest for the night at Saswad. There were so many people, one can call it a sea of humanity, but no chaos pure order and bhakti. People were walking happily, chanting abhangas and greeting one another as Mauli. All were equal and same. We saw the Palki approaching and we headed towards it. We got a good darhshan of Paduka’s of Dnyaneshwar maharaj and Tukaram maharaj.
We then joined the sea of people and were varkari’s. People from all over Maharashtra join this journey. Many a times they come as part of a group called Dindi, which has all the arrangements including a truck to carry there luggage and per need old and tired people. They have the medicines for emergency and also carry food and equipments along with cooks and support staff. The path of Wari is fixed including there stops and breaks. Everyday they stop at a town or place and the trucks which normally move ahead would go and make the preparations for tents, cooking food etc for the varkaris belonging to there group. Also from whereever the Palki passes the locals arrange many things for the travellers like tea, snacks, water and places to stay or rest etc.
I along with others continued the journey till the start of the Deve ghat. The journey from here to the top as people say is amazing as the Palkis are pulled by bullocks and people and one has to see and be there once. But sadly it was not to be for me this time. I bid all others and headed back. It was such a great spiritual experience being there. Even the thought of continuing and going all the way to Pandharpur also crossed my mind. The enthusism of people, the eglatarism, happiness and hope is what I took back from the Wari.
It was bit diffcult to make my way back and to find Sandy’s place. But somehow I made it. I picked my bike and was on my way back home with being more enlightened and spiritual!