Pune: CM Eknath Shinde Attends First-Ever Palkhi Procession in Alandi, Vows to Clean Indrayani River

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Reported By Varad Bhatkhande

Alandi, 29th June 2024: Following the divine atmosphere of Dehu, Alandi today resonated with spiritual fervor as the Palkhi Procession of Sant Shreshta Dnyaneshwar Maharaj commenced its journey to Pandharpur. CM Eknath Shinde graced the event, marking the first time a Chief Minister of Maharashtra attended this historic procession.

Thousands of Warkaris and devotees gathered along the banks of the iconic Indrayani River in Alandi. Landmarks such as the Indrayani River Bank, Siddhabet, Haibat Baba Payari, Bhakta Pundalik Mandir, Shri Narasimha Saraswati Mandir, and Jalaram Mandir were filled with followers of Vitthala.

Minister of State Murlidhar Mohol, Maval MP Shrirang Barne, Shirur MP Dr. Amol Kolhe, Alandi Municipal Council CEO Kailash Kendre, Chief Trustee of Shree Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Samadhi Mandir Adv. Rajendra Umap, Palkhi Ceremony Chief Niranjanath, Dr. Bhavarth Dekhane, Palkhi Ceremony Owner Balasaheb Arfalkar, and Manager of Shree Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Samadhi Mandir Mauli Veer were also present.

The Ashadhi procession of Sant Shrestha Dnyaneshwar Maharaj began at 4 AM with bell ringing and various rituals. The departure ceremony preparations commenced in the afternoon, with Mauli’s Samadhi adorned with garlands. Dignitaries entered the temple by 2 PM, while Warkari dindis circled in devout reverence, chanting hymns to Mauli and Lord Panduranga.

The main Palkhi departure ceremony commenced around 4 PM with Aarti, marked by saffron flags waving and Mauli’s honor horses circling the temple. The departure was met with cheers from Warkari devotees, who eagerly shouldered the Palkhi. As the procession exited the Mandir, Warkaris, both rural and urban, awaited the sight of their beloved Vithu Raya on Ashadi Ekadashi. Amidst this fervor, concerns over Indrayani River pollution were raised, prompting the Alandi Municipal Council to caution against drinking river water due to health risks.

Chief Minister Shinde expressed his reverence, stating, “I bow to Sant Shrestha Dnyaneshwar Mauli. It’s an honor to attend the Palkhi Procession from Alandi to Pandharpur. I prayed for the prosperity of Baliraja (farmers) and the well-being of Maharashtra’s citizens.”

Regarding the Indrayani River issue, CM Shinde affirmed, “We will cleanse the Indrayani River of pollution. This commitment has begun with an allocation of Rs 800 crore by the Directorate of Town Planning & Valuation. I’m confident that the Indrayani will soon be pollution-free.”