Saint Tukaram, Saint Dnyaneshwar padukas to be carried by ST bus to Pandharpur

Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi 2020
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Pune, June 27, 2020: The Maharashtra government has decided to carry the ‘padukas’ (footprints) of Saint Tukaram Maharaj from Dehu and Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj from Alandi by road on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi. In the backdrop of the onset pandemic situation, the state government had cancelled the palkhi procession this year.

The state has been striving to cope with the health crisis and with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases especially in districts of Pune, Solapur and Satara from where lakhs of warkaris proceed with palkhi processions on foot to Pandharpur every year, it would add to the risk of contagion. Therefore, the administration was mulling upon either to carry the padukas by road or air.

However, it has zeroed down on state transport buses which will carry a maximum of 20 people on June 30. The government has permitted members of Saint Tukaram Maharaj Sanstha, Dehu, Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Sanstha, Alandi, Saint Sopandev Maharaj Sanstha, Saswad and Changavate Devasthan, Saswad to carry the footprints of the saints. No members above 60 years old will be allowed to go for the ritual. The members will be tested for COVID before leaving for Pandharpur. The bus carrying the devotees will not make a stop anywhere for worshipping at temples. The administration has also strictly asked the devotees to follow all the precautionary measures like maintaining physical distancing in the entire process.

The palkhi processions were supposed to start from June 12-13, however, due to the pandemic, the processions were cancelled this year.