DELAY IN monsoon and the subsequent delay in the sowing process is like to affect the wari (annual palkhi procession) of Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar, and this year, a 15-20 per cent drop in attendance of warkaris is expected.
The palkhi procession of Sant Tukaram left the temple town of Dehu on Monday, while the palkhi of Sant Dnyaneshwar will proceed from Alandi on Tuesday. Both palkhis will arrive in Pune on Wednesday.
Due to insufficient rain, the sowing activity across the state has been sluggish. Traditionally, warkaris, who are mainly from the agrarian community, finish sowing by June-end and then join the palkhi procession.
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Rajabhau Chopdar, a trustee of the Alandi Devasthan, said they have noticed a dip in the number of warkaris and that can directly be attributed to the slow sowing. “The numbers might increase in the days to come. Hopefully, the monsoon will pick up and the devotees will join the palkhi procession,” he said. Chopdar said, on an average, 3 lakh warkaris accompany the palkhi of Sant Dnyaneshwar. On Monday, the palkhi of Sant Tukaram started from Dehu with 70-80,000 warkaris accompanying it.
Jaisingh More, trustee of the Dehu trust, said the number of warkaris is expected to go up by the time the palkhi reaches Baramati.