In an effort to facilitate the movement of devotees to Pandharpur in Maharastra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for four-laning of five sections of Shri Sant Dnyaneshawar Maharaj Palkhi Marg (NH-965) and three sections of Shri Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi Marg (NH-965G) today at 3.30 P.M. through video conferencing.
Dedicated walkways for Palkhi will be constructed on either side of these National Highways, providing hassle-free and safe passage to devotees.
About 221 kilometers of Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi Marg from Diveghat to Mohol and about 130 kilometers of Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi Marg from Patas to Tondale – Bondale, will be four-laned with dedicated walkways for ‘Palkhi’ on either side, at estimated costs of more than six thousand 690 crore rupees and about four thousand 400 crore rupees.
During the event, Prime Minister will also dedicate to the nation more than 223 kilometers of completed and upgraded road projects, constructed with an estimated cost of over one thousand 180 crore rupees at different National Highways for boosting connectivity to Pandharpur.
These projects include Mhaswad – Piliv – Pandharpur (NH-548E), Kurduwadi – Pandharpur (NH- 965C), Pandharpur – Sangola (NH-965C), Tembhurni-Pandharpur section of (NH-561A) and Pandharpur – Mangalwedha – Umadi section of NH- 561A.
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray will be present on the occasion.
Devotees are walking to Pandharpur for many centuries in Maharashtra, but with the increased vehicular traffic on the routes of Pandharpur Wari, facilities of safe pilgrimage and up gradation of the roads had become the need of the hour.
With the up-gradation of the infrastructure in and around Pandharpur lakhs of devotees in Maharashtra will get benefit of the facilities and the annual pilgrimage will be fully safe not only for warkaris, but for also other devotees travelling to Pandharpur.
AIR correspondent reports, Pandharpur Wari is an age old tradition of annual pilgrimage of Maharashtra in which devotees from various parts of the state visit Vithoba Temple of Pandharpur by walking on road for several days and take Darshan of the deity on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi. Devotees from all the castes and sects participate in this annual pilgrimage and they are called Warkaris.
Padukas of many saints including Sant Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram are carried in Palkhis on the specific routes to Pandharpur and the Yatra culminates on the day of Ashadhi Ekadashi in Pandharpur. Another pilgrimage is celebrated during the month of Kartik and it is culminated on Kartiki Ekadashi.
Presently, the Warkaris are facing difficulties due to the vehicular traffic on these routes and accidents take place during the pilgrimage.
But, with the development of Palkhi Marg and upgraded road projects, the Warkaris will be able to walk safely on these routes and traveling to Pandharpur will be safe and comfortable for devotees traveling to Pandharpur in private and public vehicles.