Ashadi Ekadashi

Relevance in maharashtra


Ashadi Ekadashi marks the beginning of the holy pilgrimage known as “Wari” to the temple of Lord Vithoba in Pandharpur. It holds immense importance for devotees as it symbolizes the union of the devotee (bhakta) with the divine (bhagwan).

The highlight of the Ashadi Ekadashi celebrations is the Palakhi (palanquin) procession. The deities of Lord Vithoba and his consort, Rukmini, are placed in beautifully decorated palanquins and taken in a grand procession through the town. Devotees pull the chariots with ropes, and it is considered an honor to participate in this act of devotion.

Devotees reach Pandharpur on the day of Ashadi Ekadashi and stay overnight in the town. They offer prayers and seek blessings from Lord Vithoba. The temple is beautifully decorated, and there is a divine ambiance that engulfs the entire area.

Many devotees observe a fast on Ashadi Ekadashi, abstaining from food and water for the entire day. It is believed to cleanse the mind and body and is considered an act of devotion. Some people take a vow to undertake the Wari pilgrimage every year.



Wari Tradition

The Wari tradition involves a long and arduous journey on foot from various towns and villages in Maharashtra to Pandharpur. Devotees, called “Warkaris,” undertake this pilgrimage, covering a distance of approximately 250 kilometers, singing devotional songs and chanting the name of Lord Vithoba. 

Bhajans (devotional songs) and abhangs (traditional Marathi devotional poetry) dedicated to Lord Vithoba are sung throughout the pilgrimage. The atmosphere is filled with devotion and spirituality, and the sound of cymbals, drums, and other musical instruments adds to the fervor.

On the day after Ashadi Ekadashi, devotees break their fast with a special meal known as “Tulsi-pana.” They also engage in acts of charity by distributing food, clothes, and other essentials to the needy, as a way of expressing gratitude for the blessings received.

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