Palkhi Prasthan (Departure):

The first day of WARI SOHALA also called the PRASHTANACHA DIVAS (day of journey commencement) falls on the Jestha Vadya Ashtami (eight day in the waxing lunar fortnight normally towards the end of the month of May / early June).MAULI’s journey begins at four in the afternoon. Were the day to coincide with a Thursday, the routine PALKHI perambulation around the temple is undertaken and the WARI journey begun in the late hours of the day or early hours of the next day, ie on Friday. The SOHALA is extremely unique and the WARKARIS of the 27 DINDIS (ahead of MAULIs RATH) and as many as can from the DINDIs behind the RATH, try and make it into the precincts or courtyard of the temple and keep singing BHAJANs with verve and joy from afternoon itself. Unmindful of the crowd and the heat / rain, the WARKARIS are lost in the ocean of immense excitement as they dance merrily. Prior to the onset of the journey, the CHOPDAR brings in the horses and they pay obeisance to MAULI. At that juncture, SHRIMANT SHITOLE SARKAR, SHRIMANT SHINDE SARKAR (of Gwalior) or their representative and SHRIMANT NIMBALKAR SARKAR (of Phaltan) are ushered into MAULI’s temple premises. Representatives of Shri Guru Haibat Baba and SHRIMANT SHITOLE SARKAR enter the sanctum santorum and perform the AARTI (prayer service) on behalf of Shri Guru Haibat Baba. Following this another AARTI (service) is held on behalf of the Sansthan. The PADUKAs are then invested (positioned) in the palanquin (PALKHI). DINDI PRAMUKHs and MAANKARIs receive the auspicious coconut fruit on behalf of Shri Guru Haibat Baba and the Sansthan. After offering their prayers and catching a glimpse (DARSHAN) of the SAMADHI (mausoleum), they leave the sanctum sanctorum. In the courtyard, an AARTI is performed and the PALKHI is carried outside the VEENA MANDAP. A perambulation is performed within the temple precincts wherein the residents of Alandi very enthusiastically and cheerfully lend a shoulder to the PALKHI as they sing and dance along with their cymbals merrily. Not far away, soon the PALKHI reaches the temple of SIDDHESHWAR. It is believed that its KALAS (or SHIKHAR, the temple top) sways side ways – as if it were bidding fond farewell to MAULI. The PALKHI leaves this temple after performing the perambulation and moves to Gandhiwada, home of the grandparents of MAULI. In this home, the PALKHI rests for the night. After the SAMAAJ AARTI, paan-supari (betel leaves and raw areca nut) is distributed. This is followed by the JAGAR performed by the Ajrekars into the wee hours of the morning.