PANDHARPUR to ALANDI – The Return Journey :

As the WARKARIS reach their destination, a dip in the Chandrabhaga is followed by NAGAR PRADAKSHINA (circumambulation of the holy city) of Pandharpur on the day of Ashaadh Ekadashi. After four days, on the full moon day (POURNIMA), KAALA (assemblage of diverse kinds of commodities or edible articles especially puffed rice and curds, etc - signifying union or equality of peoples of all standings and their union with Lord Vitthal) is prepared and shared among all the WARKARIS. This happens in Gopalpur and marks the beginning of the return journey to Alandi. Also MAULI’s PADUKA are presented before Lord Vithhal’s shrine as a symbolic gesture of their meeting. This however is a recent practice and is not part of long standing WARI tradition.

On Pournima, at four in the evening, MAULI’s return journey to Alandi commences. Dignitaries of the WARKARI SAMPRADAYA and SHITOLE SARKAR’s horses escort the PALKHI to the city outskirts and bid MAULI a fond farewell. The return journey has around a thousand person strong contingent constituting the VEENEKARIs of all DINDIs and a few WARKARIs. This retinue completes the return journey in around 8-10 days. The return journey culminates in Alandi on the tenth day of the fortnight of the waning moon in Aashaadh. A warm home-coming is extended to MAULI and local residents receive personal invitations from the CHOPDAR to assemble on the bridge across the river Indrayani to welcome the PADUKAs. An AARTI is performed and devotees chant “MAULI!! MAULI!!”as a refrain expressing their happiness. In the temple, Shri Charankit family offers Pithale (gram flour boiled and spiced to make a sauce) and Bhakri (local bread made of coarse grains) as PRASAD (offering) on that day.

While the circumambulation of ALANDI is in progresses on Ekadashi, an attendance of the returning DINDEKARIS is conducted at the Hajeri (attendance) MARUTI temple. They are presented with a coconut fruit each as a token of respect and affection. Around fifteen DINDIs are invited to sing an ABHANGA each on this occasion. With this comes to an end an enchanting month long WARI, with participants leaving with heavy hearts and with renewed eagerness and determination to participate in the next round of WARI in the forthcoming year.