Pandariche Varakari The Quintessence of Varakari Yatra Smt.Bhavadhaarini Anantaraman
"Vari" is the most celebrated annual pilgrimage of "Varkaris" or pilgrims from all over the world to Pandharpur the abode of Vithoba. (Also known as Panduranga Vitthal, the presiding deity of Pandharpur, regarded as a form of Krishna, an Avatar/incarnation of Vishnu). Every year Varkaris walk hundreds of miles to the holy town of Pandharpur, gathering there on Ekadashi (the 11th day) of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Aashaada (which falls sometime in July). Clad in white or saffron shirt, with a cap or turban, women carrying thulsi pots on their heads, wearing thulsi beads around their necks, sandalpaste smeared on forehead, playing taal-cymbals, ektar - one string instrument, pakhawaj - percussion instrument - the Varakaris personify devotion, love, energy and resolve. Dhindi's (large groups) of Varkaris making the pilgrimage to Pandharpur carry the Palkhis (palanquins) of the saints from their places of samadhi (enlightenment or "spiritual birth"). According to historians Vitthal devotees were holding pilgrimages prior to the 13th century.The "Vari" tradition is characterized by singing the glory of the lord by way of mellifluous musical Marati lyrics called Abhangs. Abhangs literally meaning "without blemish" are verses in praise of Lord Panduranga composed by the Sanths (Saints including - Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Tukaram, Chokhamela and Eknath).
"Pandariche Varakari" is a compilation of select Abhangs depicting the celebration, happiness, energy and fervour of the "Varakari" on their path to the divine.