Security at temples beefed up for Sant Dnyaneshwar, Sant Tukaram palkhis

Expecting a mammoth crowd of devotees at the two temples where the palkhis will halt, authorities are busy with preparations, security arrangements

With just a day to go, the preparations to welcome the palkhis of Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram tomorrow are in full swing. The Nivdunga Vithoba Mandir where the Sant Tukaram palkhi will make its halt, and Palkhi Vithoba Mandir where the Sant Dnyaneshwar palkhi will be stationed are abuzz with excitement. Both have been adorned in colourful decorations to welcome the devotees.

Vithoba Mandir
Royal welcome: Preparations at Vithoba Mandir in Nana Peth are in full swing to welcome the Sant Dnyaneshwar palkhi tomorrow. Pic/Mohan Patil

They have also made elaborate security arrangements. “This year we have made special arrangements for the queues. More than 100 temple volunteers will assist the police in crowd management. Queues of 4-5 kms throng the temples day and night for the palkhi darshan. 25 CCTV cameras are installed in and around the temple areas by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).” said Palkhi Vithoba Mandir trustee Gorakhnath Bhikule.

Speaking to mid-day, Nivdunga Vithoba Mandir manager Anand Padhye said, “For us, the safety of the devotees is our topmost priority. We have installed 16 CCTV cameras in the temple premises with a separate control room to monitor every step. Now the cleanliness work is underway as we want to maintain a clean and hygienic atmosphere in this rainy season.”

On other hand, various Ganesh mandals and groups are also busy making arrangements for the warkaris or palkhi participants with regards to their accommodation and food. Every year, Sakhlipir Talim Rashtriya Maruti Mandir in Nana Peth shelters more than 1,000 warkaris and is set to do the same this year as well.

The mandal’s secretary, Aatik Sayyed, said “The locals cook vegetable, prepare rotis and bhakris to be served to the warkaris. We all contribute for this palkhi ceremony and this has been a tradition in our area for more than 40 years now.”

The devotees will resume their pilgrimage to Pandharpur on Monday.

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