HALDI Festival Pattan Kodoli

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1. When our tour operator Santosh showed me pics of the Haldi Festival said coming. It is celebrated in village Pattan Kodoli ie about a 30 minute drive from Kolhapur. It is celebrated by the Dhangar or shepherd community that resides in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh n Goa. This pic is when festival was at its peak.

2. We reached about 9.15 am. Hailing from Anjungau Village, Sri Keloba Rajabau Waghmode, known as the `Baba` of the devotees, walks 17 days from his village to reach Pattan Kodoli for the festival. He sits under a mandap, devotees seek his blessings n throw haldi around. Later he walks from mandap to temple, as you see.

3. Devotees bring huge umbrellas to welcome Baba to the Shri Vittal Birdev temple, accompanied with a procession with drums and traditional music. The environment was stimulating to say the least. Clothes and body become haldi colour. Thanks Sudhir Bhau for sharing lovely pics with eSamskriti.

4. The Haldi festival or Shri Vittal Birdev festival is to commemorate the birth anniversary of Vitthal Birdev Maharaj, who is considered to be a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. Birdev is the family deity of the Dhangar community. The annual fair attracts thousands of devotees. Behind the temple the Dhangar community sell blankets made of goat hair.

5. This is how people look – haldi haldi everywhere. In 2019 the festival was celebrated from 17-24 October with 20 being the most important day. “The festival is celebrated with bhandara, a yellow powder that looks similar to turmeric but is different. It has medicinal properties.” Dhangars offer bhandara with dry coconut pieces to their God.

6. Another close-up. Love the people who celebrate the festival, so much positive energy. It is a biggish village, you get basic stuff to eat. There is a Bangalore Ayyengar Bakery too. Lots of devotees sing devotional songs and some dance too.

7. From 9.30 am to say about 12.30 pm Baba covers himself with a blanket, sits in the mandap and devotees seek his blessings. By about 1 he got up, removed blanket and then opened his hair-crowds roared when he opened hair. After a few rituals a sword is handed over to him, after which God descends into him. He performs with the sword which mesmerises devotees.

8. Baba with hair open, sword in hand. Baba is revered “for his ability to foretell his predictions about farming, rain and future conditions of the country which is helpful to the people of the community.” Wish Maharashtra government promoted festival and had movable toilets.

9. Umbrellas. Baba moves to the temple later. He speaks in Kannada, it is translated in Marathi as well. In fact saw police from Karnataka as well. Best to go in a group. Contact Santosh Nimbalkar 91 92234 38236, 91 93201 77731 if you wish to go.

10. Umbrellas and haldi. “As soon he entered the temple, Baba attained a trance mode that made him jump and dance that lasted for nearly 10 minutes. The Baba then went ahead to foretell his predictions about farming, rain and future conditions in Kannada, his trance language, which was translated by the priest” into Marathi.

11. Another close up. I walked around the temple, had darshan, it was haldi everywhere. We left by about 3 pm. Festival is celebrated in October every year. I went two days before and spent time in Kolhapur – lots to see. For a good travelogue https://ravikanthkurma.com/shri-vittal-birdev-annual-yatra-at-pattan-kodoli

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