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Drench in yellow at the Haldi festival in Maharashtra’s Pattan Kodoli

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Chennai-based photographer Srivatsan Sankaran describes his experience at the Haldi festival

Every year for four days, the village of Pattan Kodoli, in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district, turns yellow with clouds of turmeric. Such is the festival of Vittal Birdev Yatra, which marks the birth anniversary of the community’s deity, Vittal Birdev Maharaj. This year, the celebrations lasted from October 17 to October 20, with men, women and children showering each other in turmeric.

The highlight of the festival is a ‘baba’, who arrives at the village to make predictions about the forthcoming farming and weather conditions for the village.

Drench in yellow at the Haldi festival in Maharashtra’s Pattan Kodoli

The baba, Sri Keloba Rajabau Waghmode, hails from the Anjungau village in Solapur district. He walks on foot for 17 days from his village to reach Pattan Kodoli, where he is welcomed with huge umbrellas, and a musical procession. He sits under a banyan tree and has people anoint him with turmeric and dry coconut powder.

At Pattan Kodoli’s Vittal Birdev Yatra

At Pattan Kodoli’s Vittal Birdev Yatra   | Photo Credit: SRIVATSAN SANKARAN

On the second day, he enters the Shri Vittal Birdev Temple. As the beats of the drums pick up, he dances, and makes his predictions in Kannada, which is then translated into Marathi by the temple priest. On the fourth day, the festivities draw to a close and the baba starts his journey back to his village.

As told to Sweta Akundi

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 1:22:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/drench-in-yellow-at-the-haldi-festival-in-maharashtras-pattan-kodoli/article29777630.ece

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