Set off on a 386 km drive from Mumbai to Pattan Kodoli, to celebrate Maha's iconic 'Haldi Festival'
For four days, every year, the village of Pattan Kodoli, in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district, transforms into a vibrant mass of yellow with clouds of turmeric. Such is the festival of Vittal Birdev Yatra, which commemorates the birth anniversary of the community’s deity, Vittal Birdev Maharaj (believed to be an incarnation of the Hindu deity, Lord Vishnu). This year, the celebrations will last till November 4, with men, women and children showering each other in shades of love, joy and yellow!
Yeah, they were all yellow!
The Vittal Birdev Yatra basically revolves around a ‘baba’, who arrives at the village to make predictions about the forthcoming farming, health and weather conditions, greatly benefiting local farmers. While Baba Shree Kheloba Rajabhau Waghmode from Ahjangoau (a village in Solapur District) makes his predictions, the crowds of worshippers gather around a banyan tree to witness his grandeur firsthand.
As part of the rituals, devotees offer Bhandara (a yellow powder mixed with dry coconut pieces) and goat's hair to God. Pattan Kodoli is particularly famous for blanket manufacturing which uses goat hair as a raw-material, hence the significant. Whereas Bhandara is collected by devotees for it’s medicinal properties and later used on special occasions and to treat illness.
The charm of the festival is such that throughout the day you’ll be encapsulated by devotional and folk songs. And as the Yatra comes to an end, the observer finds himself enveloped in a captivating scene brimming with shades of yellow.
Located 17 km from Kolhapur, Pattan Kodoli sits between the picturesque foot-fills of Panhala Fort and Warana River, blending modernity with heritage. Even though the long distance, the annual fair and festival is frequented by thousands of devotees from adjoining villages in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, and Andhra Pradesh.
Now, if you wish to be a part of this celebration, Pattan Kodali is almost 386 km from Mumbai. When here you’ll witness an influx of people, with the streets bustling with food stalls, entertainment, and local handicraft vendors. Sounds like a thing on thing on the to-do list, doesn’t it?!
Distance from Mumbai: 386 kms
When: Pattan Kodali Yatra’23, till Nov 4