Haldi Festival

Pattankodoli, a village 24 kilometers from the city of Kolhapur hosts a deity called Shri. Birdev who is revered by the residents of the Hatkanangale taluka. Even though the deity mainly had devotees from the Dhangar community, people from all the twelve ‘Balutedars’ which were people from various castes working as servants for the economic system of the village were invited for the festivities around the year. Hence, every year, devotees from all sects present themselves for the processions and rituals.

The actual temple in Pattankodoli where the deity is hosted is ancient and archaic and at the very beginning, was small and square shaped. Now the idol of Shri. Birdev is inside the small temple and the surroundings have been reconstructed and developed in a beautiful manner.

There is a three storied pavilion built in the area around the original temple, and can accommodate lakhs of people who come to attend the ceremony. 8 lakh devotees get registered and more than 10 lakhs attend the ceremony in the temple every year. There is an entire narrative dedicated to how the deity Birdev came into existence at Pattankodoli.

Every year, a huge crowd of devotees gathers for the historical yatra in Pattankodoli for the deity Shri. Birdev. There is an extravagant atmosphere with the sounds of Dhols and cymbals throughout the ceremony. There are umbrellas, ornaments called ‘baashingas’ and archways all in the shadows of Abdagiri where devotees shout the name of Shri. Vithal-Birdev and toss bhandara, wool and gratings of dry coconut. All in all, the ceremony starts with a bang.

The highlight of this yatra is the prophecy that is told by Shri Kheloba Rajabhau Waghmode who has an important position in the village of Anjangaon. On the main day of the journey, the prophecy or ‘Devavani’ told by Farande Maharaj from Anjangaon in Solapur predicts the future and the events that will happen accurately.

Farandebaba gets up from the smooth stone infront of the mausoleum and initiates the Hedam dance. At this point, the tossing of bhandara begins freely and without restrain. He enters the inner temple of Shri Vithal-Birdev while performing the Hedam dance while also performing stunts with a sword. As the yatra starts with a lot of fervour with the introduction of Farande Maharaj, the sounds of dhols and cymbals also begin in the village of Pattankodoli with the recital of ‘Ovais’ from the Dhangar community.  Devotees from the Dhangar community enter the yatra through Pattankodoli, while some enter the yatra with their Dhol group and some perform ‘Gaji’ dance inside the temple and showcase their traditions.

Devotees enter the Birdev yatra from various states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh etc in lakhs of numbers. The country’s largest market for blankets gathers outside the temple premises.

It is highly recommended for everyone to attend the yatra in Pattankodoli which gets covered in golden colour because of the unrestrained tossing of bhandara during the festival. The deity Birdev is believed to pay heed to every common man’s shout for help, hence one must attend it in all its fervour.