The annual yatra was held after two years due to Covid restrictions and devotees from across Maharashtra and neighboring states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh swarmed the temple, spraying ‘gulal’ and pieces of walnuts coco all around.
The procession of Sasan-Kathi, the huge decorated bamboo sticks, started around noon after Custodian Minister of Kolhapur Satej Patil performed the puja and garlanded the Sasan-Kathi of Ninam Padali of Satara district.
Kedarling Jyotiba Temple Manager Deepak Mhetar said, “There are 108 officially listed Sasan-Kathis and it is traditional to carry them around the temple premises as the procession passes.
Mahesh Patil, a farmer from Sankeshwar in Belagavi of Karnataka, said his family had been coming to the fair for ages. “For the past two years, because of the Covid, the yatra has not taken place. I have come to pray for a good monsoon to come with better prices for our agricultural products.
NGOs help the administration
Devotees started arriving early in the morning and good traffic and parking planning ensured there was no chaos. Various NGOs and social groups assisted the district administration to manage the influx of worshippers.
Ashok Rokade, head of the NGO White Army, said: “We treated patients suffering from dehydration and those who were dizzy due to the heat. An ambulance has been prepared in case of emergency.
A free catering service has also been set up by Sahajseva Trust. Chintan Shah, Administrator of the NGO said, “This is the 20th year of our establishment, we have stood ready to serve over three lakh devotees in four days. Over the years, we have remained consistent in the quality of our food and in our hygiene”.