Traditional temple

Prime Minister Modi inaugurates ‘Shila’ temple at Dehu in Pune and pays tribute to Sant Tukaram

PUNE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated a “shila” (rock) temple at the current Sant Tukaram Maharaj Mandir in Maharashtra’s Dehu, dedicated to the 17th-century seer.

Sant Tukaram was born in Dehu and is renowned for his devotional poetry known as ‘Abhangas’ and communal worship with spiritual recitations called ‘kirtans’.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Modi visited Vitthal Rukmini Temple upon his arrival in Pune.

About 50,000 “warkaris” were present at the venue of the Prime Minister’s speech. Prime Minister Modi was also dressed in a traditional ‘warkari’ outfit and received a designer ‘Tukaram pagdi’ made by Girish Murudkar, who has designed ‘pagdis’ for well-known personalities such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Bal Thackeray, Prince Charles, among others. .

The ‘warkaris’ welcomed the PM to the temple by singing the song ‘Gyanba Tukaram’. His visit comes just before the annual tradition of “wari” (pilgrimage), which will begin on June 20 from Dehu.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, State Opposition Leader Devendra Fadnavis and Pune MP Girish Bapat welcomed the Prime Minister at Pune airport. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray skipped the event but is expected to attend the Prime Minister’s program in Mumbai.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Modi conducted the inauguration ceremony of the Palkhi road with Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. Once the route is completed, the ‘warkaris’ will get safe passage for the ‘wari’.

The “Palkhi Marg”, which has been given the status of a national road, will have lanes reserved for “warkaris”. The Prime Minister also announced the upgrading of highways approaching the temple city from all directions, at a cost of 1,180 crore.