Day 132 | 23 May 2015 | Nrusinhawadi to Miraj| The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Young skaters giving us company on Day 132, Arjunwad, Sangli, Maharashtra
  • Guidance on the way from two seasoned veterans Shirol, Kolhapur,Maharashtra
  • It is time to acknowledge the good work of our Kolhapur team at the Sri Datta Balak Mandir, Shirol Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • "Lemme have a look at these people, Ma", Shirol-Miraj Road, Shirol, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • A tambourine band welcomed the Padayatris to the Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Shamna Mira, Miraj, Maharashtra
  • A most hearty welcome to Sri M at the Dargah, Miraj, Maharashtra.
  • Padayatris being ushered into the Dargah, Miraj, Maharashtra
  • In prayer inside the Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Shamna Mira, Miraj, Maharashtra
  • Still a common medium of transport in rural India, Shirol Miraj Road, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • These exchanges go a long way in spreading the good word, Shirol, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • A rare chance to get back into UKG for these stalwarts, Shirol, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • A routine, yet efficient check up by the Medical support team, Shirol, Maharashtra
  • A much trodden path, Shirol Miraj Road, Maharashtra
  • This family looks piteously walled in from the good things of life, Miraj, Sangli, Maharashtra
  • The clerics explains the story of the Dargah, Miraj, Sangli, Maharashtra
  • Devout and resplendent scene inside the Dargah, Miraj, Sangli, Maharashtra
  • Sri M meeting each clerics of the Dargah, Miraj, Maharashtra
  • Skaters show off their skills at Arjunwad, Sangli, Maharashtra
It was dark and chilly when the padayatra started; it was a very quiet walk for the first two hours, with almost no people in sight and only a handful of motorbikes passed them, with the riders staring curiously at the Yatris. Up to Shiroli, it was the same road that had been traversed yesterday and then they took another road towards Miraj. Outside Shiroli, they stopped at a Government school for breakfast; by this time, it was sunny and hot. As usual, after breakfast, the pace of the walk was slower. A group of about 10 young children with roller skates joined at this point and stayed on for a few hours.

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The padayatra moved slowly as the road had only two lanes and was not in good condition. As they got closer to Miraj, many roads converged, and it got progressively challenging to walk because of the automobiles. They passed a railway crossing and a bridge over river Krishna. The Krishna River is the third longest river in southern India, after Ganges and Godavari. It is a major source of irrigation for Maharashtra. The source of the river is around Mahabaleswar and it merges into the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi, on the east coast. The delta of this river is one of the most fertile regions in India and was a home to ancient Satavahana and Ikshvaku dynasties. The Walk of Hope reached Miraj from Nrusinhawadi, covering a little more than 19 kilometers in 7 hours. There were some houses here and there but the way was largely unpopulated. As the yatra got closer to Miraj, more people and houses were to be seen. Many houses outside the city limits looked quite old and were constructions of mud and stone. These were large family homes built on huge farms, mostly sugarcane. Passing through many villages, the padayatra reached their halting point in Miraj by 12.30 pm. A group of about 50 or 60 residents from this region greeted the padayatra, about half an hour before it reached the city at 11.30 am. They also arranged refreshments for the tired yatris. Miraj is an old city well known for it’s secular culture, founded in the early tenth century and played a role in history during the days of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The city is well known for its contribution to the tradition of Hindustani classical music. Miraj is also known for manufacturing Indian string instruments such as Sitar, Sarod and Tanpura made from wood and treated gourds. Farid Saheb, a sitar maker in the 18th century, developed this art of making traditional instruments and his descendants have continued this tradition. The ancient city has the pride of being blessed with stalwart musicians like Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Bhatkhande, Vinayak Rao Patwardhan, and Bal Gandharva. An annual music festival at the dargah takes place in the memory of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. Sri M and the yatris were welcomed by a group of tambourine players at the Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Shamna. The chief cleric greeted Sri M with a traditional embrace. Sri M interacted with all the clerics at the Dargah and offered prayers. An urus attended by thousands is held on 24th Rajab. The honour of laying the first wreath on the tomb on the day of the urus goes to a Chambhar (shoe−maker). It is said that one day while Mira Saheb was on his usual rounds, he approached a shoemaker to get his shoe mended. The shoe−maker had no ready leather but offered to mend it with his own skin. He was so much touched at his gesture that he declared then and there, "The honour of strewing my grave with flowers will first go to the Chambhar.” Since then, the practice has continued. After this, the padayatra continued for another hour or so into the city and reached Patwardhan Hall, the night halt for today. This place was very spacious with many rooms and halls. The men and women were comfortable in the spaces assigned for their stay. Lunch was served soon after the arrival and it was quite an elaborate affair. It was a sponsored lunch and that meant that there were additional delicacies. With no Satsang in the evening and the next day being a day of rest, the padayatris were very relaxed and they spent the rest of the day at leisure.

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva… Jai Maheshwarnath… Jai Kriya Babaji…Jai Sarva Santajana…

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