PM Modi inaugurates ‘Shila’ temple in Pune’s Dehu, pays respects to Sant Tukaram

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PUNE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated a ‘shila’ (rock) temple at the existing 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 community worship with spiritual recitations known as ‘kirtans’.

Earlier today, PM Modi visited the Vitthal Rukmini temple upon arrival in Pune.

Around 50,000 ‘warkaris’ were present at the venue for the prime minister’s address. PM Modi too was dressed in a traditional ‘warkari’ attire and was presented with a designer ‘Tukaram pagdi’ made by Girish Murudkar, who has designed ‘pagdis’ for noted personalities such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Bal Thackeray, Prince Charles, among others.

The ‘warkaris’ welcomed the PM at the temple by singing the song ‘Gyanba Tukaram’. His visit has come just before the annual ‘wari’ (pilgrimage) tradition, 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 PM at the Pune airport. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray skipped the event, but is likely to attend the prime minister’s Mumbai programme.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Modi carried out the ground breaking ceremony of the Palkhi route along with Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari. Once the route is complete, the ‘warkaris’ will get a safe passage for ‘wari’.

The ‘Palkhi Marg’, which has been given the status of National Highway, will have dedicated lanes for the ‘warkaris’. The prime minister also announced the upgradation of the highways approaching the temple town from all directs, at a cost of 1,180 crore.


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