Shri Vittal Birdev Annual Yatra is observed in at Pattan Kodoli village in Hatkangale Taluka near Kolhapur. It is the birth anniversary or Janmotsav festival of Vitthal Birdev Maharaj, who is a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. The annual fair and festival attract thousands of devotees to Pattan Kodoli village. Birdev is the family deity of the Shepherd community from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, and Andhra Pradesh.
A very important ceremony of this fare is the predictions by Shree Kheloba Rajabhau Waghmode, from Ahjangoau, a village in Solhapur District. He is considered the messenger of God.
On the day of the prediction, thousands of devotees gather in an open area in front of the banyan tree to watch the rituals. Throughout the day you can see many people gather in small groups and sing bhajans and folk songs. The devotees also shower bhandara on everything they like or worship. During the peak of the procession, you will be mesmerized and lost in the moment. In the blink of an eye, everything turns to yellow.
We did manage to make on the same day, and were able to catch the festivities in action.
Like on Holi, bhandara is applied to everyone and from far the whole place looks like a golden blanket. After the darshan in the temple, they march to the open area where the celebration takes place. They play the drums, spin the huge umbrellas, sing folk songs, dance and do acrobatics. After a few rituals, the holy sword is handed to him. It is believed after this, God descends into him. He performs with the sword which mesmerizes his devotees. Then the entire gathering proceeds into the temple. Here, he gives his prediction and people believe that it’s God speaking to them.
You can see the full gallery at the following location : Haldi Festival