Vari - An Indian Pilgrimage
A film by Guenther Sontheimer and Henning Stegmueller (88 min. color, 1989). This film is an epic narrative documentary covering the most popular pilgrimage in Maharashtra to celebrate its deity Vitthal in Pandharpur. The pilgrimage starts from Alandi, the resting place of the 13th century poet-saint Dnyaneshwar, and from Dehu, the native place of the 17th poet-saint Tukaram. Symbolic ‘sandals’ of the two poet-saints are carried in palanquins from the two points of departure by thousands of pilgrims. The two palanquins have slightly different routes and people from all over Maharashtra join them. The pilgrims sing and dance on their way and have regular camping sites where local people receive them with love and respect. At regular intervals the film cuts to interviews with Maharashtrian scholars and writers who explain the significance of the pilgrimage.