Shirdi Sai Palanquin Procession is a weekly festival. This festival is also known as Chavadi Festival. Chavadi in local language means a meeting place for villagers. Villagers meet here and discuss their problems. Generally, villagers meet here every week. That day might not be necessarily Thursday.
Shirdi Sai Palanquin Procession began around the year 1909 and is still continuing. Prior to this period, Sai Baba used to take rest there on every alternate night.
One night Sai Baba slept in Dwarkamai & the next night in Chavadi. The night when Sai Baba about to go to sleep in Chavadi, the devotees organize a Palanquin Procession. This is all about Shirdi Sai Palanquin Procession. With the passing of time, this celebration of Shirdi festival had undergone many changes. In remembrance of this, Sai devotees celebrate this with much enthusiasm & devotion.
Sai Devotees from nearby villages also attend this palanquin procession in large numbers. At least one member of each family used to take part in the procession.
This swapping of taking rest in the night continued till Baba’s Mahasamadhi in the year 1918. Later, Shirdi Sai Palanquin Procession became a weekly festival from 10th December 1909. So far now also is continuing on every Thursday.
Next villagers get united to make thorough cleaning of Dwarkamai & Chavadi. Devotees sang Bhajans with their all types of musical instruments.
Around 8.30 PM, Shirdi Sai Palanquin Procession begins carrying that portrait of Sai Baba. Devotees follow This procession from Samadhi Mandir & march up to Dwarkamai. Sai Devotees perform Bhajan & Aartis in front of Baba`s portrait in Dwarkamai.
Finally, Shirdi Sai Palanquin Procession starts from Dwarkamai around 09.15 PM. Devotees sang in chorus with melodies together of different musical instruments. It had a very deep meaning. Saying, “ Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari…”; that is praising Almighty Sai Baba & His Blessings.
Nowadays Shirdi Sai Palanquin Procession is differently celebrated. One can find now a lot of Security Guards providing protection to Sai devotees. Whether or not Shirdi Sai Baba Quotes are followed unhesitantly, Chavadi procession is followed by one and all.
Eventually, one thing which was happening earlier is still continued now. During the procession, when Sai Baba came just in front of Maruti Temple which is in between Dwarkamai & Chavadi. Baba stood for a while and move his face towards Maruti Temple. There happens to be a radiant glow on Baba`s face. It is like Lord Shri Ram is giving a glance to His servant Maruti. Now also the procession stopped for a while in front of Maruti Mandir.
sai Devotees visiting Shirdi on Thursday must watch this palanquin festival. They should reach Dwarkamai before 8.30 Pm. They can sit opposite of dwarkamai to have a panoramic view. Video shooting is allowed there to capture this live grand procession.