A Film to be shot on Pandharpur Yatra live

Pandharpur Yatra, the world famous Palki yatra to the historical Pandharpur Vithoba Temple, has been attracting lakhs of people from all around the world. Now it’s the time of two youngsters, Amol Gole and Ajit Bhairawkar, who have started shooting a full length film based on the theme of the Pandharpur pilgrimage. Times of India published an interesting article about the duo’s creative attempt to show Pandharpur Yatra on big screen. The news update goes like this……

The annual pilgrimage from Dehu-Alandi to the temple town of Pandharpur has always been a fascination for creative minds. Last year, photographer Sandesh Bhandare had published a book of photographs on the pilgrimage, titled Wari: A Pilgrimage of Joy’. Now, two youngsters, Amol Gole and Ajit Bhairawkar, has started shooting a full length feature film against the background of the pilgrimage.

The interesting part of the project is that the film is being shot live as the sant Dnyaneshwar palkhi reached the city on Tuesday. Titled Gajar’, the film has its own plot and drama, but everything unfolds as the wari progresses. According to the filmmaker duo, this is the USP of the project. “The film will be shot absolutely live through the 15-day of the journey,” said Bhairawkar. “We cannot recreate an ambient this big in any other way, and decided to go live. There is no scope for re-takes in the film. The actors have rehearsed their dialogues and shooting will be conducted in the course of the journey from Alandi to Pandharpur. The film has been supported by the Alandi Devasthan Trust.

A year ago, Gole and Bhairawkar came together with the aim to do something interesting on the Pandharpur pilgrimage. As they worked on the idea, it transformed into a full length feature film. With a strong back background in filmmaking and a deep connection with the pilgrimage, these youngsters has set themselves to capture the wonders of the wari on reel life. While city-based Bhairawkar is directing the film, Gole is multi-tasking as cameraman and producer. The script has been a joint effort.

“When Ajit and I came together, we had a common aim in mind, that of telling people what it takes to lead a simple life. These three lakh people who join the pilgrimage each year have lessons to teach to urban Indians,” said Gole.

Bhairawkar has worked as associate director in Ketan Mehta’s Mangal Pandey’ and Chintu Ji.’ “Even if we have a strong Bollywood connection, we always wanted to go down to our roots and do something we believed in. That’s when Gajar’ happened and the idea clicked and things just started falling in place. We often run behind big, materialistic dreams, but this pilgrimage only goes to show what it takes to lead a simple life, as the warkaris start their 250-km journey without even slightest hesitation.”

The plot revolves around a urban couple. The male lead, Parth, is being played by Chinmay Mandlekar. His girlfriend, Geetali, is being played by city girl Sukhada Yash. The film begins when Geetali’s anthropologist friend from the US comes to Pandharpur to make a documentary. Soon both Geetali and Parth becomes part of the project.

“The real story, however, starts when the characters step into the pilgrimage, which leads to the transformation of an egoistic Parth,” explained Gole. “Parth is the reflection of the youth of urban India, who while chasing their big dreams, do not know how life can be led in a simple way. This, only a warkari can tell.”

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