Mayuri Pralhad Patankar

Mayuri Pralhad Patankar is a research scholar based in Delhi. She writes about literature, shrines and folklore of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

 

Every year, Gondi pilgrims from different parts of central India gather during Magh Poornima at the Kali Kankali shrine to attend the Kachargadh Jatra also known as Kachargadh Mela, or Kachargarh Mahotsav in local parlance. There is a cluster of shrines in Kachargarh Caves where adivasi deities like Badadev, Pahandi Pari Kupar Lingo, and other clan deities, who are said to manifest in trees, are also worshipped. Three of these caves are open to the pilgrims for worship. Apart from facilitating this annual cultural gathering on an immense scale, it serves as a place to celebrate gondi culture, disseminate Gondi Punem values, and engage with the political realities shaping the lived experience of the community members.