The annual Vitthal Birdev Yatra is observed in Pattan Kodoli village near Kolhapur, Maharashtra. It is the birth anniversary or Janmotsav festival of Vitthal Birdev Maharaj, who is a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. The annual fair and festival attracts thousands of devotees to Pattan Kodoli village. Birdev is the family deity of the Shepherd community from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa and Andhra Pradesh.
Lakhs of people throng to the village on this day. The streets of the village are filled with food, entertainment and local handicrafts stalls.
The festival is celebrated with bhandara, a yellow powder that looks very similar to turmeric. It has no smell and it is believed to have medicinal properties. The Shepherd community offer bhandara mixed with dry coconut pieces to God. The devotees collect the bhandara from the God’s feet and take it to their home. They use it on auspicious occasions and to cure any illness. Along with bhandara they also offer goat’s hair to the god.