Shirdi Sai Baba
Shirdi is known as the Land of Sai and is famous for the Sai Baba temple that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba. This shrine was established in 1922 to carry out the services of Shri Sai Baba. At age of 16 yrs Shri Sai baba arrived at Shirdi and lived their till his death. Shri Sai baba lived in Shirdi from 1838 to 1918. He was considered by his devotees as a saint and was admired by both Hindu and Muslim devotees. Shri Sai Baba failed to discriminate his devotees on the basis of religion or caste. His teachings were a combination of fundamentals of Hinduism and Islam. He gave Hindu name Dwarakamayi to the mosque where he lived. In India, Sai Baba’s place Shirdi is considered as a very sacred and important place of pilgrimage.
Shirdi town is located in Rahata tahasil in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra State in India. It is situated at 19o45′ North Latitude and 74o25′ East Longitude. It is on the Ahmednagar – Manmad State Highway No.10 at 83 Km. from Ahmednagar, and 15 Km. from Kopargaon.
How to get to Shirdi:
Airports nearest to Shirdi are Mumbai (260 kms), Pune (185 kms), and Aurangabad (125 kms). The closest railway stations are Kopargaon (15 kms) and Manmad (60 kms). You can easily get taxis and buses at Manmad railway station for transfer to Shirdi.
Where to stay:
There are several budget hotels and luxury hotels available nearby the shrine, at Shirdi.
Best Time to Visit:
The ideal period to visit Shirdi is between September to April and the best season to visit is winters. The daytime temperature during these months is pleasant. Summer season from May to August can be very hot.
The temple premise is spread over approximately 200 sq. mtrs. On an average, the temple is visited daily by approximately 25,000 devotees. During the festival season, more than 1,00,000 devotees visit the Temple each day, for darshan. Avoid visiting the temple on holy days; else you shall have to visit for longer hours in the queue for darshan.
There are three chief festivals celebrated in Shirdi – Ramnavami (March/April), Guru Purnima (July) and Vijayadashami (September). These festivals are celebrated with great passion and enthusiasm. On these days, the Samadhi Mandir of Shirdi is open for the entire night.
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Places to Visit In Shirdi:
Shri Sai Baba stepped in Shirdi, at the foot of banyan tree near Khandoba Temple. In this temple there are icons of Khandoba, Banai and Mhalsai.
Shri Sai Baba was first spotted seated under a Neem tree. This place was known as Gurusthan. Devotees state that their ailments are cured by burning incense at Gurusthan on Thursdays & Fridays. At a short distance from Gurusthan lies Baba’s Chavadi. Baba used to sleep here every alternate day.
Sai Baba’s Samadhi Mandir
This is the place where the sacred Body of Shri Sai Baba is resting in Samadhi. The articles handled by Baba are preserved & displayed here in a special room. Daily Pooja, Abhishek & four Aratis are performed here. The Samadhi is built with white marble stones.
Baba stayed at Dwarkamai for 60 years. The Shila (Stone) on which Shri Sai Baba used to sit is situated close by. The Sacred Fire (Dhuni) that was lit by Baba is ever burning here. Baba used to offer Sacred Udi (Ash) to the devotees to resolve their problems. Now, also Udi is distributed to the devotees from this Dhuni.
At some distance from Gurusthan, Lendi Baug is situated. Baba used to rest here under a neem tree, daily morning and afternoon. Nanda Deep, an octagonal deepgriha has been built in marble stone in memory of this place. The deep burns continuously in a glass box. On one side of the deepgriha is a pipal tree and on the other side is a neem tree.
The Samadhis of Shri Tatya Patil Kote, Shri Abdul Baba, Shri V.Padmanabha Iyer and Shri Nanawali who were passionate Bhakts and were closely associated with Shri Sai Baba during his life time are situated in Sansthan premises near Lendhi Baug.
In addition, there are three more temples situated in the temples premises: 1) Shri Ganesh Temple, 2) Shri Shani Temple & 3) Shri Mahadev Temple.
- Around 5 km from Shirdi is situated Sakori – this place is home to the Upasini Maharaj.
- Approximately 70 kms form Shirdi is located Shanisinghnapur – a temple devoted to Lord Shani.
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