Shirdi

Shirdi Sai Temple
Shirdi is on the Ahmednagar-Manmad Highway, 250 km from Mumbai, 205 km from Pune and 75 km from Nashik. You can fly into Nashik and then take a bus, taxi or train to Shirdi. Shirdi is accessible on the Central Railway line; get off at Manmad (65 km from Shirdi) or at Kopergaon (18 km). MTDC runs buses from all major destinations.

Shirdi is not only the famous place in Maharashtra but is well known place all over India and pilgrims come to Shirdi to worship the saint Sai Baba. The temple is a huge one and is recently renovated in 1998-99.

Shirdi was the abode of the saint Sai Baba, who lived here for 80 years - and died here over eighty years ago. It is said that Sai Baba himself calls his devotees to Shirdi and that his blessings can heal even the deepest wound. The town is tiny - just 2 square km of main street and a labyrinth of by-lanes - but packs in much passion.

Saibaba is believed to have arrived at the village of Shirdi when he was about sixteen years old. He took up residence in a Khandoba temple, where a villager (Mahalsapathi) at worship first called him Sai ("saint"). Bearing an extremely simple and ascetic life, Sai Baba lived in the village as a mendicant monk. His inherent charisma soon began attracting followers. He has been attributed numerous miracles which still live expanding the list of his devotees. Today Saibaba temples are all across India and even beyond. Devotees have established Sai temples in countries like Canada and Cuba.

Shirdi Baba
Samadhi Mandir: The Mandir is built with stones and Baba's Samadhi is built with white marble stones. In front of the Samadhi are two silver pillars full of decorative designs. Just behind the Samadhi is Sai Baba's marvelous statue made of Italian marble which shows him seated on a throne. This idol was made by late Balaji Vasant. A railing is built in marble around the Samadhi and is full of ornamental decorations.

The routine of the temple starts at 5 o'clock in the morning with Bhoopali, a morning song, and closes at 10 o'clock in the night after Shejarati is sung. Only on three occasions the temple is kept open overnight. i.e. On Ramnavami, Gurupoornima and Dassera(Navaratri/Vijaya Dashami). Every Thursday and on each festival, a palkhi with Baba's photo is taken out from the temple.

Pilgrims throng for a brief "darshan" at Samadhi Mandir, the shrine of Sai Baba where his mortal remains were interred. The queues outside the mandir are endless, the throng inside is maddening, and the devotion intense.
Pilgrims flock to Shirdi at any time of the year. Shirdi has a dry climate that swings to extremes, from a high of 40° C in May, to a low of 7° C in January. But the monsoon months - June to August - are pleasant, with scanty rains. Though the shrine is open through out the week, Thursday is Sai Baba's special day.

Masjid: where Sai Baba spent most of his life. The sacred fire called "dhuni" still burns here and its ash or "udhi" is smeared on devotees.

Chavadi: The Chavadi is a small building where Sai Baba used to spend every alternate night.

Guru Sthan: The Guru Sthan is the shrine where the Baba's spiritual leader took samadhi (gave up his body). The neem tree at the Guru Sthan where Sai Baba first sat when he came to Shirdi, is said to have absorbed miracle powers.

Lendi Gardens: where Sai Baba went for a walk and sat in meditation is a spot where devotees come to pray.

Khandoba Temple: is the oldest temple in Shirdi near the STA bus stop.