Shirdi is a town located in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra. Devotees from across the world visit the Shirdi Sai temple, built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba. Besides this temple, Shani Mandir, Narsimha Mandir, Kandoba Temple, Sakori Ashram and Changdev Maharaj Samadhi can be visited when one travels to Shirdi.
Shirdi is 122 kms from Nashik is the abode of one of Maharashtra’s most revered saint — Sai Baba of Shirdi. Popularly known as the ‘Child of God’, Sai Baba preached tolerance towards all religions and the message of universal brotherhood.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest airport is the Aurangabad Airport which is 130 kilometres away from Shridi. The airport is well-connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. You can board a taxi or a cab or a bus to reach Shirdi from Aurangabad.
Kopergaon Railway Station, 16 kilometres away, is the nearest railway station to Shirdi. Kopergaon is well-connected to major cities of India through rail. State run buses, cabs, taxis and private buses are available from the station for Shirdi.
Maharashtra State Transport buses are available from major cities like Nashik, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Pune and Kopargaon to Shirdi. Private air-conditioned buses also ply from various cities of Maharashtra to Shirdi.
WHAT TO SEE
Chavadi is situated close to Dwarkamai Mosque. During the days when Sai Baba was living in the mosque, he came to the chavadi along with his nearest followers on every alternative night to sleep. These days, the visit to chavadi on every alternative night is assisted with palki processions with huge crowd of devotees accompanying the idol of Sai Baba. Palki is decorated with beautiful flowers. Idol of Sai Baba is placed inside the palki. The procession takes place every Thursday.
Samadhi Mandir was constructed under the patronage of a millionaire from Nagour, who was an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. The Sai devotee, Shreemant Gopalrao, wanted to enshrine an idol of Murlidhar at the temple, but Sai Baba declared himself as Murlidhar. Following this, the temple became the Samadhi Mandir of Sai Baba. Made up of white marble, the samadhi is located amidst two silver pillars embellished with decorative designs.
Gurusthan is the place, where Sai Baba first appeared to the world as a 16 year old boy. It is situated under the sacred Neem Tree, which is very popular for providing shelter to Sai Baba. Renovated on 30th September, 1941, the site also contains a small shrine. A portrait of Sai Baba has been placed on an elevated platform of this shrine. A marble statue of Sai Baba is located near this shrine.
Shri Saibaba Sansthan Temple:-
Shri Saibaba Sansthan Temple is located in Shirdi. It is one of the most famous shrines in India. The temple is dedicated to the Sai Baba of Shirdi an Indian guru, yogi, and fakir who is venerated all over the world as a saint.
Devotees and tourists alike come to Shirdi to visit the temple. They can avail all facilities like Darshan Lane, Dining Hall (Lunch and Dinner), Donation Counters, Prasad Counters, Canteen, Railway Reservation Counter and Book Stall. They even provide accommodation facilities to the needy.
Maruti Mandir is located in the lane that runs between Dwarkamai Mosque and Chavadi. It is marked by a pair of trees enclosed by a circular railing. Two Hanuman images mark the entrance of the temple. In the corner, few weights and dumbbells can be seen, which are used by young men to exercise at the auspicious place. At times, Sai Baba would stand in front of it and remain there for a while, occasionally moving his arm up and down slowly. This corroborated the belief that he saw a connection with the temple. Ascetic Devidas, whom Sai Baba occasionally visited during his earlier years in Shirdi, and sadhus, used to stay at the site of the temple.
Wet N Joy Water Park:-
Wet N Joy Water Park in Shirdi is one of the major water parks in India. The water park has thrill rides, mega wave pools, rain dance and lots more. Spread over 10 acres of land and owned by the Malpani group, this is a family oriented water park.
The Wet N Joy Water Park comes along with numerous fun filled thrill rides, a few of the popular ones are ‘The Black Hole’, ‘ Anaconda’, ‘Cyclone’, ‘Mach 3’, ‘Twister’ ,’The Bom-Bay’, ‘Dare Devil Drop’ and the ‘Blast’.
Samadhi of Abdul Baba:-
Samadhi of Abdul Baba contains the mortal remains of Abdul Baba, who served Sai Baba. It is believed that he had come to Shirdi in l889 when he was a boy of around twenty years. Abdul Baba cleaned the Dwarkamai Mosque, swept the streets outside it, kept the lamps burning in Lendi Baug, washed Sai Baba’s clothes and collected water. Caring for Abdul Baba as a father, Sai Baba took on every responsibility related to his welfare. In the mosque, Abdul Baba used to read the Quran, from which Sai Baba sometimes asked him to recite passages aloud. He maintained a notebook for putting down Sai Baba’s teachings and comments. Abdul Baba came and occupied a room on the first floor of Samadhi Mandir, after Sai Baba’s Mahasamadhi. Till his demise, he continued to serve Sai Baba by maintaining the tomb and keeping it decorated with flowers.
The Samadhi Temple is surrounded by markets that specialize in flowers, idols, sweets, CD’s and other souvenirs. The ‘Shirdi Sansthan’ is a popular market with a horde of shops that sell many items.
There is a ‘Prasadalaya’ run by the administrative body of the Shirdi temple, which provides food for all the devotees. Sanctified food packets (called ‘Prasad’) are given in food packets to the devotees all through the day. Here is a list of other eating options around Shirdi.