A small town in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Shirdi is a major pilgrimage center with hordes of religious tourists visiting the famous Shirdi temple every year. Shirdi is best known as the home of the popular saint of the late 19th century - Sai Baba. Sai Baba spent 60 years of his life at Shirdi preaching spiritual teachings and universal brotherhood across the people. Being a major tourist destination, Shirdi is well connected by air, rail and road. The nearest airport to Shirdi is Aurangabad airport, about 130 km from Shirdi and Shirdi has its own railway station - Shirdi Sai nagar. Alternatively, Shirdi can be reached from other stations like Kopargaon station, located about 15 km from Shirdi and Manmad station, about 87 km away from Shirdi. A number of private buses operate to Shirdi from all the major cities of India.
Once at Shirdi, there are a number of places to visit with Shirdi temple being the main attraction of the town. Located in the heart of the city, Sai Baba temple houses the samadhi of the great saint - Sai Baba. The statue of Sai Baba, made of Italian marble will capture your heart with its grandeur and mystic aura. The statue was built by Balaji Vasant in 1954. The samadhi is made of white marble and the rails around it are embellished with ornamental decorations. Ardent devotees of Sai Baba throng this temple in huge numbers every day to get a glimpse of Sai Baba’s last mortal remains. Another holy place situated quite close to the Sai Baba temple is Gurusthan, where Sai Baba was seen for the first time at the age of 16. The Neem tree here is quite famous and is believed to have healing powers. Gurusthan is also believed to be the place where Sai Baba’s guru took samadhi, hence the name Gurusthan.
Located right to the Samadhi mandir, Dwarakamayi mosque is known as the dwelling place of Sai Baba for 60 years. It houses Dhuni, the sacred fire lit by Sai Baba 100 years ago and the same fire is kept alive till date. The ash known as ‘Udhi’ from the fire is considered holy by the devotees. The mosque also contains oil paintings of Sai Baba and some of his belongings like his grinding stone, a big stone on which Baba used to sit and fireplace. Another holy place, Chavadi is located next to Dwarakamayi where Sai Baba used to sleep every alternate night. Even today, on every Thursday night, Baba’s footprints are taken from Dwarakamayi to Chavadi in a procession. Chavadi houses the asan (seat) where Baba used to sit and is known as the place where Sai Baba had his last bath.
Another major tourist attraction, Lendi Baug is a garden quite close to Gurusthan where Sai Baba used to spend nearly 2 hours meditating every day. Baba used to light a lamp under a Pipal tree and this lamp is kept alive even today as Nanda Deep. The well from which Sai Baba used to water the plants in the garden can be seen here. Another popular tourist spot, Khandoba Raya temple is the temple where the priest Mhalsapati welcomed Baba into its premises addressing him as ‘Aao Sai’. Then onwards Sai Baba was considered as a great saint and not an ordinary fakir. Apart from these, Abdul Baba cottage, the cottage of Sai Baba’s devotee; Laxmibai Shinde’s House, House of another devotee of Sai Baba and Dixit Wada Museum containing collections of black and white photos of Sai Baba and other items are some of the popular tourist attractions in Shirdi. If one has enough time they can also visit other places like Trimbakeshwar which is 150 km from Shirdi and one of the jyotirlingas of India; Shani Shingnapur, the famous Shani temple located 75 km from Shirdi and Ajanta and Ellora caves situated 125 km from Shirdi.
To make your journey to this religious place more fruitful, Holidays DNA makes all the arrangements for a hassle free trip with the variety of packages it offers. You can choose from the packages as per your budget and time limit. We at Holidays DNA will plan your travel as per your needs and make your visit to this land of ‘Child of God’ a pious one.