Situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India, the town of Shirdi is considered as one of the most popular pilgrimages in India. It is known for being the abode of Lord Sai Baba, the great saint who lived in the town during the late 18th Century AD and the early 19th Century AD. The miracles and the good deeds performed by Lord Sai Baba eventually made the people believe him as an avatar of the Almighty himself. With time, Shirdi got to be recognized due to Lord Sai Baba, and till date, the town attracts visitors from different parts of the world. The tourist spots in Shirdi will surely prove to be fascinating for those who wish to explore the spiritual self in themselves. Attractions such as Samadhi Temple, Gurusthan, Lendi Bagh and many more are claimed to have been inhabited or visited by Lord Sai Baba, thus adding to the piousness in the atmosphere. The best part about these attractions is that they are present near each other, hence saving your time and money for travelling, and making your trip economical.
About Lord Sai Baba
As per historical records, the actual birthplace and name of Lord Sai Baba are unknown to date. Lord Sai Baba was found by the locals of Shirdi Village under a Neem
tree, deep in meditation. Without disclosing his name, he visited the famous Khandoba Temple
to offer his prayers to Lord Khandoba
, who is also considered as a form of Lord Shiva. On seeing his pleasing personality, Mahalsapati
, the priest of Khandoba Temple
, spoke the words– “Come Sai!
”. Post this incident, the saint boy was named as Sai
by the people.
Actual Photograph of Lord Sai Baba
used to spend his days either performing good deeds, doing meditation or visiting the houses for Bhiksha
, which mostly happened to be food or clothing items. Sometimes, he even asked for money, which he later spent for the welfare of people. He also performed and asked people to help in odd activities, which were nothing but his way of performing miracles. Lord Sai Baba always kept his yajna pot
ignited at Dwarkamai Mosque and distributed its Udi
or ashes to people as a remedy to their illnesses. Whatever be the illness, Lord Sai’s Udi
is believed to have cured all of them in a short time. Even after his death in 1918 AD, the yajna pot
is kept ignited 24X7 and the Udi
distributed to Lord Sai Baba’s devotees. Living in Dwarkamai
mosque and Chavadi
for the most of his life, Lord Sai Baba took his last breath in Samadhi Temple
. But even after so many years, his grave has displayed signs of his presence multiple times to his devotees, strengthening people’s faith in him more than ever.
Places to Visit in Shirdi
Originally built by a rich merchant from Nagpur, Maharashtra as his gift towards Lord Sai Baba, the main intention behind building the temple was to establish a statue of Lord Murlidhar
. But before his death, Lord Sai Baba revealed himself to be one of the forms of the Almighty, synonymous with Lord Murlidhar. After this incident, the statue of Lord Murlidhar was replaced by the body of Lord Sai Baba, and since then he has been residing in Samadhi Temple.
Samadhi Temple of Lord Sai Baba
Being one of the most favourite places of Lord Sai Baba, Dwarkamai Mosque was in ruins when Lord Sai came to inhabit it. It is believed that Lord Sai used to have public gatherings with his devotees at the mosque, listening to their problems and suggesting solutions. The piece of rock on which he used to sit and meditate, his hookah and the yajna pot
can be witnessed even today, allowing Sai’s devotees to know about his life.
Situated under a Neem
tree, this is the place where Lord Sai Baba was first found by the locals of Shirdi, that too in an underground tunnel. The place is believed to witness the last moments of Lord Sai Baba’s preacher, under whose guidance he completed his education. As a symbol of love, affection and devotion towards his teacher, Lord Sai Baba insisted the villagers protect and look after the tree and the place beneath it. Even during his stay in Shirdi, he used to sit under the Neem
tree and meditate for hours in a single stretch. Hence, those who visit Shirdi always make sure to offer their prayers at Gurusthan.
Situated close to Dwarkamai Mosque, Shree Chavadi was another favourite place of Lord Sai, who spent the last years of his life by staying there at nights. Every Thursday, a grand procession of Lord Sai Baba is carried out in a lavish palanquin from the Samadhi Temple to Dwarkamai Mosque and Shree Chavadi. This ritual has been followed since the days he was alive and is performed so that Lord Sai Baba gets to know about the pains and pleasures of his devotees by stepping outside his residence, i.e. Samadhi Temple.
The Lendi Bagh is believed to have been gardened by Lord Sai Baba himself and contains a large variety of flowering plants, trees and a small pond. During his stay in Shirdi, Lord Sai used to spend plenty of time at the place either playing with the children or watering the plants. It is wonderful to witness that the place has been well maintained even today, giving a calm and soothing atmosphere to relax in.
How to reach Shirdi
Shirdi International Airport is situated around 15 Km. towards the south-west of Shirdi Town and has connectivity to some major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc. Thus, people visiting Shirdi may plan their trip via either of these cities.
Connectivity of Sai Nagar Shirdi
Station or Shirdi’s railway station is much more enhanced. Being considerably cheaper than airways, those travelling to Shirdi may consider this option as well. However, it is advised to check the train availability and running status prior to booking tickets.