Divine Traveller
Divine Traveller

Shirdi Shri Saibaba

Sri Sai Baba
Sri Saibaba
(Courtesy Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust)

The Shirdi Sai Baba temple is at Shirdi,Ahmednagar,situated at about 85 kms from Nashik. and 230 kms from Mumbai.

Shirdi Sai Baba, was a spiritual saint who is regarded by his devotees as a God. He is revered by both Hindu and Muslim communities. Sai Baba is beleived to be an incarnation of Sri Dattatreya.

Saibaba preached the importance of realization of the self and to shun material values. His teachings focussed on love, forgiveness, empathy, charity, contentment, and dedicated devotion to Guru and the God.

Shri Sai Baba's birth and religion is still contoversial. Shri Sai Baba refused to disclose anything about his birth when he wandered into Ahmednagar around 1840s. He led the life of a hermit, sitting under a neem tree and meditating. The villagers were attracted to his grit and his penance without minding the environment. He was abused by the kids as a lunatic and they used to throw stones at him. In spite of all these opposition he remained calm and helped the needy.
      People started showing their affection towards him and asked him to move to a more comfortable place than under the neem tree. He took up shelter in a dilapidated mosque and led a solitary life there. He survived by receiving alms from both Hindu or Muslim visitors. In the mosque, he maintained a sacred fire, the dhuni,which burnt continuosly.He gave 'Udi' or the holy ash to his visitors when they left. The ash was believed to have healing power and as a good luck charm for the recievers. Sai Baba's fame began to spread throughout the state and hordes of people started visiting him, because they regarded him as an avatar of God with the power of performing miracles.

In August 1918, Shirdi Sai Baba told some of his devotees that he would be attaining his samadhi. According to texts,he passed away on 15 October 1918 . He was buried at "Buti Wada" in Shirdi, after which it became a place of worship known today as Shree Samadhi Mandir or Shirdi Sai Baba Temple.

The Temple Shri Sai Baba's tomb is there in a huge hall which is the main sanctum. Beyond that tomb is the beautiful marble statue of Sai Baba.The idol of Baba, was not installed until 1954, thirty-six years after his mahasamadhi.He is beautifully adorned with Silk clothes and fresh garlands and flowers.The interior pillars near him is covered with gold and has intricate designs. The eyes of the idol are realistic as if it has life. Four Aarti's (pooja ritual) are held daily inside the Samadhi Mandir.Devotees belonging to all faiths take Darshan in the Samadhi Mandir and free meals served daily at the Prasadalaya. Annadhanam is provided to all irrespective of caste, creed, and religion as these were one of the ideal principles of Sai Baba.Sai Baba of Shirdi is worshiped mostly in the states of Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat people. There are temples for Sai Baba in overeas such as USA,Australia,Canada,UK and in European countries such as Sweden,France,Spain.

Beleifs and special rituals

It is strongly beleived that the Udi (the holy ash) is a good luck charm and can cure the unwell just by applying it on their forehead and keeping it under the pillow. Baba is given a hot water bath in morning, neivethayam (food offering) four times a day, has his clothes changed four times a day before each arati and is adorned with a silver or gold crown for the arati worship. Many devotees like to buy the cloth that was used to adorn Sai Baba.

On an average, daily around 25,000 devotees visit Shirdi temple and in the festival season, more than 1,00,000 devotees visit the Temple everyday. The Temple premises is renovated in the year 1998-99 and now is equipped with all necessary facilities like Darshan Lane, Prasadalay (Lunch and Dinner), Donation Counters, Prasad Counters, Canteen, Railway Reservation Counter, Book Stall etc. The accommodation facilities are also provided by the Sansthan.

Accommodation
Beautiful sunrise at the Shirdi Sai Ashram

Facilities The Temple premises has well maintained Darshan Lane, Prasadalaya (for serving lunch and dinner), Donation Counters, Prasad Counters, Canteen, Railway Reservation Counter, Book Stall,utilty shops etc. Ver good accommodation facilities are also provided by the Sansthan.

Visitors are advised to book online for Darshan and accommodation using their identity cards such as Aadhar card. Darshan will be regulated in air conditioned environment and can have a comfortable darshan.

Temple Festivals

Three main festivals are celebrated in Shirdi, Ramnavami (March/April), Guru Purnima (July),and Vijayadashami (September).

Rasavanthi-Cane juice
Road side cane juice using bullocks

Temple location It is located 85 kms from Nashik.
The way to Shirdi village is dotted with many sugarcane fields and local people use bulls to extract juice from the sugarcane, instead of power operated machines. Though you can say that the juice is refreshing and very delicious, the flies that throng over the sugarcanes,vessels,and the machinery will make one hesitate, for hygienic reasons. If you can brave that be sure to demand for a disposable cup.

Temple Timings The temple is open from 4:00 AM till 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm till 10:00pm with Kakad Aarti starting at 4:30 am.

How to reach?
The nearest international airport is Mumbai.Shirdi also has an airport with flights arriving from major cities. There is also a railway station at Shirdi with connectivity to major cities of India.
There are many buses from Pune,Nashik,Mumbai and other major towns such as Ahmedabad,Hyderabad,Chennai,Bengaluru etc.
If you like a good road trip by car, I suggest that you drive a car from Mumbai covering important religious places like Trimbakeswar,Panchavadi,Shani Shinganpur in two days and a night.

Where to Stay?There are rooms and cottages by the Sri Sai Sansthan Trust. You need to book online . The rooms are clean and comfortable at various budgets. Other private lodgings are also available at the Shirdi town.

Contact Chief Executive Officer
Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, (Shirdi)
PO: Shirdi Tal. Rahata Dist. Ahmednagar
Maharashtra India Pin: 423109
Phone (02423)-258500 P.R.O, (02423)-258777
Maharashtra
Phone 02427 238110 , 02427 238108

Useful data
State:Maharashtra
District: Ahmednagar
Famous for: Pilgrimage
Languages: Hindi,Marathi
Best Season: Throughout the year. Summer( from Aprto July) could be very sultry when the mercury shoots to 40 degree celsius.
Weather: Summer 33-42°C, Winter 18-24°C
Altitude: MSL.


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