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Shirdi

General Information
Shirdi Shirdi is the abode of the famous Indian saint Shri Saibaba, and is a small town fragrant with the devotional strength that ropes in devotees from the world over. Shirdi is one of the most revered among the spiritual destinations of India and is situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra near the sacred city of Nasik. Both Hindu and Muslim pilgrims visit this town from far corners of India and tourism in Shirdi is gaining huge popularity, drawing considerable number of foreign tourists as well. The key attractions of Shirdi are Sai Baba mandir (temple) and his samadhi (memorial), Dwarkamai (mosque), Gurusthan, Chavadi, Lendi Baug, Maruti Mandir, Chawadi and Samadhi of Abdulbaba.Find more information about Shirdi that will prove to be of useful help to the travelers planning to visit this place. Touristplacesinindia.com offers online information about Shirdi including fast facts, history and the ideal time to visit.

The history of Shirdi is closely linked with the life of the highly venerated saint Sai Baba who died here in the year 1918, and ever since this town has attained importance as a spiritual and religious center. He used to reside in Khandoba temple, where he got the title of 'Sai' (saint) given by a local villager named Mahalsapathi. Leading a very simple and ascetic life, Sai Baba lived in the village as a beggar and soon his innate charisma began to draw followers from both the Hindu and Muslim communities. The natural gifts of this saint r said to have healed the wounds of many people who were caught in worldly dilemmas. The entire town can still feel the grace of this saint who is believed to have been the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, one of the Hindu trinity.

How to reach Shirdi
By Air : The nearest airport to Shirdi is at Nashik, 75kms away, Aurangabad is at a distance of 150kms, which is connected by all the major towns of India. You can also come till Mumbai by air and travel down to 296kms to reach Shirdi. Mumbai has both international and domestic airports that grant connectivity to the world. Domestic airport in Pune is about 231kms from Shirdi. There are regular public and private transport operators that ensure your easy access to the sanctum of Saibaba.

By Rail: Kopergaon on Daund-Manmad Line is an important railway station about 16kms from Shirdi. This station is on the route of the Karnataka Express from New Delhi to Bangalore. Manmad is another important station about 58kms from Shirdi which carries a number trains from Mumbai and Delhi. Shirdi has a computerized Railway Ticket Booking Center within the temple premises. From here you can have railway tickets of whichever destination all through India.

By Road: Shirdi can be reached by taking a Bus from almost all major cities of Maharashtra. Shirdi is on the Ahmednagar-Manmad Highway, 250 km from Mumbai and 75 km from Nashik. MTDC runs buses from all major destinations.

Weather Overview
Climate: Dry Climate
Temperature: Max - 40° C, Min - 7° C
Monsoon: Scanty rains (June - August)

Shirdi is located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra on latitude 19°45' N and longitude 74°25' E. This pilgrim spot has mostly dry climate and during summers the temperature can be quite volatile. During summers you can expect the temperature shooting as high as 40° C in the month of May. Winters can be cold in Shirdi, with January often showing temperature dipping to as low as 7° C.

Shirdi has the most pleasant weather during Monsoons, between June and August. It is the time when the surroundings of Shirdi turn fecund and greenery is all round. However, Monsoons in Shirdi are mild with scanty rains and hence they come as a pleasant respite that never gets ruined with excess of rains. In fact Monsoons are the best time when you can plan your visit to Shirdi. Amidst the drizzling you can pay homage to Saibaba and participate in all the activities without bothering about sweat.

Weather and overall climate of Shirdi is quite tolerable; however, those hailing from cold countries may find it slightly upsetting if they happen to tread in here in the summer. Wear comfy clothes with cotton fabric. Loose garments are preferable; one must respect India's dressing sense and they should not be offensive to anyone's sensibilities.

Places Of Interest
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple The holy town in Maharashtra, known as Shirdi, is held in great reverence by people. The reason for this is that the town is believed to be the place where Sai Baba lived for a major part of his life and he left for the holy abode from here only. Today, Shirdi houses the Sai Baba Temple, which comprises of a beautiful idol of the Baba, along with his samadhi. Known as Shree Shirdi Sai Mandir, the temple was constructed by Shreemant Gopalrao, a Nagpur-based business who was an ardent devotee of Sai Baba.

Initially, Gopalrao wanted to enshrine an idol of Murlidhar (Shree Krishna) inside the temple. However, Sai Baba himself became Murlidhar and later, his idol was enshrined here. After Baba left for the heavenly abode, his samadhi was built inside the premises of the temple. Shree Saibaba Mandir of Shirdi has been built with stone, while the samadhi has been constructed using white marble. Surrounding the samadhi is a railing, also of white marble and wholly adorned with ornamental decorations.

There are two silver pillars, ornamented with exquisite designs, just in front of the samadhi. Behind it is a life-sized idol of Sai Baba, made of Italian marble, in which he is shown seated on a throne. The beautiful idol was sculpted by late Shri Balaji Vasant and was enshrined inside the temple in October 1954. Providing shade to the statue is an open, silver umbrella. There is an assembly hall in front of the Shri Sai Baba Temple, with a capacity of 600 devotees. Inside this hall are showcased various things that were once used by Sai Baba.

The first floor of the Shirdi Sai Mandir comprises of a number of pictures that depict the life of Baba. The day at the temple starts at around 5:00 am, when the Bhoopali, a morning song, is sung. The temple closes at around 10 in the night, with the singing of the night song, known as Shejarati. Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir is kept open 24 hours, on only three days in the year - Guru Poornima, Dussehra, and Ramnavmi. On every Thursday, a procession, containing Baba's photo is taken from the temple. Dwarkamai, the masjid where Baba stayed during his life in Shirdi, is situated to the right of the entrance of Samadhi Mandir.

Shri Khandoba Mandir
Shri Khandoba Mandir Shri Khandoba Mandir is situated near the Shri Sainath Hospital. It enshrines the idol of Khandoba, along with that of Banai and Mhalsai. It is believed that when Sai Baba set his foot in Shirdi for the second time, Khandoba was the first place where he was welcomed.

Shri Gurusthan Mandir
Shri Gurusthan Mandir is the place where Sai Baba was seen, when he appeared in Shirdi for the first time, as a boy of 16 years. Infact, this place is believed to be the gurusthan (seat of the teacher) of Shri Sai Baba, that's why the name. The Neem (Margosa) tree situated here find reference in Sai Sat-Charitra. Devotees believe that if you burn incense at the Shri Gurusthan Mandir, your wishes will get fulfilled.

Dwarkamai (Mosque)
Dwarkamai (Mosque) Dwarkamai is the mosque where Sai Baba used to stay, when he came to Shirdi for the second time. It is situated to the right of the entrance of Sai Mandir. Those who visit the mandir make it a point to visit Dwarkamai also. The mosque still houses the shila (stone), on which Baba used to sit. The Sacred Fire that Sai Baba used to light in his lifetime has still been kept burning. It is from this fire that udi (vibhuti) is distributed amongst the devotees.


Chawadi
Chawadi Sai Baba used to go on a procession, from Dwarkamai to Chawadi, on every alternate day. Thereafter, he used to sleep there only. Today, a palanquin procession of Baba's Photo, Holy Padukas and Satka is taken out every Thursday, to Chawadi. Divided into two parts, Chawadi houses of a huge portrait of Baba, along with his wooden bed and white chair.



Lendi Baug
Lendi Baug Lendi Baug is the garden where Sai Baba used to go daily, for watering the plants. He used to go there every morning and afternoon and rest under a Neem tree. Besides the tree is Nandadeep, a deepak (diya) that used to lit by the Baba everyday in the pit dug by him. Today, the pit has been converted into a marble deepgriha (lighthouse), with a glass box in which the deep continues to burn. The other attractions of the Lendi Baug are Datta Mandir (samadhi of Sai Baba's horse, Sham Sundar) and Baba's Shivdi, a well.

Samadhi of Abdulbaba
Samadhi of Abdulbaba The man who used to read Quran to Sai Baba was fondly known as Abdulbaba. The people of the town and those of Shirdi have sincere devotion towards Abdulbaba, who was also one of the most fervent followers of Baba. His samadhi is situated inside the premises of Shri Sai Baba Temple. The cottage where he used to live still stands intact and houses the photos and various items handled by him as well as Sai Baba.

Maruti Temple
Maruti Mandir is situated at a few minutes distance from the cottage of Abdulbaba. Sai Baba had a special devotion for the temple and used to visit it on a regular basis. He also conducted satsangs at the Maruti Temple, along with Devidas - a bal yogi, who used to reside in the temple 10-12 years before Baba came in Shirdi.

Shri Ganesh Temple, Shri Shani Temple and Shri Mahadev Temple
The three temples of Lord Ganesha, Shani Dev and Shri Mahadev are definitely worth having a look at.

Shri Tatya Kote Samadhi
Tatya was the son of Bayjabai, the woman whom Sai Baba referred to as his mother. He was also one of the most dedicated followers of Baba and continued serving him till his death. Tatya died in the year 1945 and later, his samadhi was built near Lendi Baug.

Nana Walli's Samadhi
Nana Walli was also counted amongst the most passionate devotees and followers of Shri Sai Baba. He was a little different from the others in the way he behaved. He mainly concerned himself with looking after the daily schedule of Shri Saibaba. Nana Walli breathed his last in the year 1918 and thereafter, his samadhi was also built near Lendi Baug.

Bhau Kumbhar's Samadhi
Last but not the least; we have the samadhi of Shri Bhau Maharaj, another one of the devoted followers of Shri Sai Baba. He left for the holy abode in the year 1938 and his samadhi is also situated near Lendi Baug.

Shopping
Souvenirs and other items related to the life of Shirdi Sai Baba can be purchased from the many shops located nearby temple. Many bookshops near the temple sell books on the life of the sage.

Eating Out
The administrative body of Shirdi temple runs a prasadalaya to provide lunch and dinner to the devotees. Nearly one thousand devotees can take Baba's prasad at the same time. The kitchen of the prasadalaya is equipped with modern cooking machineries and is free of pollution. Food-packets are available to the devotees from 8:00 in the morning to 12:00 noon. There is a canteen service available to the devotees day and night.
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