Shirdi is a small town, which is located about 300 kms from Mumbai. Shirdi is situated in the heart of the sugar cane belt of Maharashtra. It is said to be the most frequented place of pilgrimage in India after Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.
Shri Sai Baba is revered as one of the greatest saints ever seen in India, endowed with unprecedented powers, and is worshipped as a God incarnate. Devotees of all faiths find their meeting point in Sai and people from all communities and all walks of life are united by the great love and reverence Baba inspires in them. People today flock Shirdi in ever-increasing numbers to pay homage to the divine.
- The Trust has opened reception centre opposite the State Transport Bus Stand to help devotees.
- Lock your room before going out.
- Use locker to keep valuables.
- Safeguard ornaments and purses from pickpockets.
- Make payment at Trust office for special poojas.
- Dealers and vendors of Pooja articles are not connected with the Trust. Devotees should first fix the price before buying these articles.
Shri Sai Baba arrived in Shirdi in the mid-nineteenth century, when it was a rustic hamlet of about a thousand people, with approximately 200 houses, one village well, a few shops selling basic provisions and some small, rather run down temples.
Shri Sai Baba is believed to have arrived at the village of Shirdi when he was about sixteen years old. He took up residence in a Khandoba temple, where a villager (Mahalsapathi) at worship first called him Sai ("saint"). Baba stated that his mission is to “Give Blessings” without discrimination to all.
Baba had great regard for his Hindu devotees and their Gurus and he responded to their needs and permitted worship according to the Hindu and other religious rituals. At the same time his dwelling place was a Masjid (Mosque) and the name of Allah was ever on his lips.
Bearing an extremely simple and ascetic life, Sai Baba lived in the village as a mendicant. His inherent charisma soon began attracting followers. He has been attributed numerous miracles which still keep expanding the list of his devotees.
An outstanding aspect of Sai Baba is that he is beyond distinctions of religion, caste or creed. He embodied all religions and preached the universal religion of love. Bereft of any religious narrowness, Sai Baba was essentially an Indian Guru, a Fakir who was regarded by both Hindu and Muslim communities. He worshipped both at temples and mosques and encouraged tolerance between both the faiths.
Shirdi is not a shopping destination. All the shops sell something or the other related to Sai Baba.
Where to stay
The Shirdi Trust complex ‘Dwarawati Bhaktiniwas’ is walking distance from the Bus stand. It offers accommodation for small groups or families in dormitories and AC and non-AC rooms at fairly reasonable price. Outside the complex there are hotels. Some bus operators have tie-ups with the hotels and may work out cheaper and save time in peak season.
Where to eat
The Trust runs a Prasadalaya to provide lunch and dinner to the devotees. Nearly one thousand devotees can take prasad at the same time. The Prasadalaya kitchen is equipped with modern cooking machineries and is free of pollution. Food-packets are available to the devotees from 8 am till 12 noon. A 24-hours canteen is also available for the devotees.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Shirdi is January through March. April to June is summer, followed by monsoon. Pilgrim arrival peaks between September and November coinciding with Hindu festivals.