Languages : Marathi, Hindi, and English
Best time to visit : September to April
STD Code : 02423
Shirdi is a small town located in the state of
Maharashtra in western India. The place is around 296
km (around 6 hours drive) from Mumbai. Shirdi extends
latitude 19°45¢ N and longitude 74°25¢
A sleepy little village in the interiors of Maharashtra,
Shirdi came into prominence when an old sage died in
1918. The saga of Sai Baba of Shirdi started in the
middle of the last century when, as a boy of about 16
years of age, he first appeared here under a neem tree
(Azadirachta indica) absorbed in a hard penance. For
the next 60 years, he devoted his life for the upliftment
of the poor and suffering. His origin, religion, and
early life are shrouded in mystery, and though he is
believed to be an incarnation of lord Shiva, his teachings
transcended all religions and beliefs. Today, all places,
persons, and possessions connected with him have become
objects of veneration by millions of devotees who throng
to Shirdi every year from all parts of the world. Sai
Baba's shrine has been incorporated as one of the holy
places in the world's map of pilgrimage.
Samadhi Mandir of Shri Sai Baba was actually owned
by a millionaire from Nagpur and a famous Sai devotee
Shreemant Gopalrao. He wanted to keep an idol of Murlidhar
here. However, according to the legends, Baba himself
became Murlidhar and the temple became the Samadhi Mandir
of Baba. The Samadhi of Baba is built with white marble
stones. The railings around it are full of ornamental
decorations. The idol of Baba is a marvelous statue
made up of Italian marble built by Late Balaji Vasant
in 1954. The temple has an assembly hall for about 600
devotees. The assembly hall also houses a showcase having
various items used by the sage. The first floor of the
temple has the pictures depicting the life of the saint.
temple opens on 5 AM with morning prayers and close
down at 10 PM with night prayers.
on the right side of the entrance of the Samadhi Mandir
is Dwarkamai, a mosque. This was the place where the
sage stayed until the end of his life. Main attraction
of the site is the oil paintings of the sage.
place from where Sai Baba first came to Shirdi in the
form of a Bal Yogi (child ascetic) is known as Gurusthan.
A temple has been constructed on this site. There is
also a small shrine in Gurusthan.
a short distance lies Baba's Chavadi. Baba used to sleep
here every alternate day. The Chavadi is divided into
two parts. One part of the Chavadi has a large portrait
of Baba along with a wooden bed and a white chair belonging
is a cottage of Abdul Baba, an ardent devotee of Shri
Sai Baba, in front of the Chavadi. Photos and various
items that were handled by Sai Baba and Abdul Baba are
there in the cottage. There is a Maruti Mandir located
at some distance from the cottage of Abdul Baba. This
mandir was visited by Baba for the sat-sang with Devidas,
a Bal yogi, who lived at the Mandir ten to twelve years
before Baba arrived.
are also temples of village deities named Shani, Ganapati,
and Shankar that are worth visiting.
some distance from Gurusthan, there is the Lendi Baug.
This garden was made and watered daily by Baba himself.
It got its name from a nullah (a drain), which used
to flow there. Baba used to come here every morning
and afternoon and take rest under a neem tree. Baba
dug a pit, 2 feet deep, under the neem tree and kept
a deep (a lighting object) lit in that pit. An octagonal
deepgriha (lighthouse) called Nanda Deep has been built
in marble stone in memory of this place. It constantly
burns in a glass box. On one side of the deepgriha is
a pipal tree and on the other side is a neem tree. Other
sites to visit are Datta Mandir and Khandoba Mandir.
Situated around 5 km from Shirdi is Sakori. The
place is home to the Upasini Maharaj. Shanisinghnapur
is 70 km from Shirdi. A temple devoted to Shani is located
The most important festivals and events that are
celebrated in Shirdi are Guru Poornima, Dussehra, and
Ram Navami. These are the only days when the Samadhi
Mandir of Shirdi opens for the whole night. Every Thursday,
a palakhi bearing a photograph of the sage is taken
out from the temple.
Shirdi has accommodation available to every income
group, starting from budget to high-end. STD facilities
are available in most of the hotels.
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.
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.
Nearest airports are Mumbai (260 km), Pune (185
km), and Aurangabad (125 km). Flights for all the major
cities in India and abroad can be taken from Mumbai.
The nearest railway station is Manmad (60 km) on the
Central Railway, which is connected to many parts of
the country with express trains. Most of the trains
touching Nasik Road railway station also touch Manmad.
Shirdi has railway reservation office for trains from
Manmad. Taxis and buses are easily available at Manmad
railway station for transfer to Shirdi. Regular taxi
service also operates between Manmad railway station
and bus stand. State Transport Corporation and private
operators run coaches to Shirdi from Mumbai.