Revered Indian saint Sai Baba lived in Shirdi, in the state of Maharashtra, his entire lifetime. Sai Baba dedicated his life to the poor and bestowed selfless love upon everyone. After his demise in 1918, Shirdi became a pilgrimage destination for devotees worldwide. Around 50,000 devotees visit Shirdi daily. If you are on a pilgrimage to Shirdi, here is a complete guide:
When to visit?
Visit Shirdi from September to November to coincide with various Hindu festivals. Baba’s death anniversary is in October. You can also visit in the pleasant winter-spring season (January to March).
How to reach?
There is no airport in Shirdi. The nearest airports are Aurangabad, Nasik, Mumbai and Pune. People also travel from Hyderabad and Bangalore. You can rent a car in Shirdi to travel from Pune Airport to Shirdi in 3-4 hours.
A train is also available from Pune. Other train stations with distance from Shirdi:
- Shirdi Sai Nagar (2 Km)
- Kopargaon (15 Km)
- Manmad (65 Km)
- Nasik (80 Km)
- Mumbai (250 Km)
Book a taxi from stations to reach Shirdi.
There are bus services as well.
Shirdi is a small town, set around Baba’s temple. Book Taxi in Shirdi to visit them easily:
Sai Baba’s samadhi (burial site) temple:
Entry is free, you can also book a special pass of 100 INR per devotee from for ‘darshan’ (view of the deity). The temple is open from around 0400 to 2200 hrs. It has a decorated marble statue of Sai Baba.
Prasad is available on the temple premises.
This was Baba’s dwelling for almost 60 years. Baba always kept burning a fire in his dwelling, called the Dhuni. This fire is not allowed to go out even until today. The things Babb used in his daily life are also displayed here. Lendi Garden is nearby.
Baba would sleep here every alternate day. As a mark of homage, Baba’s footprints are carried in a ritualistic parade from Dwarakamayi to Chavadi every Thursday nights.
Where to stay?
Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust provides accommodation for a range of budgets from 50 – 1000 INR. Register yourself at the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust Reception Centre (opp. S T Bus Stand) when you reach Shirdi and then visit their Enquiry office to book your room.
There are private hotels of all budgets as well. Some of the top hotels are:
- Daiwik Hotel Shirdi
- Sun n Sand
- Sai Leela
- Shraddha Inn
- Dwarawati Bhaktha Nivas
- Hotel Sai Sahavas
- Sujal Heritage
- Shri Sainivas Mega Dharmasala
- Hotel Sai Vishwa
- OYO Rooms
- Shirdi Hotel
- Sai Sahavas
Where to eat?
Devotees are served meals at a meagre INR 10/meal. This food is cooked in the world’s largest solar cooker.
There are other restaurants that serve all types of food, mostly vegetarian. You will get bottled water, fresh coconut water, cold drinks at local shops. Liquor is prohibited in this holy town.
Do’s and Don’t’s
- Carry dust masks.
- Bottled drinking water is safer than tap water.
- Shirdi is a safe town. But do not fall prey to touts. On the pretext of helping you with accommodation, temple tours etc. at no cost, they may sell items at inflated prices.
- Keep police helpline handy: 100
- Do not carry mobiles, cameras, laptops and other electronics in temple premises. They are prohibited.
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