|Shri Sai Baba Temple||Situated in the heart of the city|
|Shri Sai Baba Sansthan||Situated at Saibaba Temple|
|Dwarkamai||Situated adjacent to the Sai Baba Samadhi Temple complex|
|Chavadi||Situated next to Dwarkamai|
|Gurusthan||Situated close to the main temple of Sai Baba|
|Lendi Baug||Situated close to Gurusthan|
|Khandoba Mandir||Located near Shri Sainath Hospital and opposite the Shirdi Bus Stand|
|Maruti Temple||Located in the lane connecting Dwarkamai and Chavadi|
|Abdul Baba's Cottage||Situated near the Samadhi Temple of Sai Baba|
|Jangli Maharaj Ashram||Located on the Shirdi Manmad highway about 7 kilometers from the main town Shirdi|
|Dixit Wada Museum||Located at the center of the Sai Baba Sansthan Complex|
|Laxmibai Shinde's House||Located quite near the Chavadi|
|Sakori||Located about 5 kilometers from Shirdi|
|Shanisinghnapur||Situated about 70 kilometers from Shirdi|
|Nevasa||Located Approximately 70 km from Shirdi|
|Nashik||Situated About 90 kilometers from Shirdi|
|Trimbakeshwar||Located nearly 115 kilometers from Shirdi|
|Ajanta & Ellora Caves||Located nearly 30 km from Aurangabad and 125 km from Shirdi|
Shri Sai Baba Temple
Shri Sai Baba Temple or Shri Sai Baba Samadhi Temple is the central attraction of Shirdi. Situated in the heart of the city, this temple houses the Samadhi or the mortal remains of Sai Baba. The great saint of Maharashtra who is widely known for his extra ordinary miraculous powers, Sai Baba left this mortal world for the divine journey ahead on 15th October 1918. This temple was constructed by a millionaire from Nagour who was an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. The daily schedule that is followed at the Sai Baba temple is as under.
5:00 am – Bhupali, 5.15 am - Kakad Aarti, 5:40 am – Bhajan, 6:00 am – Mangal Snaan, 7:00 am - Darshan begins, 9:00 am - Naivedyam, 8:00 - 10:30 am - Satyanarayana Pooja, 11:30 am - Dhuni Pooja, 12:00 noon - Afternoon Aarti, 12:30 pm – Naivedyam, 4:00 pm – Pothi and Dhoop Aati, 6:30 pm – Naivedyam, 8:00 - 9:00 pm – Bhajan, 9:30 pm - In Dwarkamai a mosquito net is hung, water is given to Baba and the hanging lamp is lit, 10:00 pm – Shejarati, 10:45 pm – Samadhi Mandir closes.
As the temple is visited by thousands of devotees every day, it is not easy to get the darshana of Sai Baba. You will have to stand in a queue for hours, at least 2, and after all this turmoil you can only spend less than two minutes at the Samadhi Sthan. Even though, you can see the devotees standing in the queue patiently full of dedication and chanting the bhajans in the praise of Sai Baba.
The sanctum of the temple is a big marble hall where a life-size marble statue of Sai Baba seated on a throne with a silver umbrella is placed in front of his grave. The statue completely carved out of Italian Marble holds a mystic aura and grandeur about it. This idol of Sai Baba was made by Balaji Vasant in 1954. Adorned with numerous flower garlands and chadars offered by the devotees, the idol of Sai Baba is awe – inspiring and it will catch your heart immediately. If you are a true believer, you will feel his presence as soon as you enter the sanctorum. The grave or the Samadhi, too made in marble is placed between two silver pillars embellished with ornate designs.
If you want to avoid standing in the long queue, you can prefer the ‘Mukh Darshana’ option and have a look at the magnanimous ‘Murthi’ of Sai Baba as long as you want without being pushed away by anybody.
Shri Sai Baba Sansthan
The administrative and governing body of Sai Baba Samadhi temple in Shirdi is Sri Sai Baba Sansthan. All the temple activities and other affairs like providing accommodation, food and other facilities to the visitors are managed by the trust. Other than that, the Sansthan also works on the mission of general development of Shirdi. Kanya Shala (Girls School), English Medium School, Industrial Training Institute (I. T. I.), Hospital, Blood Bank, Drinking Water supply, etc are also run by the Sai Baba Sansthan. Sansthan Seva Desk is responsible for taking care of various matters like collecting donation, publishing magazines, newsletters, maintaining the guestbook and implementing the feedback suggestions.
Dwarkamai is the mosque which was used by Sai Baba as his dwelling place for 60 years of his life till his demise in 1918. This mosque is situated adjacent to the Sai Baba Samadhi Temple complex. The mosque was named Dwarkamai by Sai Baba himself and this is the place where many of his miracles were performed and his Durbar was held.
This architecture is today renovated and it houses the sacred fire i.e. ‘Dhuni’ which is always kept alive. This Dhuni is the same fire that was lit by Sai Baba himself almost 100 years ago. Sai Baba always kept that fire burning and the flames were never allowed to die. The ashes that are yielded from this Dhuni – ‘Udhi’, are believed to be very pious and healing.
Apart from that, the articles and belongings of Sai Baba which were used by him like, his grinding stone, his fireplace, and the stone he used to sit on etc. are preserved here. A life size oil painting of Sai Baba painted by Mr Jayakar of Mumbai is placed in Dwarkamai. It is said that when this painting was presented to Baba, he had embraced the portrait and said that it will live after him. In the words of Baba, he who seeks the refuge at Dwarkamai is well preserved. As you enter Dwarkamai, your sufferings based on your Karmas end and only Joy begins. The goal of your life will be achieved as you enter Dwarkamai.
This holy place is situated next to Dwarkamai where Sai Baba used to sleep every alternate night. Sai Baba was taken to Chavadi in a decorated Palkhi by his disciples. The practice of spending alternate nights at Chavadi began on 10th December 1909 which continued until 1918, his Mahanirvan. Today, every Thursday night Baba's footprints are carried from Dwarkamai to Chavadi in a ceremonial procession. Chavadi is a small house which has two rooms. The room in which Baba used to sleep is not accessible to women even today. The Asan (seat) where Sai Baba used to sit and the wooden platform on which his last bath was solemnized after his annihilation are kept in the Chavadi.
Another sacred place situated close to the main temple of Sai Baba is Guru Sthan. This is the place where Sai Baba’s spiritual master resided. Near the Guru sthan there is a Neem tree under which Sai Baba as a young boy of 16 was found seated when he first came to Shirdi. The leaves of this sacred tree are said to have miraculous healing qualities. In the shade of this Neem tree is a hidden cave which is believed to be the Samadhi of Sai Baba’s Guru. That’s why the place is named Guru Sthan.
There is a myth woven with this place. Lord Khandoba possessed a devotee and through him instructed people to dig near the Neem Tree. As a result of the excavation, a bright corridor was discovered which lead to a cellar. Then Khandoba again revealed that Sai Baba had performed a severe penance for 12 years in his previous birth at this place. Sai Baba himself didn’t give any explanation but asked his disciples to protect the site. Then onwards, everyday on his walk from Dwarkamai to Lendi Baug, Sai Baba used to stop at the Gurusthan for a while and pray.
Later, a follower of Sai Baba, Hari Vinayak Sathe bought this place and constructed a Wada there. He built a platform surrounding the Neem Tree where people can sit and pray. Silver padukas (foot impressions) of Sai Baba are placed here and it is believed that if you pray with sheer faith and devotion, and burn ‘Dhup’ (incense) for 11 consecutive Thursdays and Fridays, the grace of Sai Baba and his Guru will descend upon you for sure. This place was renovated on September 30th, 1941 and today, a portrait and a marble statue of Sai Baba are placed here.
Lendi Baug, once a dense forest is situated close to Gurusthan on Shirdi – Manmad State Highway. This is a garden to which Sai Baba used to pay a visit twice a day and spend nearly 2 hours meditating. After the walk in the Lendi Baug, he rested under a huge Neem tree when devotees assembled around him to listen to his gospel. Sai Baba used to keep a lamp burning under a Pipal Tree which is kept alive even today as Nanda Deep. The well from which Sai Baba filled his earthen pots and the trees planted and watered by Baba himself can be seen in Lendi Baug. Sai Baba’s horse named Shyamakarna also used to dwell here. The Samadhi of Shyamakarna and Sai Baba’s Shivdi are also housed in Lendi Baug.
Located near Shri Sainath Hospital and opposite the Shirdi Bus Stand, Khandoba Mandir is one of the 13 chief Khandoba Temples in Maharashtra. In this temple, an idol of Khandoba is placed accompanied by Banai and Mhalsai. This Mandir carries a lot of significance in the life history of Sai Baba. When Sai Baba had arrived to Shirdi with a marriage party and stood under the banyan tree near the temple, Mhalsapati, the priest of Khandoba Temple and later one of the chief devotees of Sai Baba, had welcomed him inside the Mandir saying ‘Aao Sai’. Then onwards the anonymous Fakir came to be known as Sai Baba. Today the premises of Khandoba Temple houses two shrines. In one of them, the Charan Padukas of Sai Baba and his idol are placed and the other shrine is dedicated to the horse of Khandoba. The Khandoba temple can be visited from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm.
This temple of Lord Hanuman is located in the lane connecting Dwarkamai and Chavadi. The entrance of the temple is marked by two images of hanuman. A Bal Yogi named Devidas used to reside at this temple. Sai Baba on his way from Dwarkamai to Chavadi or vice-versa used to stop at the temple and spend some time there. He also came to the temple to meet Devidas.
Abdul Baba's Cottage
Situated near the Samadhi Temple of Sai Baba, and opposite the Chavadi, Abdul Baba’s Cottage is one of the most sought after tourist’s destinations in Shirdi. Abdul Baba was amongst the most ardent devotees of Sai Baba who used to read the Quran out loud to him. The small cottage is colored in green and houses various photos and belongings of Sai Baba and Abdul Baba. The Samadhi of Abdul Baba is also located inside the main Samadhi temple of Shirdi.
Jangli Maharaj Ashram
Located on the Shirdi Manmad highway about 7 kilometers from the main town Shirdi, the Jangli Maharaj Ashram takes us back to the Gurukul Pratha of olden Indian culture. The Ashram is directed by a spiritual master named Om Gurudev. A co-educational residential school for children is run by this ashram. Apart from religious and educational lectures, several meditation classes in order to attend peace of mind, soul and body are regularly conducted at the ashram. Anugraha, a religious program is also organized at the Jangali Maharaj Ashram on the full moon day of every month. This religious program includes the holy meeting, also known as ‘Satsang’ that goes on for the whole night in the sacred presence of Sadguru Janglidas Maharaj.
Dixit Wada Museum
Dixit Wada Museum, located at the center of the Sai Baba Sansthan Complex is a must visit place in Shirdi. The museum is noteworthy for its rare collection of black and white photographs of Sai Baba, Baba’s Kafni, his leather padukas, his smoking pipe, his chimta, water tumblers, cooking utensils, grinding mill, bathing stone used by Sai Baba and some gramophone records. The museum can be visited from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Laxmibai Shinde's House
Located quite near the Chavadi, Laxmibai Shinde’s House is an important destination one cannot miss visiting. Laxmibai Shinde was one of the close devotees of Baba who was present at the time when Sai Baba passed away. She was the only woman who was allowed inside the Dwarkamai and who cooked food for Sai Baba everyday. Baba used to give her four rupees everyday for the expenditure but on the day of his demise, Sai Baba gave her total 9 rupees. People interpret this as a symbol of 9 forms of devotions or 9 characteristics of an ideal disciple. When you visit the small house of Laxmibai Shinde, you can see those nine rupees kept near a statue of Laxmibai. The house also harbors a Samadhi of Laxmibai in front of the entrance.
Tourist Places around Shirdi
Located about 5 kilometers from Shirdi, Sakori, a small village in Ahmednagar District, is well known in Maharashtra for the Ashram of a Hindu Sage Upasni Maharaj. This Ashram is known by the name of Kanya Kumari Sthan. Upasni Maharaj was the disciple of Sai Baba and he lived in Shirdi for four years before he established an Ashram at Sakori in 1917 AD. There he lived until his demises in 1941 AD. Meher Baba, The renowned Zoroastrian master was the disciple of Upasni Baba.
Shanisinghnapur, situated about 70 kilometers from Shirdi is a small village acclaimed countrywide as the holy seat of Lord Shani (Saturn). The Shani temple is always flocked with devotees and the rush even increases on no moon day (Amavasya). It is believed that Lord Shani protects the village and so nobody locks the doors. No theft or robbery has taken place in Shanisinghnapur till date.
Approximately 70 km from Shirdi is another must visit destination named Nevasa. Major attraction of this village is the temple which houses the holy pole of Saint Dnyaneshwar. It is believed that Saint Dnyaneshwar sat besides this pole and wrote Dnaneshwari, his interpretation of Geeta in Marathi. Every year on the occasion of Ashadi Ekadashi, the Palkhi of Saint Dnyaneshwaris carried to Pandharpur from Nevasa.
Nashik or Nasik is situated About 90 kilometers from Shirdi. Regarded to be one of the holiest Hindu cities in India, Nasik has registered its name on the religious front for the Kumbhmela that is held here once in every 12 years. Lord Rama along with his brother Lakshamana and wife Sita spent most of the years of his exile at Nasik. This is the very place from where Ravana had kidnapped Sita. Nasik is a noteworthy tourism hub of Maharashtra.
Trimbakeshwar is located nearly 115 kilometers from Shirdi and about 35 kilometers from Nasik. One of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva is situated at Trimbakeshwar.
Ajanta & Ellora Caves
The caves of Ajanta and Ellora are located nearly 30 km from Aurangabad and 125 km from Shirdi. The 34 caves of Ajanta and 29 caves of Ellora, dated back to 200 BC to 700 AD are renowned for its Hindu, Buddhist and Jain rock cut sculptures, paintings and murals. These caves were discovered by a British army officer John Smith in the year 1819. Ajanta caves are rendered World Heritage Site by UNESCO.