Shirdi is a small village in Kopargam Taluk, in Ahmadnagar, Maharastra, Shirdi is one of the most significant religious destinations in India. Shirdi is best known as the late 19th century home of the popular guru Shirdi Sai Baba. It is one of the richest temple organisations. Though the real name and birthplace of Sai Baba is not known, he is believed to have arrived at Shirdi when he was around 16 years old and started living in the Khandoba temple. Nobody knew from where this stranger had come who hardly spoke a word and stayed there. Revered by both Hindus and Muslims, it is unclear which religion he belonged to, is known as one of the greatest saints to have walked on earth. This saint lived in Shirdi for most of his life-50 years or more preaching his famed saying ‘ Sabka Maalik Ek’. Sai Baba transformed this small village into a holy pilgrimage site for his devotees. 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.
Dwarkamayee Masjid is the place where Baba lived for almost for 60 years. There is also a place called Chavadi where Sai Baba used to visit every alternate night. Gurusthan is the place where Sai Baba used to sit under a neem (Margo) tree. Many tales of the renowned Sai Baba are associated with this village. His selfless love and dedication to the poor, earned him respect for which he is deified even now. It was in this consecrated place where he attained his ‘Samadhi’ or final abode. All activities performed here are associated to the large temple complex of Sai Baba. The town of Shirdi receives thousands of visitors who come to visit the shrine of Sri Sai Baba and the other attractions like the Dixit Wada Museum, Adul Baba Cottage, Dwarkamai and more. The town of is full of kindness, warmth and friendliness.
Tourist Attraction :
Shri Saibaba Sansthan Temple :
It is the main attraction of Shirdi as the temple houses the last remains of Sai Baba. Dedicated to Sai baba, Devotees can avail all facilities of a holy place from darshan lines, donation counters, prasad lines, railway booking counters to dinning halls. They even provide accommodation facilities to the needy. The temple is a massive complex consisting of the Khandoba temple, Gurusthan, Samadhi Mandir, Chavadi, Dwarka Mai, Lendi garden and other temples. The layout of the entire temple signifies Sai Baba’s pursuits and residence over the years in Shirdi. Sai Baba left his body on 15th October 1918 and since then that place holds great reverence for Baba’s followers from all over the world.
Dwarkamayee Masjid :
Dwarkamayee Masjid is located on the right side of the entrance of the Samadhi Mandir. The saint stayed in this place till his end. The place has many oil paintings of the saint. These paintings are the main attraction. Dwarkamai is one of the treasures of Shirdi for the devotees. The spirit of tolerance, acceptance and welcome is very much alive here. On entering the mosque you will be struck by its powerful atmosphere. Dwarkamai is divided into two levels. The first level contains a portrait of Baba and a big stone on which the saint used to sit. The level has two rooms. One room has a chariot and the other has a palkhi. Dwarkamai is a simple, unadorned structure, locally called as the home of ‘God on earth.’ Sai Baba’s devotees wanted to refurnish the mosque, but he resisted as according to him it was not necessary. Main attraction of this place attractions of this place areis oil paintings of Sai Baba.
During his last years, Sai baba used to spend alternate nights at Chavadi. The place is located near Dwarkamai mosque from where the procession of Sai baba along with his followers was carried out in a palki. Located near the Masjid is a small two room house called chavadi. A large portrait of Sai Baba painted by Amabaram from Gujarat is placed inside the Chavadi Temple. The temple also has a bed wherein the saint was given his last bath after he passed. Every Thursday evening, at 7:30 PM a large procession bearing Baba’s palanquin with his image in it is carried out from the Samadhi temple to Dwarak Mai and finally to Chavadi, where the image is set on a silver throne follwowed with the Sej Aarti. The Chavadi is divided into two parts, one has a wooden bed with a large portrait of Sai Baba, while the other possesses a white chair belonging to him.
Dixit Wada Museum :
The Wada museum is located in the vicinity of the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan trust that showcases vintage pictures of Sai baba with his followers. The museum contains rare black and white photographs of Sai Baba. It was established by Kakasaheb Dixit in the year 1911 on Ram Navami with Baba’s permission. Other articles like Baba’s ‘Kafni’ (long robes) and his leather Padukas, gramophone records, smoking pipe, water tumblers, bathing stone and cooking utensils which were used by Sai Baba are on display. The locals claim that the author of ‘Sat Sai Charitra’, Hemadpant, always stayed here, whenever he visited Shirdi. The museum served as a canteen till the mid 1990s, and got converted into a museum fairly recently. The temple committee plans to expand on the collection of museum artifacts.
How To Reach :
By Air : Nearest Airport is Aurangabad (98 km) from Shirdi, which is well connected all major city of India. And Aurangabad is also well connected to shirdi by road.
By Rail : Shirdi railway station is well connected to all major city of India.
By Road : Shirdi is well connected to all neighboring cities by Government owned buses. Private A/C and non A/C deluxe buses are also available from Nasik, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune to Shirdi.
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