Shirdi is an important pilgrim destination for the Sai believers and followers. They visit the town to pay their respects at the samadhi of Baba and ask for his blessings. A simple visit to Shirdi has indeed served as a blessing for many, especially those who have unquestionable faith in Sai Baba. Those who come to Shirdi also make it a point to visit the numerous other sites situated near this holy Maharashtra town. One such popular excursion near Shirsi is Nashik, which boasts of a number of splendid temples. Apart from that, we have Sakori, Pune, etc. In this article, we have provided information on the major tourist places situated near Shirdi.
Shirdi is north of Mumbai and has an extensive layout of buildings associated with Shirdi Sai Baba, often called a fakir, now regarded as Saint and Holy Man in North India.Shirdi is a quaint little town located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra in western India, and is one of the most revered religious spots in India. Known for the eminent sage Sai Baba, who possessed spiritual powers, this town rose to prominence after the death of the saint in the year 1918. he entire town is dotted with a number of pilgrim spots. Some of the major tourist attractions in Shirdi include:
Places to See in Shirdi
The holy town is visited by innumerable people every year for viewing the Samadhi Temple of Sri Sai Baba. At every nook and corner of Shirdi it is Sai Baba who is present here either in spiritual form or in physical form by leaving behind several physical structures where he once lived or graced the place by his presence.
The peoples saint spent almost 60 years of his life here and his greatness spread all over Maharashtra and beyond during his lifetime. Today the temples of Sai Baba are found in every city of India and abroad in countries like Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, America and many more. When in Shirdi there are several places to see which are associated with this holy saint in some or the other way.
The temple housing the last remains of Sri Sai Baba is known as the Samadhi Mandir of Shirdi. It was Sreemant Gopalrao a rich man from Nagpur who got the construction of the temple started to place the idol of Lord Krishna. However it was to be the holy place where the last remains of Sai Baba were to be placed. 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. The Samadhi temple is the focal point of Shirdi pilgrimage and people stand in long serpentine queues to get a glimpse of Sai Baba's last mortal remains.
Situated to the right of Samadhi Mandir is the place where Sai Baba spent a major chunk of his lifetime. It is at this Mosque that Baba lit up lamps every evening. In fact the name Dwarkamayee was given by Sai Baba to the Masjid. It was here that Baba spent his days sitting on a huge stone which is preserved till date. Even the sacred dhuni (fire) which was kindled by Baba is lit to till this date. The miraculous udhi (ash) from this fire is used by pilgrims and is considered to be immensely divine. The Masjid has a life-size portrait of Sai Baba which he himself received and said that after me the portrait would continue to live here. The Dwarkamayee Masjid in fact holds more importance for many devotees of Sai for being the place where this pure soul spent his life.
Located near the Masjid is a small two room house called chavadi. It was here that Sai Baba spent every alternate night. At the chavadi one can find the asan (seat) on which Baba use to sit. A wooden plank and wheel chair bought by Sai Baba are also kept at the chavadi. It was at the chavadi that Baba's body was bathed for the last time before his funeral.
Gurusthan is the place under the Neem tree where Sai Baba was first spotted in Shirdi. The neem leaves left their bitterness due to the presence of Sri Sai Baba in its shade. The place is revered for also being the site where Sai Baba's Guru took Samadhi. Here a huge portrait of Baba is placed in front of which are a shivling, Nandi cow and Sai Baba's padukas. At Gurusthan incense keeps on burning throughout the day and night.
Lendibag ans Nandadeep
Sai Baba spent few hours of the day meditating here and lighting a lamp in earthenware daily. Here Baba also made a small garden which remains here till date. Lendi is actually the name of a nalla (stream) which sprung up when Baba dug up a well here for drinking water. The earthenware is still lit here and is known as nandadeep.
Mahadev, Ganesh and Shani Temples
Situated in a row adjacent to each other are these three temples which happen to be few of the oldest temples of Shirdi. These three temples of Shirdi are greatly revered and hence visited by a number of devout Hindus on their visit to Shirdi.
Dixit Wada Museum
The Dixit Wada Museum is located at the center of the Sansthan complex. It is a charming and compact museum. The museum contains rare black and white photographs of Sai Baba. Baba’s Kafni that is long robes and his leather padukas and his smoking pipe are also on display. Other things which can be seen at the museum are gramophone records, water tumblers, cooking utensils and bathing stone which were used by Baba.
The museum is open for public to visit from 10 am to 6 pm.
Samadhi of Abdulbaba:
Abdulbaba was one of the most ardent followers of Sai Baba, who used to read out the Quran to him. Nearby Shri Sai Baba Temple, his Samadhi (memorial) is located. It is one of the prime tourist attractions in Shirdi that houses photos and various items that were once handled by Sai Baba and him.
This temple was of special significance to Sai Baba and he used to come here religiously on a regular basis. Several satsangs (religious sermons) were also conducted here with the assistance of Devidas, who happened to be a bal yogi (young devout).
Situated at a distance of merely 5 km from Shirdi is Sakori, known for its Shri Upasani Kanyakumari Sthan. The place is especially popular amongst pilgrims who have come to Shirdi in hope of peace and tranquility. This is because the Shri Upasani Kanyakumari Sthan, founded by Upasani Baba in the year 1917, offers its visitors complete solitude and serenity. It seems to be reverberating with positive energy, which is hard to be missed by anyone.
Shanisinghnapur is a village regarded to be the holy seat of Shani Dev. It is located at a distance of around 70 km from Shirdi and is visited by people whose Shani (Saturn planet) is in disarray. They perform pooja and abhishek at the Shari Shaneshvartirtha situated here, to appease the dev. Though the place seems to be full with Shani bhakts throughout the month, exceptional rush is seen on Amavasya (no moon day).Even amongst the 12 Amavasyas of the year, the most important one is Shani Amavasya. On this day, a procession (yatra) is taken out in the village, amidst great fanfare. On this day, people from farthest corners of India come to Shanisinghnapur, to pay respects to Shani Dev. A unique feature of the village is that here, nobody locks his house. It is said that Shani Dev protects the villagers and as if as a proof of this saying, no theft has taken place in the village till date.
At the Ahmednagar-Kopergaon road is situated the Khandoba temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. One of the oldest temple of Shirdi it was here that Pujari Mhalsapati called Baba with the name Ya, Sai! This temple is one of the earliest places in Shirdi where Baba laid his feet.