Shirdi is Sai Baba’s home. It is in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, about 122 km from Nasik. People think that Sai Baba came to Shirdi in 1858 and lived there for 60 years until he found salvation in 1918.
A lot of people visit the temple of Sai Baba in the town of Shirdi. On average, more than 25,000 people visit the temple every day.
In addition to his shrine, the complex has a number of small temples, like Chavadi, Samadhi Mandir, and Dwarkamai. Shani Shignapur is another famous temple in Maharashtra which is 72 kilometres away from Shirdi.
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple: A Brief History
Sai Baba went to Shirdi and stayed there for many years, teaching, preaching, and praying. After he died, the villagers followed his wishes and buried his body in a specific place and built the Samadhi Mandir on top of it.
In 1954, a big marble statue of Sai Baba sitting down is built next to the Samadhi.
The temple that holds his tomb was built at a large private house that was built when he was still alive. Sai Baba planted seedlings around the house and watered them. Gopalrao Booty, a millionaire from Nagpur, built the house for the saint to stay in when he needed to relax.
When the saint got sick, he stayed in the house, and that’s also where he was buried after he died. Later, the actual temple was built, which was twice as big as the house.
Over time, the temple went through many changes to accommodate the growing population.
Significance of Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
Shirdi Sai Baba was against discrimination based on religion, and his followers from Hinduism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity all follow his teachings. Sai will help everyone who enters this Holy Shrine live a happy and healthy life. His belief that “Allah Malik Ek,” which means “God is One,” is true is shown by the fact that people of many different religions visit the temple.
In the mosque Dwarkamayi, Sai Baba kept a holy fire called “Dhuni,” from which he gave holy ashes called “Udhi,” which were thought to have healing powers.
The architecture of Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
When you walk into the temple, you’ll see a big hall full of pictures of Sai Baba and the temple. On the left side of the hall, there is a small room with things that belonged to the saint, such as his cooking tools, stick, and other things.
When you walk past the hall, you’ll see the main statue and the Samadhi.
There is a big stone under a tree next to the temple. People say that Sai Baba would sit on the stone to think and preach. On the stone, there is a large picture of the saint.
Since the temple was built, a small lamp has been kept on. Dwarkamayee Masjid or Dwarkamai is the name of this area. This is the only place of worship where a mosque is inside of a temple.
You can find a lot of things near the stone that the saint used. This building has walls made of stone and a roof made of iron.
Chavadi is a small platform under a neem tree. It is part of the temple complex. Here is where Sai Baba slept when he was still alive. The leaves of this tree are said to taste sweet.
Other Places to Visit in Shirdi
Besides the main temple, the spiritual traveller goes to a number of other places. All of them have something to do with Sai Baba.
Dwarkamai: Many devotees go to Dwarkamai to see a simple mosque that is said to be linked to Sai Baba. Even though it is falling apart, it is still very important.
Dixit Wada Museum: there are things that show how Sai Baba lived and what he did.
Baba Chavadi: People say that Baba often rested at the temple.
Sai Heritage Village and Purani Shirdi: Around the temple is a heritage village that was built to show how Sai Baba lived. It has a lot of open-air displays with life-size statues that show what happened.
Special Festival Days in Shirdi
Rama Navami is celebrated with a lot of joy and devotion in March or April. Both Hindus and Muslims enjoy the festival. On this day, both the mosque’s flags and the sack of wheat that is kept there are changed.
Guru Purnima is celebrated with great respect and passion on the Full Moon Day in the month of July. Guru’s day is set aside to honour him and ask for his help.
Vijayadashami is the day Sai Baba left his earthly body and went to live in heaven. Shri Sai Punyathithi is another name for this day. During this festival, the “Brahman Bhojan” with Guru Dakshina is set up (Donation to Guru). Shri Sai Baba’s followers come from all over India to Shirdi to honour him.
Visiting Timing of Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
The temple is open from 4 am to 11:15 pm
Sai Baba Aarti Time Table
|Type of Aarti||Ritual||Time||Location|
|Bhupali||Wake up call for the deity||4:15 AM (Morning)||N/A|
|Sai Baba Kakad Aarti||The first ritual of the day||4:30 AM (Morning)||N/A|
|Sai Bhajan||Religious chanting with or without musical instruments||5:00 AM (Morning)||Sai Samadhi Mandir|
|Mangalsnaan||Drenching the deity in water, milk, fruits, and others, as a symbolic bath||5:05 AM (Morning)||Sai Samadhi Mandir|
|Shirdi Majhe Pandharpur Aarti||Religious Aarti||5:35 AM (Morning)||N/A|
|Sai Darshan||Prayer||5:40 AM (Morning)||Sai Samadhi Mandir|
|Sai Baba Dhuni Pooja||Bathing the deity in ghee||11:30 AM|
|Shirdi Sai Baba Madhyan||Religious Ritual||12:00 PM|
|Pothi||Devotional reading, lecture or prayer||04:00 PM|
|Shirdi Sai Samadhi Mandir|
|Dhoop Aarti||Sunset ritual||At Sunset||N/A|
|Bhajan||Devotional songs or cultural programs (takes place during festivals only)||8:30 PM – 10 PM (Night)||Shirdi Sai Samadhi Mandir|
|Shej Aarti||Night ritual to put the deity to sleep||10:30 PM (Night)||Shirdi Sai Samadhi Mandir|
Where the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple is?
This temple is in the city of Shirdi, which is in the state of Maharashtra.
How to Reach Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
Since the temple is well-known, it is much easier to find a way to get there, even if you are going during the off-season.
If you want to fly to Shirdi, the airport closest to the temple is Sri Sai Baba Airport, which is only 15 km away. From Delhi, Indore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Vijayawada, you can take a direct flight every day.
You can take a bus or a taxi from the airport to get to the temple.
Ahmednagar is about 84 km away from Shirdi. From Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nashik, and other places, you can take government and luxury buses straight to Shirdi.
Taxis can also take you straight to the temple from the areas around it. But there would be a lot of people on the route, and it would take longer than other ways to get around.
The city of Shirdi has its own train station, where trains from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and other major cities in India stop.
With a helicopter
Between Shirdi and the Juhu aerodrome in Mumbai, there are a lot of private companies that offer helicopter service. This is the most expensive way to get around, and many service providers offer packages that include road travel inside Shirdi and a visit to the temple (VIP darshan).