India is home to several pilgrimages that are distinguished for the legends attached to them. Shirdi, a famous small town nestled in Maharashtra is one such sacred place for people of various religions (Shirdi Sai Baba).
The temple town of Shirdi is constructed around the teachings of Sai Baba, a respected saint who lived there for more than five decades.
Attracting over 60,000 devotees and followers from around the globe every day, it is considered as one of the busiest pilgrimage sites in India.
The heart of the town is home to Shirdi Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir, where Sai Baba’s mortal remains lie today.
Top Places of Interest:
1. Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
A renowned Hindu shrine in India, Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi is dedicated to Sri Sai Baba.
It is one of the most famous Shirdi Sai Baba places to visit in Shirdi and attracts a huge number of people from all over the world.
The temple is open from early morning hours till late in the night to cater to all the devotees.
Aarti Timings at Shirdi Sai Baba Temple:
- 4 AM: Opening time of the temple
- 4.15 AM: Bhupali aarti
- 4.30 AM: Kakad Aarti
- 5 AM: Bhajan in the Samadhi Mandir
- 5:05 AM: Mangal Snaan in the Samadhi Mandir
- 5:35 AM: Aarti “Shirdi Majhe Pandharpur“
- 5:40 AM: Darshan begins in Samadhi Mandir
- 11:30 AM: Dhuni pooja in Dwarkamai
- 12 noon: Afternoon Aarti
- 4:00 PM: Pothi (Devotional Reading/Study) in Samadhi Mandir
- Sunset: Dhoop Aarti
- 8:30-10 PM: Religious Songs in Samadhi Mandir & Cultural Programmes (if any)
- 10:30 PM: Night aarti (Shej)
- 11:15 PM: Closing time of the temple
2. Shani Shingnapur
Situated around 72 km from Ahmednagar’s city center, Shani Shingnapur is a must-visit place near Shirdi.
This beautiful place is renowned for its popular temple of Shani Mahadev (Shirdi Sai Baba).
Shani Shingnapur has a prominent idol which is constructed using black stone and has a height of 5.5 ft approx.
This is installed on an open-air platform. Travelers visiting this place are often taken by surprise witnessing the houses of the entire village around Shani Shingnapur Temple without doors.
Yes, that’s true.
Gurusthan is known to be the place where Sai Baba was first witnessed by the world sitting under a neem tree.
It is said that he was 16 years old at that time. This site also has a shrine wherein Sai Baba’s portrait is placed with a Shivalingam.
Devotees believe that burning incense sticks at this holy place will relieve and cure them of any type of ailment Shirdi Sai Baba.
It is situated at a distance of around 14 km from the main city and serves as one of the best and prominent places to visit in Shirdi.
When in Shirdi, a visit to Dwarkamai is a must for all devotees. This place is considered as the heart of Shirdi by Sai Baba’s followers.
The reason behind this belief is that Sai Baba spent a significant part of his life, including his last moments here.
Also, the best part about this attraction is, that Dwarkamai is the only mosque that has a temple inside. WOW!
5. Sai Heritage Village
Sai Heritage Village is a perfect and unique combination of a pilgrimage site and a picnic spot.
This beautiful theme park was founded in July 2014 and is considered to be one of the best sightseeing places in Shirdi Sai Baba.
The village beautifully showcases a number of statues which depict the most important events of Sai Baba’s life.
This ranges from the Plaka scene to taking care of the poor and needy to feeding food to his devotees and much more.
6. Khandoba Mandir
Located at a distance of just 600 meters from Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Khandoba Mandir is a small, calm and a well-maintained place.
It is considered as one of the must-visit places near the temple.
The temple is dedicated to the presiding deity of Khandoba, which is another form of Lord Shiva.
As per a belief, Shirdi Sai Baba wanted to make this temple his residence, but Mahalsapati took him for a Muslim and did not allow him to stay.
Different Ways to Reach Shirdi:
Shirdi is well connected by various means of transport to all major cities of India.
You can reach this destination by air, rail or road. Read on to know the various options for commuting:
By Air: Shirdi Airport, inaugurated on 2nd October 2017 is the nearest airport to the city centre.
It is located in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra and is around 15 km from the Sai Baba Temple.
You can opt for bus or taxi service from the airport to reach your desired destination.
The second closest airport to Shirdi is Aurangabad Airport which is 130 kilometres away (Shirdi Sai Baba).
This airport is well-connected to all major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
By road: Shirdi is located 307 km from Mumbai, 126 km from Aurangabad, 112 km from Mashik and 83 km from Ahmednagar. The highways connecting to Shirdi are in decent condition.
Maharashtra State Transport buses are also available for the commute from various cities of Maharashtra.
If you are travelling from Mumbai, opt for a Mumbai to Shirdi bus to reach easily and comfortably.
Mumbai to Shirdi bus ticket booking can be conveniently done via Ixigo to get great deals and best prices.
By train: Shirdi is allied by rail to numerous major cities in South and Western India, with Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai. Kopargaon Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Shirdi (Shirdi Sai Baba).
It is located around 16 kilometres away and is well-connected to all major cities of India.
To travel further from the railway station, opt for state-run buses, cabs, taxis, etc. which are easily available outside the premises.
Best Time to Visit Shirdi:
The best time to visit Shirdi is from October to March, weather-wise. This time of the year is cooler and dry and the weather remains pleasant for sightseeing.
The average temperature during this time is between 8 degrees Celsius to 34 degrees Celsius.
So, if you are planning a visit to this holy land, follow this travel guide to Shirdi and have a great vacation.