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SHIRDI



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OVERVIEW

Shirdi, a small rural town in the Rahata taluka of Ahmednagar district in the Indian state of Maharashtra, is a secular place where all religions are treated as one and a belief in the power of Faith & Patience is foremost. Shirdi is where the holy soul of Shri Satchidanand Sadguru Sainath Maharaj - affectionately known as “Saibaba” rests today. He is believed to have sojourned here from 1838 till his death in 1918. The place where Sai Baba came to Shirdi as a Bal Yogi is known as Gurusthan.


Shirdi is a devotional center that highlights three major festivals, Ram Navmi, Guru Purnima and Shirdi Vijay Dashmi. The best time to visit this holy hamlet is from the months of June to August as during this time the monsoon is in full swing, making the town cool and comfortable to stay.

The town of Shirdi is easily accessible from all over the country via roads. Of recent, trains services have also began operating from the different parts of the country for Shirdi. The state government has also announced the city to have its own airport by the year 2012.

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Sai Baba's Samadhi Mandir

Sai Baba's Sacred Body has been laid to eternal rest (Samadhi) here. The edifice of this main Mandir (Temple) was constructed by an ardent devotee Shri Gopalrao Butti of Nagpur with Baba's blessings. It is therefore also known as "Butti Wada". Baba's beautiful life-size idol is installed near His Samadhi in this shrine. All rituals, comprising of Pooja, Abhishek and the four daily Aartis, are performed here. The set of Baba's original 'Padukas' and 'Satka' are kept in the Samadhi Mandir which are used for Thursday Palkhi Procession.

The Daily Program in the Saibaba Samadhi Mandir

 Program Time 
Bhoopali  04.15 am
Morning Aarti (Kakad Aarti) 04.30 am
Holy Bath 05.05 am
Darshan Starts 05.40 am onwards 
Madyan Aarti 12.00 noon 
Dhoop Aarti Sunset
Night Aarti (Shej Aarti) 10.30 pm 
Abhishek Pooja (Abhishek Hall) 07.00 am & 09.00 am
Satyanarayan Pooja 07.00 am, 09.00 am, 11.00 am & 01.00 pm 

Gurusthan

Baba was first spotted here (behind the Samadhi Mandir) when He was a lad of sixteen. Baba used to refer to this spot as His Guru's (Mentor's) location and hence known as 'Gurusthan'. The famous Margosa (Neem) tree referred to in the Shri Sai Satcharitra stands here. Devotees believe that if they burn incense here on Thursdays and Fridays all their ailments get cured.


There is a little enshrine in Gurusthan. On a lifted platform of this enshrine a big portraiture of Baba is laid. On the side Baba’s marble statue is placed. The Gurusthan temple no longer exists. It has been removed to give way for the Margosa to grow.

It's open from 5 am to 10 pm.

Dwarkamai (Masjid)


Dwarkamai mosque is located on located within the Samadhi Mandir Complex. This was Baba's abode continuously for sixty years till He took Samadhi. Baba blessed innumerable devotees here. The Sheela (Stone), on which Baba used to sit, is located in Dwarkamai. The sacred Fire (Dhuni) lit by Baba is also eternally burning here. Baba used to give Sacred Udi (Ash) from this Dhuni to His devotees to fulfill their wishes. Even now, Udi distributed to devotees is from this Dhuni. 'Grinding Wheel' and 'Chul' on which Baba used to cook food here and distribute it amongst his devotees, is also kept here for darshan.

Chavadi


The Chavadi is located close to the Samadhi Mandir Complex on the eastern side. On every alternate day, Baba used to proceed in a procession from Dwarkamai to Chavadi at night and sleep there. Even now, on every Thursday between 9.15 and 10.00 p.m., Baba's Photo, Holy Padukas (footwear) and Satka (baton) are taken in a palaquin procession to the Chavadi.

Adul Baba Cottage

Adul Babba is one of Baba’s most fervent followers. The cottage has some interesting memoirs. The cottage is small and green colored. The cottage is located opposite the Chavadi. The main room of the house has exhibits of Baba with Abdul. Also Baba can be seen with Swami Chinmayanand in a photograph. There also can be seen many more rare articles.
There is an alley behind Abdul Baba’s house which leads to Laxmibai Shinde’s house. Marthand, a place where Baba installed a Ganesha statue, can also be reached through the alley.

The cottage can be visited any time between 7 am to 10 pm.

Lendi Baug


Baba used to go for a stroll in this Baug (Garden) located within the Samadhi Mandir Complex. Nanda-Deep (Sacred Oil Lamp) is continuously kept burning near the Peepal tree planted by Baba Himself in this Garden. A small Datta Mandir is also situated here. Baba's beloved horse Shyamsunder was laid to eternal rest here. There is also a well, called "Baba's Shivadi", in this garden.

Dixit Wada Museum


The Dixit Wada Museum is located at the center of the Sansthan complex. It is a charming and compact museum. Personal items used by Baba during his lifetime like his drinking vessel (Tumbler), Padukas (footwear), Satka (Baton), Grinder, Gramophones, a Bowl of Hukka, Horse Bridle, the Kaphani and Sandals worn by Baba and the original photographs of Baba are all on display at the museum.

Khandoba Mandir


This Temple is located near the Shri Saibaba Hospital on the Nagar-Manmad Road. The story goes that the marriage party of Chand Patil's wife's nephew came to Shirdi and took shelter under the banyan tree located near this temple. When Shri Saibaba, who had accompanied this marriage party, alighted with others in the open ground of this temple, the Pujari (Priest) of the temple welcomed this Young Ascetic with the words "Aao Sai" ("Come Sai").

Jangli Maharaj Ashram

The Jangli Maharaj Ashram is located on the Shirdi-Manmad State Highway. Jangli Maharaj Ashram is about seven kilometers from Shirdi. Spiritual guru Om Gurudev runs the ashram. The ashram has a co-educational residential school for children.

Jangli Maharaj Ashram conducts meditation classes and various other religious and educational fields regularly. On a day before the full moon day a program called Anugraha is arranged. The holy meeting goes on throughout the night in the presence of Sadguru Janglidas Maharaj.

The visitors are allowed to visit the Ashram from 7 am – 10 pm.

Upasani Maharaj Ashram

The Upasani Maharaj Ashram is situated off the Shirdi-Ahmednagar State Highway. It is the ashram of a great saint of the 20th century. Upasani Maharaj was an ardent disciple of Shri Sai Baba.

The Ashram of Upasani Maharaj is near Shirdi. There were three spiritual heirs of the Maharaj. The samadhi of the Maharaj and the samadhi of one of his disciples is placed inside the ashram. Upasani Majaraj is considered a perfect master. One of his disciples Avtar Mehar Baba called Upasani Maharaj the best and the perfect master.

The Ashram is open for visitors from 5 in the morning to 10 in the night.

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Considering the heavy influx of devotees from all over the country and the world, the Sansthan Trust gives utmost priority to the accommodation of the Sai devotees.

Sai Ashram


Sai Ashram constructed by Shirdi Sai Trust, Chennai is a huge accommodation complex worth Rs. 105 crores on 20 acres provided by the Sansthan. This trust is donating the highest amount in the history of the Sansthan. The Sai Ashram has a total built-up area of 10 lakh sq. feet. containing 1536 Room & 192 Dormitory Halls that will accommodate approx. 15,000 devotees at a time. Parking arrangements for vehicles, a pollution-free atmosphere and the scenic campus are the highlights of this new complex. Free bus service is provided by the Sansthan Trust from the Sai Ashram to the temple.

Saibaba Bhaktaniwas


The Saibaba Bhaktaniwas has 500 rooms and is located on the Nagar-Manmad state highway, at a distance half a kilometer from the Samadhi temple towards Ahmednagar. Free bus service is provided by the Sansthan Trust from the Bhaktaniwas to the temple.

Saiprasad Bhaktaniwas

The Saiprasad Bhaktaniwas is located close to the Samadhi Temple complex on the northern side. It has 165 rooms and lockers available for the devotees.

Dwaravati Bhaktaniwas (300 mtrs from the temple)

Dwaravati Bhaktaniwas, The four-storied building, has 320 rooms with 80 air-conditioned rooms on the fourth floor. Parking arrangements for vehicles, a pollution-free atmosphere and the scenic campus are the highlights of this building.

Online Reservation

Sai Sansthan Trust, Shirdi - http://online.sai.org.in/
Sai Sanshtan Trust, Dilsuknagar, Hyderabad - http://www.shrisainivas.com/

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Railway Station

The new Sainagar Railway Station facility for Shirdi is now operational. Up and Down services for Shirdi from Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Chennai have already been started. Many of the Express Trains have also extended their routes from Manmad to Shirdi. Some of the other Railway Stations near Shirdi are: 1) Kopargaon - 16 Kms. 2) Shrirampur - 39 Kms. 3) Nagarsul - 55 Kms. 4) Manmad - 60 Kms. There are regular buses to Shirdi from all these railway stations.

Railway Booking Office

A computerized Railway Booking Office is in operation by the Railway Department near the Parayan Hall. Sai devotees can book tickets to travel anywhere in India. They can also check the reservation status of tickets already booked. This reservation counter is open from 08.00 a.m. to 08.00 p.m.

Airport

The airport at Aurangabad, 100 kms from Shirdi, has flights for Delhi and Mumbai. Flights can also be taken to Pune (200 kms away) and Mumbai (290 kms away) to visit Shirdi.

The Airport Authority of the Maharashtra Government has also taken an initiative to establish an international-level airport at Saibaba's Shirdi. The work on this Rs. 300 crores project has already been started at Kakadi village, 8 kms from Shirdi, on an area of over 600 acres.

Travel within city

Shirdi is the home of the Sri Sai Baba temple and is also known for its religious significance. There are helicopter services to Shirdi from many places in Maharashtra. However the helipad is owned by the Sai Baba Sansthan trust and permission is required to land here. The main temple in only a ten minute journey from the railway station and the Sai Baba trust operates shuttle services for its guests. There are also buses and taxis that are available from the Shirdi railway station.

Taxi

There are taxis available from the station and they take an hour to reach the town. They usually charge around Rs 400 for
the trip.

Bus

Buses are the main mode of transport within the town. There are frequent bus services from the railway station and also around the other parts of the town to the main areas of interest. Most of the temples and pilgrimage sites can be reached using buses.

Tourist Cabs

Cabs can also be hired from Shirdi and they charge between Rs 900 to 1500 per day depending on the car. Local cab agencies also provide A/C cars which is more expensive than ordinary cabs.

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The Saibaba Sansthan Trust has started the 'Shri Sai Sampurna Suraksha Kavach Apaghat Vima Sanrakshan' for the security of devotees coming to Shirdi for Baba's 'Darshan'. In case of an unfortunate incident resulting in injury or death within the temple premises, Darshan queue, Prasadalaya, Sainiwas Guest house, Caravanserai, new Bhaktaniwas, and on the road along the temple, devotees will get compensation under this policy.

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www.shrisaibabasansthan.org

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