Shirdi Tour: A Pilgrimage towards the Great Saint of Modern India

Shirdi is a small town in Maharashtra famous for the Samadhi temple of Shri Sai Baba, the great saint of modern India. Every commotion at Shirdi turns around the vast temple complex devoted to Sai Baba. This is the place where Sai Baba spent most of his life, and trained his devotees the truth and guided them along the path of love, forgiveness and truth. He is one of the greatest and most loved saints which India had been fortunate to see. After his death, Baba’s devotees built up a temple on his Samadhi that is now one of the most popular religious places in India. Every year, millions of pilgrims take Shirdi tour to catch a glimpse of this holy adobe and to pay homage to the saint.

Marble Statue of Sai Baba

Marble Statue of Sai Baba

Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi needs no introduction. He was instinctively addressed as Sai by one of the persons who first came in contact with him at Shirdi which means Savior, Master or Saint. ‘Baba’ means father or a grandfather. This mysterious fakir first made his appearance in Shirdi as a young man accompanied by a marriage procession and remained here throughout his life.  He changed lives of all those who came into his contact and is constantly doing so still after his Samadhi in 1918.  Till this date he answers all the prayers and call of his devotees.  He is a characterization of spiritual accomplishment and an epitome of empathy.

Dwarkamai Mosque

Dwarkamai Mosque

During his early days at Shirdi he spent his time either drifting in the outer reaches of village or next-door spiky jungles or sitting under the neem tree in total self amalgamation.  His spirituality was first recognized by Mhalsapati, Tatya Kote, Bayyaji Bai and few others. Bayyaji Bai felt deeply motivated by this Divine Saint.  The mosque in the bounds of the village to where Sai Baba moved after sometimes was named ‘Dwarkamai’, where he resided till the end. This mosque which is the abode of Sai Baba became a place of love, compassion and mercy for all. The place where Sai Baba came to Shirdi as a Bal Yogi is known as Gurusthan. There is a temple at this site and a small shrine in Gurusthan. Devotees start queuing up in the early hours of dawn to catch a glimpse and seek the blessings of the life-size statue of Sai Baba. Thursday is marked by special pujas and darshan of the Sai Baba statue. The small town of Shirdi is full of fragrance with the devotional intensity of devotees from across the world. The hamlet is placed highly on the world map of spirituality.

Gurusthan

Gurusthan

There are other tourist attractions that devotees can visit while Shirdi tour as well including Dwarkamani Mosque where the Baba meditated and slept on alternate nights. Near the mosque, in a passageway is the dhuni or eternal flame that burns day and night. The Gurusthan, the Dixit Wada Museum, Shani Mandir, Narsimha Mandir, Chavadi, the Sakori Ashram, etc are the other important places to visit. Gurusthan is a place where Sai Baba was visible to the world for the first time. The famous Neem tree which can be found there is the Margosa which is referred to in ‘Sai Sat-Charitra’. The devotees believe that if they burn incense sticks at Gurusthan they will be cured of their ailments. There is a little enshrining in Gurusthan. On a lifted platform of this enshrine a big portraiture of Baba is laid and on the side Baba’s marble statue is placed. The Gurusthan temple no longer exists since it has been removed to give up for the Margosa to grow. It is open 5 am to 10 pm.

Chavadi in Shirdi

Chavadi in Shirdi

During the last decade of Sai Baba’s life, he used to spend alternate nights at Chavadi. Thus the place became very important. Baba used to be taken in procession from Dwarkamani to Chavadi. Even today procession is taken on every Thursdays. The depiction of Sai Baba, which was placed on a silver stool in the right side of the Chavadi, is now placed near his Samadhi. Also Baba’s footwear is placed near Baba’s Samadhi. The Chavadi is divided into two. One part of the Chavadi has a large portraiture of Baba. It also contains a wooden bed and a white chair which belongs to Baba.

The Dixit Wada Museum is to be found at the center of the Sansthan complex. It is a delightful and compact museum which 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 water tumblers, gramophone records, bathing stone, and cooking utensils which were used by Baba. The museum is open for public to visit from 10 am to 6 pm. Pack your bag to enjoy Shirdi tour and be blessed by the great saint of India.

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