Shirdi is a town in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra in India. It is located 185 km east of the Arabian Sea shoreline. Shirdi was where the great saint Sai Baba lived till his samadhi in 1918. Today, it is a pilgrimage center and millions of his devotees from all over the world come each year to pay their respects.
The best time of the year to visit Shirdi is January through March. April to June is summer, followed by the monsoon. Pilgrim arrival peaks between September and November when many Hindu festivals occur. Baba's death anniversary is commemorated in the month of October, the exact date depending on the Hindu calendar.
Some of the most important festivals in Shirdi are Dussera, Guru Poornima and Baba's death anniversary. During this time lakhs of devotees come to Shirdi.
There are many buses connecting Shirdi to cities such as Mumbai (250 Km), Hyderabad, Pune, Nasik (80 Km),Bangalore. There are abundant, very convenient bus packages from Hyderabad. The road connectivity between Mumbai and Shirdi is good, except in certain stretches. Convenient overnight buses also ply this route. It takes around 4 hours from Mumbai to Shirdi. It takes around 5 hours to travel from Pune to Shirdi through bus.
It takes around 20 hours from Bangalore. There are many bus operators from Bangalore e.g. KSRTC but it is advisable to travel by sleeper coaches instead of pushback.
There are also cool cabs services from mumbai to shirdi and vice versa. Aadesh Cabs .
taxiGUIDE.in (Shirdi Car Rental), ☎ +91 888 023 4455 (email@example.com), . Inquiry: 7am to 11pm. Shirdi Car Rental services on taxiGUIDE.in - a Chauffeur Driven Car Rental service in 75 Cities in India.Taxi to Shirdi from Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Indore, Nasik, Surat & Nagpur. edit
The main attractions are the Temple where Sai Baba's samadhi is located, the former dwelling place of Sai Baba called Dwarakamayi, and the place called Chavadi where Baba used to sleep every alternate day. These 3 are located close to each other.
Sai Baba Temple - Located at the heart of the town, this houses the samadhi (burial site) of Sai Baba. Entry is free. One can also book special pass which costs Rs.100 per devotee for darshan from Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust. The waiting time in the queue averages over an hour on weekdays and 2 hours on weekends. The temple opens around 0400 hrs and stays open till about 2200 hrs. At the samadhi site itself, one gets to spend a couple of minutes only as everyone needs to be accomodated to get a glimpse of the samadhi.
After the Samadhi Darshan, one can visit the Gurusthan, the tree where Sai Baba was first spotted meditating by the people of Shirdi. After that, one can go to the Udhi counter to collect the Udhi. The temple premises also has the samadhis of some of Sai Baba's most prominent devotees.
It also has a book store where one can buy Sai Baba's books (Shri Sai Samartha Satcharitra, Aarti books etc.). One can also get clothes and Prasadam offered to Sai Baba. Mobile phones and cameras are prohibited within the temple premises.
Dwarakamayi - Located adjacent to the temple complex, Dwarakamayi is the name of the mosque where Baba resided for an unbroken span of 60 years till his Samadhi in 1918. The structure has been renovated and houses the Dhuni the fire that Baba always kept burning. The flames are never allowed to die and the Dhuni today is the same that Baba lit over 100 years ago. Additionally, some of Baba's articles such as his grinding stone, fireplace, a stone on which he used to sit are located in the Dwarakamayi
Chavadi - This is located next to Dwarakamayi. Every alternate day, Baba used to sleep in the Chavadi, a few meters away from the Dwarakamayi. Even today, on Thursday nights, Baba's footprints are taken in a ceremonial procession from Dwarakamayi to Chavadi.
Khandoba Raya temple - This is the temple where Mahalsapati first welcomed Sai Baba and recognized that He is no ordinary saint. This is located on the highway, approximately 7 minutes walk away from the temple.
There are a large number of shops that sell trinkets and souvenirs - statues, magnets, stickers, books, photos of Sai Baba. Prices are generally negotiable.
It is advisable not to buy anything except flowers as offering to Saibaba as the priests usually return everything else but the shopkeepers may insists on buying lot more things. Prasad can be bought from prasad counter inside the temple premises.
Restaurants are liberally dotted over Shirdi. A variety of cuisines including Gujarati, Maharashtrian, South Indian, Continental are available. Most restaurants serve only vegetarian fare.
Also you get fresh fruits Guava & Pomegranate
The world's largest solar cooker cooks food for thousands of devotees everyday and one can eat this food for a nominal price of INR 10 per meal.
Cold drinks and bottled water are available in many local stores. Fresh coconut water is also available. However, liquor is not available in the town.
Shirdi Hotel Sai Sahavas (Budget Hotel near Shirdi temple), Opp. Mahalaxmi Temple Lane, Off Pimplewadi Road, 2 minutes from Sai Mandir, Shirdi - 423109, Maharashtra, India. (Opp. Mahalaxmi Temple Lane), ☎ (02423) 256363 / 64 / 65, . Shri Sai Baba's presence is felt in Shirdi every day, by thousands of devotees who converge on Shirdi to get blessings of Shri Sai Baba. At Panoramic Group Hotel Sai Sahavas, just a 5 minutes walk from the holy shrine of Shri Sai Baba, you are in the comforting vicinity of Shri Sai Baba. Come, check into one of the 34 well-appointed AC rooms, at Panoramic Group Hotel Sai Sahavas and visit the replica of Shri Sai Baba's shrine, on the third floor and you shall at once be cradled into the soothing sphere of Shri Sai Baba's blessings. Keeping in mind the sentiments of devotees, only vegetarian food is allowed or served at Panoramic Group Hotel Sai Sahavas. Sai Siddhi multi-cuisine veg restaurant (AC) offers delicacies from Maharashtra, North India, Gujarat, South India and Chinese cuisine to cater to devotees from all over India. Come to Sai Sahavas, Shirdi and be one with Shri Sai Baba. edit
Once you land in Shirdi, rgister yourself at the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust Reception Centre. The centre is located opposite to the S T Bus Stand. Then proceed to the Enquiry office to book your accommodation. The Sansthan provides good accomodation facilities and is affordable. The rents range from Rs. 50 to Rs. 1000.
In addition, there are private hotels. There is no dearth of accommodation in Shirdi. Hotels of all categories abound. It is advisable to check the facilities in the room before booking and paying. In peak season, it is advisable to have prior reservations, which can be made either over phone or through travel websites.
Some of the good hotels in Shirdi to stay are -
Sun n Sand
Dwarawati Bhaktha Nivas (Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust), Near Sai Sanasthan, ☎ 91-2423-258500. checkin: 11:00AM; checkout: 11:00AM. Saibaba Sansthan .Accommodation can be booked online. Darshan or Aarti can also be booked in advance at this site for Rs 100 and Rs 300 per person respectively. Rooms available from Rs.125,150,500,900. Rooms are neat and clean.Rs 500 to 900. edit
Hotel Sai Sahavas (Sai Sahavas), Opp. Mahalaxmi Temple Lane, Off Pimplewadi Road (2 Mins from the temple), ☎ 91 2423 256366, . A good hotel with all facilities available. There is also meditating room on the third floor.edit
Sujal Heritage located opposite Sun n Sand is a good budget hotel with Non AC and AC rooms
Shri sainivas Mega Dharmasala (Shri sainivas), Opp. Shiva temple, Off Manmad Nagar Road (near to Shirdi sai temple), ☎ 02423256257, . checkin: any time; checkout: any time. Hotel in shirdi offering you a maximum comfort at accommodating place. Have a great trip in shrine shirdi, get the accommodation that you deserve with shri sainivas. INR 500 to INR 2500. (19.751437,74.478207)edit
Hotel Sai Vishwa (Hotels in Shirdi), Pimpalwadi Road (Near Sai Baba Temple), ☎ 02423257025, . checkin: 12:00 pm; checkout: 12:00 pm. Hotel near Sai Baba Temple.Rs 800. edit
Beware of touts who will offer to help you find accommodation and take you on temple tours. While they do not charge for their service, they will expect you to purchase items from their stores as quid pro quo at inflated prices.
Shirdi can be quite dusty, so those with allergies should carry along a dust mask.
Bottled water is recommended over tap water for drinking purposes.