North Maharashtra : Ahmednagar : Shirdi
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 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.
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Trains from all over India come in the vicinity of Shirdi. One can take trains till
Taxi from station till Shirdi
Shirdi has no airport. The nearest airports are at Aurangabad, Nasik, Mumbai and Pune. From Pune Airport it will take 4-5 hrs approx if you rent a car . You can use the services of Vishal Travels Pune , 98600 20579 , they provide good service .
Shirdi is not a big town. As the town has grown around its main attraction - the Sai Baba temple - almost all major sights and sounds are all within walking distances from anywhere in Shirdi.
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.
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.
Apart from visiting the temple and other places connected to Sai Baba, there is precious little to do in Shirdi.
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.
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 -
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