Shirdi ke Sai
Shirdi, the home of the great religious saint, Sai Baba, is loacted in the Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra. Full of divine beauty, alongside the blessings of Sai Baba, Shirdi is a colouful and joyous town. Not only does it have temples and shrines for devotees that gives the bliss of positivity, Shirdi also has a place in the hearts of fun-seekers with countless Sai Baba themed adventure and water parks. The local food, full of flavour and spices is savoured by tourists and locals alike and adds to the wonderful experince in this loevly town.There are many local markets where one call shop for local handicrafts and souveniors of Sai Baba and Shirdi. Furthermore, the musuems and in Shirdi give tourists a peek through the curtain into Sai Baba's life and ideals through the medium of art, photography and literature.The story of Sai Baba influences the hearts and minds of all those who visit this holy and blessed town. It is truly a town in the cradle of the god himself, filled with the brightest lights, the most extravagant colours and eternal beauty.
Shirdi came into the spotlight in the 20th century after the advent of Sai Baba into the minds of the people - a religious saint who was enthralling and mesmerizing the masses with his nobel and honest thoughts and ideas. It is said that Sai Baba usted Shirdi as a 16-year-old and became so captivated by the village that he stayed there until his demise in 1918. When Sai Baba's ideas were popularised, Shirdi too came in the limelight as it was his home. The small village that barely had an expanse of 3km, attracted visitors from all over the country, if not the world.
According to 2011 Indian census, Shirdi has a population of approximately 36,000 people. It has been found that males consititue 53% of the populatuion whereas females are 47% of the population. Shirdi has an average literacy rate of 70% which is over 10% higher than the national average. Male lietracy is higher, that is, 76% and female literacy is 62%. It is estimated that 15% of the population is under the age of 6.
Top things do in Shirdi
How to reach
Shirdi is not very well connected by air but can be accessed by road and rail. Maharashtra government state services runs buses and local trains to the nearest station frequently.
How to Reach by Flight
Shirdi doesn't have an airport. The nearest airport is Aurangabad, approximately 114 km away from Shirdi. Aurangabad Airport is connected to all major metrpolitan cities of India. The closest international airports to Shirdi are in Mumbai and Pune.
How to Reach by Train
Shirdi has a newly inaugurated railway station known as Sainagar Shirdi. The alternative nearest railway station is Kopargaon. Kopargaon is a mere 16 km away from Shirdi.
How to Reach by Bus
Shirdi is very well connected by bus and services fom al around Maharashtra and neighbouring states is available. Frequent buses run from Solapur, Nasik, Mumbai, Pune etc. The buses are either state run services or private corporate buses.
How to Reach by Road
Shirdi is enroute NH 160, NH 8, NH 3 and SH 10. All roads leading to Shirdi are smooth and will give th driver and passengers a comfortable and pleasant ride. Going by road may prove time efficient if there are minimal amounts of intervals in driving.
How to travel within
Travel within Shirdi can be done through auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws. Many Sai temples are clustered together so tourists can even walk from one place to another.
Shirdi is a religiously-oriented place and so there are more of Dharamshalas, offering devotees shelter a minimal cost than hotels. Tourists should choose an acccomadation according to the purpose of their trip. The Dharamshalas are much closer to the temples and offer all basic needs that worshipppers will require. This will make it very convinient. If the main goal of the trip is to see an overall reflection of Shirdi and it's heritage, then staying in an hotel os recommended. The hotels have an average ambience but good and prompt service. (This may not apply for all hotels, it is a generalised view)
One can find a large variety of food in Shirdi ranging from Chinese toa typical South Indian Thali. Restaurants like blue coriander serve many north-Indian, Gujarati and Chinese dishes that can make anyone's mouth water. If you want to go for a thrift meal instead then be sure to visit the Prasadalaya, i.e. the abode of Prasad. It is a place maintained for devotees to have complete meals at the price of just 10 INR. The menu is simple yet delicious, consisting of dal, rice, roti and dessert. Street food is also a viable option is Shirdi. the tasty chana chaat and masala vada pav should not be missed! If you're tired and have no will to get up and go for a meal, don't worry, because Domino's Pizza has your back in Shirdi! The most famous dish here is the prasad of the temple, that is laddoo made of bundi, cashews, almonds and pure ghee. Another popular item in Shirdi is the pomegranate and guava juice.
Day 1 (check into the hotel/dharamshala early in the morning and have a hearty breakfast)
- Visit the Sai Baba Chhavadi, the resting place of Sai Baba in the elevnth hour of his life.
- Walk to the Shri Dwarakamyi temple and enjoy the atmosphere of devotion to Sai Baba
- Walk further to the Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir, made of white marble and the final resting place of the great revered saint.
- Visit the Shree Sai Baba Gurusthaan Temple and admire th beauty of the sacred neem tree as well the temple.
- Stop for lunch either at the temple-run food service or the food outlets outside the temple lane, on the main road.
- After lunch, go to Lendi Gardento walk around and relax in the lap of nature.
- Go to the Dixit Wada musuem to have an insight into Sai Baba's life
- Walk to the nearby Shirdi musuem to gain more knowledge about Sai Baba and the holy town Shirdi.
- Return to the accomodation and have dinner
Day 2 (wake up early in the morning, have a very heavy breakfast)
- Visit the Prasadalay Shirdi Mandir
- Visit the Srinath Art and Gallery musuem and see the beauty of the brush strokes
- Visit the Malpani Theme Park, a unique expeirence of a theme park blended into the religious atmosphere of Shirdi that entrhalls tourists with stunning sets, images, graphics and sound systems and even more thrilling 4D rides. Have lunch inside and spend time.
- Return to accomodation to relax and have dinner.
Day 3 (wake up early and have breakfast, pack a bag/kit of an extra pair of clothes, towels, sunscreen lotion)
- Visit a water park: you may either go to Shirdi water park or Wet n Joy water park. Both are located adjoining each other. Enjoy the water rides, slides and pools. Have lunch in the park itself.
- Return to the hotel to relax for the afternoon and enjoy the amenities of the hotel.
- Visit the Sai Heritage Village to enjoy a taste of the local culture.
- Return to hotel and after a good night's sleep, check out next morning.