A couple of years back, one fine December morning, I got a call from one of my travel friends that she made a plan to visit Shirdi on the eve of Christmas and she wanted me to join her. I had a long wish to visit Sai Baba temple but couldn’t make it possible. So, I happily agreed.
Getting ready :
It was a 2 N and 3 D trip. So, I packed light. I didn’t take any woollens because I thought Nasik or Shirdi is in the plateau region, so it wouldn't be too cold during winter. And those who live in Kolkata for years, know very well that it's usually cold on or after Christmas. So I was wearing a light cardigan and that was all.
How to reach there :
If you wanna travel by train, there is a weekly direct train 22894 - Hwh Snsi Express runs from Howrah Jn to Sainagar Shirdi or you can avail 12130 HWH Pune Azad Hind Express for Kopergaon, the nearest station to Shirdi, 16 km away or 12860 Geetanjali Express for Nasik Road which is 75 km away from Shirdi. As it was only a fortnight left, we could able to arrange sleeper class train tickets in Geetanjali Express for Nasik Road. On the scheduled day, we met at Howrah Railway Station and boarded the train. Initially, the journey was comfortable. We finished our dinner with the food that we took along from our respective houses and went to sleep. Suddenly I woke up feeling cold. It was nearly midnight. The train was moving fast and the cool breeze coming through the narrow gap of the window made me shiver. Sleeping off and on the rest of the night, I woke up at 5 am with running nose. But fortunately, as the day progressed, the sun rose, the temperature increased and I became fine. We reached Nasik Road by 5 pm.
After coming out of the station, we were looking for a cab but they charged a heavy amount. Someone suggested taking the bus which leaves a few walks away from the station. We got there and found a Volvo Bus about to leave for Shirdi. The bus was almost full only two or three seats were left. We got two separate seats and the bus started. It stopped only once at a roadside Dhaba for the tea break. We reached Shirdi by 8 pm.
Where to stay :
A couple of meters away from the Bus terminus, just in front of the Sai Baba Temple Complex, you will get plenty of Hotels. We booked Sai Tulsi near Gate No. 2.
After checked in, we got refreshed and went out for dinner. There was a beautiful South Indian restaurant nearby. We had a sumptuous dinner there and retired to bed.
Paid a visit to Sai Baba temple
We woke up as early as 3 am, got ready and stepped out to visit the Samadhi Mandir – the main shrine where Sai Baba ‘s mortal remains kept. The roads were empty but there was a long queue inside the gate. I quickly checked the temperature in mobile ( Just remembering the last night's experience) and found that it was 8 degree C. I just couldn't believe my eyes. Such a low temperature in Shirdi !!! So, if you are in Shirdi in December, carry woollens to cope with the morning cold. We deposited bags, mobiles to the counter as these are not allowed inside and kept our shoes at the shoe store just before the entrance.