Shirdi- In and around- A Complete 7 day Guide


Shirdi Baba Mandir- Sanctum Sanctorum

Photo of Shirdi- In and around- A Complete 7 day Guide by Bhargav KVRK

Sainagar Shirdi Railway Station - 3 kms from Shirdi

Photo of Sainagar Shirdi, Shirdi, India by Bhargav KVRK

Before starting off a trip to Shirdi, a sincere suggestion is to go through the Shirdi Sai Satcharitra as it will add that extra value to the trip. Booking for accommodation, darshan and arati can be done online on the website:

Day 1

We had booked in Sai Ashram Bhaktiniwas, a sprawling campus of nearly 1000 rooms just a kilometer away from the samadhi mandir complex. They are frequent sansthan buses to fetch devotees to the mandir. It also houses a prasadalaya where food prasadam is served.

Few things about the worship in Shirdi- In between the normal darshans, there are four aratis from morning to night. You can book the arati darshan in advance. Try to get soaked in atleast two of these aratis in a trip. They are:

Kakad Arati- This happens in the early morning from around 4.30 to 5.00. Baba is woken up and given a ceremonial bath with other worship and change of his robe.

Madhyahan Arati- This happens at 12 noon where arati is sung to Baba.

Kakad Arati- This arati happens in the evening between 6 pm to 7 pm depending on the season you are visiting Shirdi. In winters it is advanced and in summers the arati happens around 7 pm.

Sheja arati- This arati marks the end of the day at Shirdi samadhi mandir by singing and gently putting Him to sleep. This happens everyday at 10 pm. A beautiful mosquito net is lowered on the idol of Baba.

Things which you should not miss in Shirdi are:

Samadhi Mandir- This is where Shirdi Baba's mortal remains are kept. When you enter the Samadhi complex, don't forget to have a look at the wall in the enclosure before entering the sanctum sanctorum. This has all the rare photographs and paintings of the devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba. It takes anywhere from half an hour to 5- 6 hours depending on the rush. Dasara, Diwali, New year, Gurupoornima, Ramanavami, Summer Vacation time witness particularly heavy crowds.

Dwaraka Mayi- This according to me is really special as Baba spent his whole life in Dwaraka Mayi. He said that stepping into the Dwaraka mayi will remove all your afflictions. As soon as you enter, there is a dhuni (sacred fire) burning continuously from the time Baba lit it.

Entrance to Dwarakamayi

Photo of Shirdi Temple, Shirdi, Maharashtra, India by Bhargav KVRK

Holy Smoke emanating from Baba's Udi in Dwarakamayi

Photo of Shirdi Temple, Shirdi, Maharashtra, India by Bhargav KVRK

Chavadi- This is where Baba used to go and sleep on alternate days. Don't miss the Chavadi procession which happens every Thursday. It is a joy to witness this procession which will transport you back to the time when it used to take place.

Baba's Chavadi

Photo of Shirdi- In and around- A Complete 7 day Guide by Bhargav KVRK

Chavadi Procession from Dwarakamayi to Chavadi (Every Thursday)

Photo of Shirdi- In and around- A Complete 7 day Guide by Bhargav KVRK

Gurusthan- This is where he used to spend his time initially under a Neem tree before moving to the Dwarakamayi. He used to say that this is His guru's place.

Prasadalaya- Don't miss the sumptuous meal in the sansthan dining hall. Immediately after the morning arati, prasad offered to Baba is also available for devotees to partake.

Khandoba Temple- This is on the other side of the road. This is where Baba got down for the first time in Shirdi and the priest of the temple Mhalsapati accosted him as Ya Sai! Khandoba is lord Shiva who gives darshan with His consorts Mhalsa and Banayi.

Sansthan's Museum- All the artifacts and things used by Baba are carefully maintained and displayed in this museum, right from his bed, chilim, the satka (stick) etc. and many rare photographs of Shirdi of those times. A visit to the museum will make you richer and wiser.

Parayanam Hall : Ethereal atmosphere....

Photo of Dixit Wada Museum, Mauli Nagar, Shirdi, Maharashtra, India by Bhargav KVRK

Parayanam Hall- A small hall to the left of the museum is open for all to undertake a parayanam of Shirdi Sai Satcharitra. You can find the satcharitra of the language of your choice, be it Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya, Kannada etc. from the neatly maintained racks in the hall. Centrally adorned is a beautiful portrait of Baba.

Around the Samadhi Mandir- Temples of Ganesha, Hanuman, Shiva, Shani are located very close to each other in a line just outside the Samadhi Mandir. Lendi Baug where Baba used to go for his morning and evening peregrinations is also located just outside the Samadhi Mandir. This has been maintained very well by the sansthan. Samadhis of two intimate devotess of Baba- Nanavalli & Abdul Baba are also located in the Samadhi Mandir complex.

Walk into the Village- If you walk from the Chavadi side into the village, you might still get a glimpse of some old houses of Shirdi amid the increased concretization. These have been kept intact uptill now. One of them is the house of Laxmibai Shinde. There you can find those 9 silver coins given by Baba to her. These coins have been preserved by her family. A small temple also has been built for her just in front of her house.

Day 2

House of Laxmibai Shinde (Courtesy-

Photo of Shirdi- In and around- A Complete 7 day Guide by Bhargav KVRK

Just outside Chavadi, few old ladies will be waiting with small cups of milk. I was curious to know the purpose of that milk. One lady replied, "Give me Rs. 10 and I will feed this milk to some of the old stray dogs loitering here." I reluctantly agreed and got a beautiful snap. The milk will have a lot of dilution.

Having a fill of the 'diluted milk'

Photo of Shirdi- In and around- A Complete 7 day Guide by Bhargav KVRK

Sri Virbhadra Devasthan- 5 kms from Shirdi towards Ahmednagar on the Nagar- Manmand road is a small town Rahata. There is a majestic Virbhadra Temple in this town, on the main road. Baba had visited this place with his pseudo guru Javhar Ali (Refer to Shirdi Sai Satcharitra- Chapter 5)

Sakori- This place is just one kilometer away from Rahata with a small detour. Refer Sunset at Sakori for details about this place.

Sai Heritage Village & Purani Shirdi- This is a walkthrough of Sai Baba's life. It's a nice theme park are the whole life of Baba comes alive in front of your eyes. There is a mono rail and some activity games also. It has an entry fees of around Rs. 150 per head.

Day 3

Shani Shingnapur- A place very frequently visited by people who come to Shirdi, Shani Shingnapur has a temple of Shani deva which is around 65 kms away from Shirdi. More about it in Shani Shingnapur- An eye opener.

Day 4

Sapta Shrungi Temple- Nearly 140 kms from Shirdi after a detour from Nasik is an enchanting temple of Saptashrungi devi, perched on a vertical hill. Don't miss a visit to this ethereal abode of mother- Enchanting Saptashrungi Temple

Day 5

Puntamba- You can visit Puntamba which is on the banks of the Godavari just 17 kms from Shirdi for a refreshing and sacred bath and darshan of Changdev temple. It can be finished in half a day. Changdev Samadhi- Puntamba

Day 6

Tryambakeshwar- Nasik- One of the fabled jyotirlingas is the tryambakeshwar jyotirlinga which is around 130 kms from Shirdi and around 35 kms from Nasik. The lingam here has three faces representing the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There is a majestic temple at tryambakeshwar. This is the place where on the Brahmagiri hill, Godavari river is born. One can trek up for a period of 2 hours to reach the starting point of Godavari. The way is dotted with many temples.

Nasik- Nasik is famous as a town of temples like Panchavati, Kalaram temple and Muktidham etc. There are many ghats to have a dip in the river Godavari but one has to go in the months of monsoon or just after that to ensure that there is water in the river.

A tempo trax on shared basis can be taken from Shirdi to reach these places.

Day 7

Grushneswar-Ellora Caves-Aurangabad- This itinerary can also be planned with the help of a shared tempo trax.

Cute co-traveller in the Tempo Trax

Photo of Grishneswar temple Road, Verul, Maharashtra, India by Bhargav KVRK

Temple of Grushneswar (Jyotirlinga)

Photo of Grishneswar temple Road, Verul, Maharashtra, India by Bhargav KVRK

Rock Cut Temples of Ellora

Photo of Ellora Caves, Verul, Maharashtra, India by Bhargav KVRK

Magnificent temple in Ellora

Photo of Ellora Caves, Verul, Maharashtra, India by Bhargav KVRK

Bhadra Maruti temple where Hanuman gives darshan in a sleeping posture

Photo of Bhadra Maruti, Badlabai, Maharashtra, India by Bhargav KVRK

Mini Tajmahal

Photo of Mini Taj Mahal, Ambedkar Main Road, SP Naidu Layout, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Bhargav KVRK

Any additions missed out in this guide are welcome....

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