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Shirdi Sai Baba: A Spiritual Journey

1st Apr 2013
Photo of Shirdi Sai Baba: A Spiritual Journey 1/5 by Saurabh Shukla
Street Fruits at Shirdi
Photo of Shirdi Sai Baba: A Spiritual Journey 2/5 by Saurabh Shukla
Sai Baba
Photo of Shirdi Sai Baba: A Spiritual Journey 3/5 by Saurabh Shukla
Sai Yatra
Photo of Shirdi Sai Baba: A Spiritual Journey 4/5 by Saurabh Shukla
Sani Dev Temple
Photo of Shirdi Sai Baba: A Spiritual Journey 5/5 by Saurabh Shukla
Sai Temple

Shirdi is a town located in the Ahmednagar district of the state of Maharastra and is at a distance of 296 kms from Mumbai, the state capital. This town is also famous for being home to the popular 19th century Shirdi Sai Baba who's temple here draws thousands of pilgrims here each year. Sai Baba was a guru, yogi and fakir who is regarded by both Hindus and Muslims as a saint. Many Hindus also consider him a reincarnation of Lord Krishna. Also known as the Land of Sai, Shirdi is very well connected to the rest of the country and only recently got its own railway station in March 2009 which is named Sainagar Shirdi.

Shirdi is most famous for the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple which has been constructed on the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba. It is believed that Sai Baba arrived in the town of Shirdi when he was 16 years old and lived here until his death. It is also believed that Sai Baba took shelter in the Khandoba Temple, where a villager by the name of Mahalsapathi in the temple called him "Sai" or Saint Sai Baba.

Sai Baba was born in 1838 and died in 1918. His real name, birthplace and date of birth are not known. Revered equally by both Hindus and Muslims, Sai Baba lived in a mosque and after he died was cremated in a temple. Sai Baba founded the philosophy of "Shraddha" meaning faith and "Saburi" meaning compassion and according to him both of these virtues were very important to reach the state of godliness. 

Apart from the Sai Baba temple another place near Shirdi which is very famous is the village of Shani Shingnapur which contains a temple dedicated to Lord Shani. The village is also famous for the fact that none of the houses, shops and even banks there have doors; there are door frames but no doors. The villagers never keep anything under lock and key as they believe that Lord Shani will punish anyone who tries to steal.