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: