A need to compile information from various possible sources and present a Complete Guide about Shirdi arouse in minds of persons behind this blog. Lord Sai Baba at various times has been active here to guide us and satisfy needs of most of His beloved kids, making us instrumental in all His deeds and actions. Few words i always write here and will continue to write that – thoughts of second take shape without any planning on this blog – then there does not remain any trace of doubt that Lord Baba in His own unique ways gets His work done. When thought about making this elaborated guide of Shirdi was shared with me, my first thoughts were – how will i be able to accomplish such a big task? But the next second Lord Sai said, “I am here to help you”. Then putting aside all doubts of time constrains, i started referring all possible sources and set out working on this guide. This guide will be a unique in itself, the reason being – it will have cover all possible aspects which a devotee visiting Shirdi requires. Since it will be lengthy guide, it has been decided to post in accordance with important places and their importance arranged chronologically. Eg: At first Lord Sai Baba alighted under Banyan tree in courtyard of Khandoba Mandir so details of this temple will be taken up first. Do keep visiting this resource portal for Complete Shirdi Guide – which i presume will be of great help to devotees of Shirdi. You are free to take print outs of this guide and share with all your near and dear ones.
A Brief Introduction Of Shirdi:
Shirdi, a small town of Maharashtra is situated about 300 kms away from state capital Mumbai in the heart of sugar-cane belt of the state. Near about 22000 people reside in Shirdi and pilgrims in number of eight to ten millions flock here every year. It is second revered pilgrimage after Tirupati Balaji in Andhra Pradesh (India). It is said to be second richest shrine in India. The reason why so many devotees come to this rustic land is to seek blessings of Sai Baba, Who is said to tread on this earth about not less than 100 years ago.
Shirdi In Times Of Sai Baba (Nineteenth Century):
- The village of Shirdi had been a small hamlet in the map of India when Maharashtra state did not exist. As per Shri Sai Satcharitra: Shirdi falls in the Kopergaon Taluka or Ahmednagar district. The river Godavari which is said to have flourished many a saints, flows in this district. After crossing the Godavari river at Kopergaon, one gets on way to Shirdi. When you go 9 miles from this spot, you come to Nimgaon from where Shirdi is visible.
- Shirdi is as famous and well-known as other holy places like Gangapur, Nrisinhawadi, Pandharpur and Nashik. Also a long tradition of saints is attached to Maharashtra. Thus it was very much appropriate for this ‘Fakir’ Who was named as Sai Baba after alighting at this Holy land, to flourish it and make His Karma-Bhoomi.
- Sai Baba came to Shirdi in mid of nineteenth century.
- Shirdi till then did not have lightning, drainage or any facility of a civilized town. The streets and passages were all dark at night.
- The old and dilapidated mosque of Shirdi had taken shape of royal court which mostly consisted of learned men from other provinces of present Maharashtra state and rustic villagers of Shirdi mostly labourers and artisans.
- In this village a village well, few basic provision shops and few run-down temples were only present. About 200 roof tops could be counted.
Present Day Picture of Shirdi:
- Though Shirdi has the same devotional energy continuously flowing for day and night, one will find all different spectacular today.
- More than a rustic hamlet, it has become a concrete-city and a pilgrimage where devotees in millions flock with ever-increasing numbers.
- The Samadhi temple complex – where the earthly body of Lord Sai Baba rests is now being well maintained by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi.
- ‘A’ Grade railway station has been constructed in Shirdi in early 2009. The project of constructing airport is on-going and is expected to be completed soon.
- For facility of pilgrimages visiting Shirdi, Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust has constructed Bhakt Niwas with latest modern facilities at nominal cost.
- Also there is one multi-specialty hospital with all latest technology and equipments.
- Shirdi has also facility of state transport service with small but neat and clean bus-station.
- A large Prasadalay has been constructed wherein about 5000 devotees can dine at a time. Here simple yet delicious food is cooked with solar energy.
- Many hotels and buildings are rising here day by day. Even commercial complexes have found their way here. Other few buildings are presently laid in drawing sheets of aspiring builders waiting to take shape.
- Apart from buildings, one can find travel agencies, telephone booths, shops with flowers, garlands, small pictures, large portraits and idols of Sai Baba, pooja materials, books on Sai Baba, etc. In a nutshell, a large market is surrounded near Samadhi temple complex and one can easily find and purchase anything within a small radius of 300 meters.
- Still the feel remains the same. Every step of this Holy land reminds that it is the same place where Sai Baba had once walked during His lifetime. Many devotees are influenced by this magnetic feel and this is enough to mould and change their lives. Shirdi has been the place where the definition of God has taken shape and this is experience of many which they feel as soon as they step soil of Shirdi.
Next Post in this Series: Complete Shirdi Guide – Khandoba Mandir
Added Feature: Now you can get a guide in Shirdi, refer this article:
A Guide To Show You Heaven On Earth