Shirdi in Maharashtra is a mystical magical town near the holy city of Nasik. The pilgrimage town of Shirdi was home to the saint Sai Baba, who lived here for eighty years. It is said that Sai Baba himself calls his devotees to Shirdi and that his blessings can heal even the deepest wound. Shirdi is tiny town with just 2 square km of main street and a labyrinth of by-lanes but packs in much spiritual passion.
A major pilgrimage centre, Shirdi is imbued with an aura of spiritual sanctity. Pilgrims throng for a brief "darshan" at Samadhi Mandir, the shrine of Sai Baba where his mortal remains were interred. The queues outside the temple are endless, the throng inside is maddening, and the devotion intense. Next to the shrine is the peaceful Masjid, where Sai Baba spent most of his life. The sacred fire called "dhuni" still burns here and its ash or "udhi" is smeared on devotees. The Chavadi is a small building where Sai Baba used to spend every alternate night.
How to Reach Shirdi?
By Air : The nearest airport is Aurangabad 144 kms away. From here one can hire a taxi or take a bus to Shirdi.
By Rail : Shirdi is accessible on the Central Railway line; get off at either of the two Manmad railway stations(60 kms from Shirdi) or at Kopergaon(18 km).
By Road : Shirdi is well connected by road and has state transport buses that come in from most towns in Maharashtra. You can also drive down from Mumbai and other neighbouring states to Shirdi by car. Private taxis, car rentals are widely available.
Best Time to Visit Shirdi
The best time to visit Shirdi is from December to February when the weather is pleasant enough to visit the temple and the nearby places and temperature ranges between 8°C and 34°C.
During the summer season, from March to May, the temperature varies between 20°C to 40°C. It is better to avoid visiting Shirdi in the month of April and May, when mercury level increases thus making it difficult to visit the temple.
Shirdi experiences sparse rainfall during the monsoon season, from June to August, however it is best to avoid visiting Shirdi during monsoon as there can be a problem of water-clogging.
Things to do in Shirdi
In Shirdi paying homage at Samadhi Mandir is one of the most important things to do. Besides that you can visit the Masjid or Lendi Baugh for some tranquility or take a trip to Nasik – a temple town near Shirdi. Shop for Sai Baba’s photographs and effigies or revel in the religious festivals and soak in the serene ambiance of this holy city of Shirdi.
Places Near Shirdi
Shani Shingnapur and Nashik are the two places near Shirdi that are worth visiting on a day trip from here.
Shani Shingnapur is a pilgrimage village located some 70 kms away from Shirdi. Apart from the popular Shani Dev Temple, Shani Shingnapur is also renowned for the fact there are no doors in the village only the door frames. Shri Dattatraya Temple and the tomb of Sant Shri Udasi Baba are other places to visit in Shani Shingnapur.
Another place worth visiting near Shirdi is Nashik, located at a distance of 75 kms from Shirdi. Nashik is popular for its rich culture and several temples and religious sites including Panchavati, Naroshankar Temple, Kalaram Temple, and Sundarnarayan Temple. Naroshankar Temple is an architectural marvel that has been built in ‘Maya’ style and dates back to the 18th century. Other prominent places that you may visit in Nashik include Shri Kailas Math and Pandavleni Caves.
Hotels in Shirdi – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Shirdi ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.