The Shirdi Saibaba Temple, located at Shirdi, Maharashtra, India attracts millions of devotees of all religions, castes and creed who come to pay homage to Shri Sai Baba. The temple is a beautiful shrine that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba. Shirdi is a small village in Kopargam taluk, in Ahmadnagar District of the Maharastra State.
When Baba was physically present at the age of 20 in Shirdi, it was a small village of 80 thatched houses with mud walls. Today it is a big town with palatial modern buildings and shops. The nearest airport is Aurangabad (144 Km/90 mile) which is connected by Indian Airlines and private airlines with other cities / towns. Shirdi town is situated in Rahata Tahasil in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra State (India). It is located at 19o45' North Latitude and 74o25' East Longitude. It falls on Ahmednagar-Manmad State Highway No.10 at 83 Km. from Ahmednagar, and 15 Km. from Kopargaon.
The temple premises of Shri Saibaba is spread in approximately 200 sq. mtrs. It is situated in the heart of Shirdi village and is a major center of pilgrimage from all over the world. On an average, daily 20,000 devotees visit Shirdi village, to have the Darshan of Shri Saibaba. In the festival season, more than 1,00,000 devotees visit the Temple everyday. The Temple premises is renovated in the year 1998-99 and now is equiped with all necessary facilities like, Darshan Lane, Prasada (Lunch and Dinner), Donation Counters, Prasad Counters, Canteen, Railway Reservation Counter, Book Stall etc. The Accommodation Facilities are also provided by the Sansthan.
Chandbhai, the headman of a village called Dhoopkhede (in Aurangabad, India), once lost his horse and was looking for it. Suddenly he heard a voice say "You look tired. come here and rest a while". He turned around and saw a young Fakir . The fakir smiled at him and said "What are you looking for in this jungle, Chandbhai". Chandbhai was surprised and he wondered how the fakir knew his name. Slowly, he said "I have lost my horse. I have looked for it everywhere, but cannot seem to find it". The fakir told him to look behind a clump of trees. Chandbhai was pleasantly surprised to find his horse grazing peacefully behind those trees. He thanked the fakir and asked his name. The fakir said "some people call me Sai Baba."
Sai Baba then invited Chandbhai to have a smoke with him. He got the pipe ready, but there was no fire to light it with. Sai Baba thrust a pair of tongs into the ground and brought out a burning coal. Chandbhai was wonderstruck. He thought "this is no ordinary person" and invited Baba to come to his house and be his guest for a few days.
Next day Baba went to Chandbhai's house and found everybody in a very joyful mood and festivities going on all around. He found that Chandbhai's wife's nephew was getting married. The bride was from Shirdi and the marriage party was going to Shirdi. Chandbhai invited Baba to accompany the marriage party to Shirdi. At Shirdi they camped in a field next to Khandoba's temple.
After the wedding, Saibaba stayed on at Shirdi. At first he lived under a neem tree and begged for food whenever he needed it. He then went to Khandoba's temple, intending to stay there, but the temple priest met him at the entrance and told him to go to the mosque. That is how Baba, started staying at the Mosque which was later called Dwarkamayi.
Baba preached at Shirdi all his life and performed numerous miracles to convince people that God exists. He healed people's diseases, provided moral and material comfort to his devotees. Baba helped bring Unity and Harmony between all communities. He said that God is one, but called by different names. He said follow your own religion and seek the truth.
One day a rich millionaire named Booty came to Sai Baba and said he was going to construct a stone building for Shri Krishna. Baba helped him plan the building. Before the building was completed Baba fell very ill. On the 15th of October 1918, he breathed his last. His last wish was to be buried in Booty's building.
Samadhi Mandir: The Mandir is built with stones and Baba's Samadhi is built with white marble stones. A railing is built in marble around the Samadhi and is full of ornamental decorations. In front of the Samadhi are two silver pillars full of decorative designs. Just behind the Samadhi is Sai Baba's marvelous statue made of Italian marble which shows him seated on a throne. This idol was made by late Balaji Vasant. The routine of the temple starts at 5 o'clock in the morning with Bhoopali, a morning song, and closes at 10 o'clock in the night after Shejarati is sung. Only on three occasions the temple is kept open overnight. ie. On Gurupoornima, Dassera, and Ramnavami. Every Thursday and on each festival, a palkhi
Dwarkamai Temple: This is the place where Shri Sai Baba used to spent much of his time. All the things from His time are still kept as they were used to. It includes, Dhuni (lighted by Shri Sai Baba), Chul (clay stove), Bathing Stone, Jata (Grinding Stone), and the stone on which Baba used to sit.
Lendi Baug: Baba used to stroll daily at this place - of dense shrubs and bushes. Baba used to come here to get some rest and isolation. Baba himself had planted a "Pimpal Tree" at this place. A beautiful "Datta Temple" is located here. "Baba's Shiwadi"(a well) is also located in this place. A light named Nandadeep is kept lightened all the time, near the "Pimpal Tree".
Gurusthan: This place of Shri Sai Baba's Guru is famous as "Gurusthan". Sai Baba at the age of 16 was seen here firstly. The well known "Neem Tree" can also be seen here. It is believed that, the devotees can get what they pray for if "Udi" and "Agarbatti" is lightened at this place, every Thursday and Friday.
Chawadi: The place next to Dwarkamai is Chawadi where Baba's used to sleep on alternate nights. The cot and chair, used by Shri Sai Baba are kept here. Some more temples which are also located in the Samadhi Temple's premises and must to visit are like Shri Ganesh, Shri Mahadev Mandir and Shri Shani .Maruti Temple was one of the favorite temple of Sai Baba as he regularly visits this temple.
Khandoba Mandir: This temple is situated on the main road. In front of this temple Baba was welcomed by Poojar Mhalsapti, of this temple, Saying "Aao Sai", when Baba stepped in Shirdi. In this temple there are icons of Khandoba, Banai and Mhalsai.
Datta Temple: This temple is located at Lendi Baug, which is in the Shri Saibaba Samadhi temple's premises. A "Pipal Tree" planted by Shri Saibaba can also be seen here. Baba's favourite horse (named "SHYAMKARNA") also rest in peace at this place. This temple is located at Lendi Baug, which is in the Shri Saibaba Samadhi temple's premises. A "Pipal Tree" planted by Shri Saibaba can also be seen here. Baba's favourite horse (named "SHYAMKARNA") also rest in peace at this place. This temple is located at Lendi Baug, which is in the Shri Saibaba Samadhi temple's premises. A "Pipal Tree" planted by Shri Saibaba can also be seen here. Baba's favourite horse (named "SHYAMKARNA") also rest in peace at this place.
Maruti Temple: Shri SaiBaba had a special place for this temple in His heart. He used to visit this temple regularly. Nearby the temples of Shri Ganesh, Shri Shani, and Shri Mahadev are located. Samadhis of some of the nearest followers of Shri Saibaba are also present in Temple Premises.