List of Shirdi Top Tourist Attractions Place To Visit
India is an ancient land, shrouded with mysteries. It is a melting pot of different cultures. Here, you will find people following different religions. All individuals live in harmony. The government of the county also preserves the right of secularism. People have the right to follow which every religion or sect that they feel like choosing. The dominant religions found in the country are Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, and Jainism. Among these popular religions, there are some sections, which choose to follow the footsteps shown by the ‘religious gurus.’ These gurus are seen as demi-gods, which walked the earth in human form.
The pious land of Shirdi
The town of Shirdi is frequently visited by the people who are flowers of Sai Baba. The area is under the jurisdiction of the Shirdi Nagar Panchayat. It is situated in the Rahata Taluka. The town is situated in the state of Maharashtra, the district of Ahmednagar. The distance of the town is only 83 km from the main city of Ahmednagar, and the city of Kopargaon is at a distance of 15 km. Due to the easy accisse4blity of the place and its distance from Mumbai. Many people make the journey by road.
Climate of the place
As the area is located close to the sea, it has a maritime climate. The summers are not too hot, and the winters are enjoyable. As it is situated on the Western Ghats, the monsoon winds bring a lot of rain to the area. You can visit the place throughout the year without worrying about the climate. But it is better to avoid the place during monsoons as the railway tracks, and roads get flooded in the surrounding area, cutting down all channels of transportation.
Natural beauty of the area
The area is set amidst the Western Ghats. This means that the quotient of the natural beauty of the area is high. The lofty forest covered hills and the green valleys will fill your heart with tranquility. Apart from this, there are many water bodies, which will enhance the beauty of the place. So, if you want to visit a place that is well known for its natural beauty then selecting Shirdi will be a good option.
Religious aspect of the place
The main reason why thousands of national and international tourists flock to the area is the presence of the Sai Baba Temple. Legend has it that this is the birthplace of the Guru Sai Baba. It is here that his lifeless body has been rested. The percentage of people, following the teachings of Sai Baba, is high and they make it a point to visit this holy land during the birth and death anniversary of the Guru.
The legends of Sai Baba are very popular. He as a miracle worker and devoted his life towards the betterment of the society. He was of the opinion that all religions are same and the end goal is to do good for the people. That is why even followers of other religions come to visit the place and pay their respects to the beloved Guru.
Means of transportation
If you are visiting the place for the first time and worry about the ways to get to the main area, then you must know that the place has a good network of roads. The state has taken steps to develop the transportation facilities of the region so that people can reach the destination without issues.
Apart from the roads, the area is also served by a network of railways. The main station of the area has been named after the spiritual Guru. The name of the station is “Sainagar Shirdi, ” and it started to function on a regular basis from the year 2009. The train fair is moderate, and thus, people from all economic backgrounds will be able to visit the place.
The Shirdi Airport has also started operating. This has made it even easier for the people to reach the place. If you are in a hurry, then you will be able to save time by opting for the airplanes. The foreign tourists will be able to enjoy the luxuries of the plane ride and reach their destination without much trouble.
Economy of the area
The main attraction of the area is the shrine of Sai Baba. The area has developed a reputation for being a religious place. So, devotees for near and far come to see the temple. The economy of the area is mainly based on tourism. To promote the growth of tourism, the state and the central government has taken many steps. Hotels and rest houses have been constructed. They have all the state of the art facilities for the comfort of the tourists.
Many tour organizing companies have also opened up, and they are trying to cash in on the recent trends. They will charge you extra for a guided tour. These tour guides are well-aware of the history of the area, and they will tell you the popular legends of the area. If you want to know about the past, then opting for a guided tour is a must.
The transport facilities have been improved. The state authority is taking proactive measure towards the maintenance of the roads and railways. As the number of tourists and devotees has been increasing over the years, the state has taken necessary steps to give them the necessary security to them. This has increased the reputation of the place as well.
- Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Temple
No matter whether you are a follower of the religious guru or not, the doors of the temple are open for all. People of all religious beliefs are welcome here. This temple is considered one of the top places for pilgrimage. The temple was constructed to honor the life and humanitarian works of Sai Baba. The temple opens its gates for the devotees in the wee hours of the morning, and the darshan lasts late in the evening. The followers of the Sai Baba stand in the queues for the entire night for getting a good chance of seeing the idol of the Guru.
The temple authority organizes the Prasad distribution counters from where the people can collect the sweets. The popularity of the temple has reached far beyond the borders of the country. The high percentage of foreign tourists, flocking near the temple is a proof of the fact. The temple is built near the location where the guru used to live. If you opt for a guided tour of the temple, then you will get a close look at the inner chambers as well. The area surrounding the temple has been beautifully decorated, and it adds to the serenity of the atmosphere. The temple complex has beautiful gardens. These are off-limits for the tourists. The Sai Baba is worshiped with red roses, plucked fresh from these gardens. Legend has it that the Guru was particularly fond of children and red roses. So, the children used to bring him the particular flower.
There is a saying that no one returns with an empty hand from the temple of Sai Baba. If you are a believer in the religious stories, then this is the place to try your luck. The temple complex buzzes with the sounds of musical instruments during the sandhya aarati. During the special festivals, associated with the guru, the temple is beautifully decorated. Special prasads are prepared for the celebrations.
If you want to get more information about the life of the Sai Baba, this is the place that will attract your attention. According to popular legends, this is the site where the Guru was first spotted. He was only 16 years of age at that time. The spot is considered to be a religious place, and you will be to feel the calmness in the air. The atmosphere is filled with a divine sense. You have to present at the place to experience this ambiance.
The area has a neem tree that is considered to be holy by the people. The shrine is visited by thousands of people from all over the world. You will be able to get more information about the place from the internet. The inner chamber of the shrine has a painting of the religious guru. Apart from this, the temple also houses the statue of the Nandi Bull and the Shivalingam.
The literal meaning of the term Gurusthan stands for the station of the tutor. According to the legends, if you are suffering from a disease then you must enter the shrine and pray to Sai Baba by burning some incense sticks. These beliefs have encouraged people from far and near to flock here and pray to Sai Baba. The shrine is situated at a distance of only 14 km from Shirdi. The name of the small town, where the shrine is located is Kopargaon. If you are a disbeliever, then it is the right time to pay a visit to the place.
- Samadhi Mandir
Shirdi can be deemed the city of temples of the west. If you are visiting the place, then make it a point to check the Samadhi Mandir. This temple is not only popular because of the beliefs associated with it but has also been considered as one of the most beautifully constructed temples in the area. The shrine was made under the order of a rich person who was from the city of Nagpur. Though much is not written about the person on the internet, a tour guide will be able to give you all associated details. The person was a follower of the Sai. Even though the temple was dedicated to the Sai, he wanted to establish the statue of Lord Murlidhar.
The temple has many mammoth pillars, and the construction has been done in such a manner that it will attract all eyes towards it. The walls will display amazing carvings and this showcase the talent of the craftsmen. The entire shrine has been made with milk white marble. The railings of the shrine have been ornamented. When you take a look at the idol that is placed in the inner chambers, you will feel the divine presence in the ambiance. So, it is the right time to book a seat on the tour that will give you a vivid picture of the past. This will, in turn, help you in knowing about the present and the impending future.
The spiritual guru always stressed the importance of giving equal importance to all religions. He welcomes flowers from all religion during his lifetime, and the same tradition is being flowed so many years after his death. The Dwarkamai Mosque is one such place that will give you a sense of India’s sovereign nature. Though this is a mosque, you will see that many people are offering their prayers to the Sai by kneeling in front of his image, with hands folded in prayer. Some are chanting the religious inscriptions. Others will be seen meditating in front of the idol.
There is no firm way of praying to Sai Baba. He answers everyone’s prayers. All you need is to surrender your heart and soul to him. The feeling of religious tolerance is prominent here. The literal meaning of the mosque’s name if ‘God on earth.’ It is said that when the followers of the Sai Baba proposed to redecorate the shrine, the Guru resented the idea strongly. According to him, the prayers are all that you need and not the decoration. Sai Baba said that just entering the mosque will please the gods and the devotees will be blessed.
According to the popular religious Guru, the mosque was a pious place. The person entering the shrine will feel like they are in the lap of their mother. The calm and soothing ambiance will evoke a religious feeling in the hearts of all. As the spiritual guru was had deep respect for all beliefs, the doors of the mosque are open for all.
Another attraction of the area, associated with Sai Baba is Chavadi. This is the place where the guru used to stay during the last few years of his life. He used to stay here on every other night. The nearest attraction located near the place is the Dwarkamai Mosque. This area is thought to be the place where Sai Baba and his followers took out a rally.
The local people and the devotees of the saint have kept the tradition alive. Every week, on Thursday, the devotees place the idol of the saint in the nicely decorated palki and arrange the rally. This gives the tourist an idea about how the people celebrated the greatness of their beloved saint Sai Baba.
- Jangli Maharaj Ashram
If you are looking for a place to sit and meditate, then there is no better place than the Jangli Maharaj Ashram. Though the place is not very richly decorated as the other temples in the area, it has something that will attract your eyes and mind. It is the calming ambiance. The place has a rare aura that will transform you into a different realm. This is the reason why people visit the town makes it a point to come here. If you have a religious inclination, then you will visit the place time and again. It is said that Sai Baba is still present here and he calls his devotees again and again.
There is an artificial highway, and the ashram is situated near it. The exact distance of the ashram is only 7 km from the main town of Shiridi. The activities and the maintenance of the area are the responsibility of the well-known spiritual guru, the one, and only Om Gurudev. The ashram also houses a school for both girls and boys. The Sai Baba always tried to do something good for the people, and he also stressed on the education of both sexes. He had the opinion that with the right education, the minds of people will not be shrouded with suspicious and superstitions. It was required for the development of the entire society.
Special events are conducted in the ashram on the eve of Purnima and the holy Guru Sadguru Janglidas Maharaj heads the whole operations. The ashram aims at imparting both traditional and spiritual education to the children so that the next generation can be endowed with all the right qualities. The doors of the Ashram are open for children of all casts and religions. If you want to take part in the humanitarian activities, then you can donate in cash or kind to the ashram authority.
- Abdul Baba Cottage
On the opposite side of the popular tourist spot, Chavadi is another place that travelers and devotees flock to. The name of the place is Abdul Baba cottage. As the legends go, this was the residential cottage of one of the most trusted followers and devotees of Sai Baba. His name was Abdul Baba. Sai Baba used to come to his house often to meet his other disciples. The color of the cottage was green but once is passed into the hands of the state departments; they have made many changes during the restoration.
The cottage has a museum, and this is the main attraction for all tourists. If you are a devotee of Sai Baba, then you must visit the museum. Many ancient artifacts and objects of daily use have been kept on display here. It is said, and most of these objects belonged to the spiritual guru himself. Some of the other objects belong to the disciple, Abdul Baba. While taking a look at the objects and reading the description tags, you will know about the simple living policies of the guru. The place is one of a kind, and you will enjoy your time here.
- Thursday Palki procession
If you are planning on visiting Shirdi, then see that you go to the place on a Thursday. There was a tradition of taking out possessions of the guru by his disciple. The same tradition continues till now. Sai Baba loved to sit in the palki and join the possessions. Now, the palki ride still continues on every Thursday. The only difference is the place of the guru has been taken by his marble statue. The priests of the temple deck the statue with flowers, and the rally starts. Missing the possession is a big downer. Most tourists plan their visit in such a way that they get time to see the rally on Thursday.
The local people, as well as the tourists, enjoy the colors, lights, and music associated with the Thursday possession. This rally is one of the main attractions of the area. A tourism industry has developed surrounding the event. You can also pray to the deity and ask for his blessings.
- Khandoba Mandir
The Khandoba Mandir is another attraction of the place. The main deity of the town is Khandoba and people hold high regards for her. She is both respected and feared by the local people. There is a total of 13 shrines, dedicated to the deity and this one is one of them. The most famous shrine of Khandoba is situated at Jejuri, in the city of Pune.
According to popular legends, the religious guru Sai Baba came to the area along with a marriage possession. When he came under a huge banyan tree, the high priest Mhalsapati saw him and welcomed him in the local language. As Sai started visiting the place frequently, stories started to spread, and the area came under the radar. Thus, within no time, disciples of the fakir started flocking to this place too.
- Shani Shingnapur
India is a land of wonders and mysteries. Each city has something or the other that sets it aside from the others. Like the small town of Shani Shingnapur is visited by tourists for a unique reason. The houses or the shops of this town do not have any entrance gates. Yes! It is true. The people of the area have so much faith in their god that they believe that he is looking after them all the time. Apparently, no cases of theft or robbery have ever been reported in the town. Another important aspect of the temple is that no women devotees are allowed to set foot in the temple compound. Only men have the right of worshiping the Lord.
Legends have it that the statue in the temple houses the spirit of Lord “Swayambhu.” People say that the shrine is alike and the Lord has been preserving the peace of the town. They have a belief that the Lord will punish anyone who steals from the others. On every Saturday, the grand “tilak abhishek” takes place. The statue of the god stands 5 feet high and is placed on a huge open platform.
During Amavasya or the no moon night, thousands of people flock to the area and worship the God. It is believed that if you worship the god in the appropriate manner on this night, then you will never have to face any trouble in your life. Many petitions were submitted to the court by the devotees, and a motion was passed by the High Count in Mumbai on April 2016 and women got the permission to enter the shrine compound.
- Lendi Baug
If you are a nature lover and want to spend some quality time in the lap of nature, then the Lendi Baug is the place for you. The garden used to be one of the favourite places of Sai, and he used to spend his time here a lot. He used to sprinkle water on the shrubs and plants every day and in the evening. The gardens also house ‘Deepagraha.’ This place is made of marble, and the Sai used to light a lamp here. The maintenance of the garden is in the hands of the state. To keep the memory of the Sai alive, the caretakers of the garden light a lamp from dawn to dusk every day.
Though the area has a lot to offer, most of the tourist attractions are directly or indirectly associated with the great fakir Sai Baba. The saint is not only popular with the common people, but even Bollywood actor and politicians pay their respects to the Sia. Before the release of a movie or before the election, many public figures have been seen making their way to the Sai temples, asking the Baba for his divine blessings. If you want to get the sanctifications of the saint, then it is the right time to pack your bags and set out for the religious town of Shirdi.
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