Sai Baba Sansthan Temple in Shirdi is a highly revered place where faith prevails and hopes are constructed, as heads bow down in prayer. It is a temple where all religions are considered as one and equal. The footprints of Shri Sai Baba have made this village a holy place and millions of devotees visit the shrine every day. Here Sai Baba is worshipped as God and this holy shrine should be visited especially by all the devotees of Shri Sai Baba who wish to experience bliss and tranquility. The temple complex is spread over an area of 200 square meters and is situated in the heart of Shirdi village. The temple has all the modern facilities needed to make the devotees feel comfortable.
The mystic Sai Baba arrived in Shirdi in his childhood, when he was just sixteen. Nobody knew his origin or the purpose of his visit. He spent his entire life, till his last breath, in Shirdi and bonded with the place. His mission was to spread love and happiness among people. He helped all those who sought his help, without any discrimination. He cured the sick, protected the weak and defenseless, saved many lives, prevented innumerable accidents, and blessed the childless couples to bear children and spread peace and harmony in Shirdi. Sabka Malik Ek (Everyone's master is one) was one of his well-known epigrams. As he transformed the lives of people they believed that he was God himself and this belief continues till this date. People come to his tomb to pay homage and receive his blessings.
Every day about 25,000 devotees visit Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Shirdi. There are many important places inside the Shirdi temple complex where Sai Baba spent his time. Gurusthan, which means place of the guru, is where Baba spent most of his time when he first arrived in Shirdi. He used to sit under a Neem tree and he believed that the tomb of his Guru was located near the tree. The Neem tree is in Gurusthan even today and the leaves of the Neem tree are sweet. It is believed that with the divinity of Sai Baba the leaves have lost their bitterness. It is a shrine with Baba's portrait along with a Shiva Lingam and a Nandi. Devotees believe that lighting incense sticks here will cure them of all ailments. There is an underground passage below the Neem tree and it leads to Dwarkamai.
Dwarkamai, in the heart of Shirdi, is the place where Baba spent most of his life including his last moments. People of all religions come here and you can see the spirit of acceptance and tolerance here. This place was a dilapidated mosque almost crumbling down with no roof on top. Sai Baba turned it into Dwarkamai Temple and preached to people that God is one. This is the only place where a mosque has a temple in it. You can feel Sai Baba's holy energy as soon as you step inside Dwarkamai and the atmosphere is calm and filled with positivity. There is a perpetually burning sacred fire that was lit by Sai Baba. The holy ash from this Dhuni is distributed to the devotees as Udi, which is believed to have healing powers. There is a portrait of Sai Baba which was painted during his lifetime. Dwarkamai has a stone used as a stool by Sai Baba to sit, a chariot, a palanquin, and another square stone stool on which Sai Baba used to sit while taking a bath. There is also a Tulsi plant, a wooden pillar, a grinding stone, a stove and slippers used by Sai Baba.
Lendi Baugh in Shri Sai Baba Sansthan is a beautiful garden where Sai Baba used to spend time daily in the morning and evening watering plants. There is a Neem tree under which Sai Baba used to rest. There is also a marble Deepagraha between two trees that Sai Baba had planted. This is a perpetually burning lamp which burns from dawn to dusk even now.
Khandoba Temple in Shirdi holds special importance for being associated with Sai Baba. Baba came to Shirdi for the first time with a marriage procession and the marriage party halted at the entrance of Khandoba Temple. The temple priest welcomed Baba saying "Aao Sai". Since then he came to be known as Sai Baba and nobody knows his original name.
Chavadi is a place which was used as a village office and court where the village heads met. Once during the monsoon season, the walls of Dwarkamai started leaking badly. Devotees made Sai Baba evacuate Dwarkamai and stay in the Chavadi. After this Sai Baba started spending alternate nights in the Chavadi and the place became sanctified by his presence. Sai Baba was taken to Chavadi from Dwarkamai in a palki (palanquin) procession by his devotees. Even now the procession takes place, carrying Sai Baba's photograph and padukas (sandals), every Thursday night with the same excitement. After Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi, Shirdi Sansthan acquired the Chavadi and made it as a shrine.
Sai Baba passed away in 1918 and the Samadhi Mandir is the resting place of the sacred body of Shri Sai Baba. It was built by one of his ardent devotees from Nagpur. It has a white marble statue of Sai Baba which was installed in 1954. It is a beautiful Mandir with two huge pillars. The Samadhi of Sai Baba is also made of marble and the interior and exterior of the temple are covered with gold. As per rituals and traditions followed by Sai Baba four aarti is held daily inside the Samadhi Mandir. The three main festivals of Shirdi are Ram Navami, Guru Purnima, and Vijaya Dashami. All the devotees can have free meals in the Prasadalaya irrespective of their caste, creed or religion as it was the principle of Sai Baba.
Another interesting place near Shirdi is Shani Shingnapur. This is one of the most visited places in Shirdi trips. All the houses and shops in this village have no doors or locks and it is believed that Lord Shaneeshwar will protect them from thieves and other evils. The temple itself has no roofs, doors or walls. The Shani temple is believed to be a Jeet Devasthan or a temple that is alive. Lord Shani is believed to be residing in a five and a half feet black stone to date. It is told that he is self-manifested and he has emerged from the ground by himself. A visit to the temple will give you a trouble-free life and Lord Shani will bestow you with happiness.
Those who are interested in delving deeper into the life of Sai Baba in Shirdi village and learn about the major events in the saint's life may visit the Sai Heritage Village. The amazing sculptures in this place depict the life, divine actions and major events of Sai Baba's life. Those who visit the Shirdi temple get celestial contentment that lasts for a lifetime. Plan a trip to Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Shirdi to experience the unbelievable and miraculous powers of Shri Sai Baba. Indian Visit offers Shirdi packages that are designed to make you feel comfortable and enjoy your trip as you receive the blessings of the great saint Sai Baba of Shirdi.