Shirdi is located in the Maharashtra state in Western India and is known for being the initial home of Sai Baba. This small town has been acclaimed as one of the prime pilgrim centres of the country. Every year, a huge number of tourists gather here to pay homage to the spiritual leader, Sai Baba. Shirdi, being one of the top places of worship offers significant tourist attractions that deserve special mention.
As a patron of history and ancient culture, I visited many tourist places that feature expansive heritage and brilliant architectural sites. And, this time, my plan was to explore Shirdi. After reading about Shirdi, I was quite intrigued to visit the place. So, without wasting any time, I browsed through the website of Intermiles and got one of the Chennai to Shirdi flights booked for myself. I also reserved a stay at Hotel Yogiraj from the website for two days. After landing at the former residence of Sai Baba, we (me and my parents) planned the next part of our trip. The following day, we were ready to explore the best attractions of the town and went ahead with our plan. Here is a complete overview of how we conducted our day trip.
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The exterior of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Temple
We began our Shirdi expedition by visiting the most iconic place, Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Temple. Dedicated to Sai Baba, this temple is one of the most pious places in the state of Maharashtra. Sai Baba, one of the greatest saints in India is believed to have unprecedented powers. People consider him as the incarnation of God and thus to honour his values, this temple was created. Spreading over an area of 200 sq.m, this temple complex is located in the heart of the Shirdi town. When we reached the place, we witnessed the Abhishekh Pooja that was being conducted by the pandits. It was such a satisfying experience and we could literally feel our souls getting detoxified as we prayed to the deity. Owing to its recent renovation in 1998, the complex also has many modern places like Darshan Lane and Prasadalay where lunch and dinner are served.
A glimpse of the Sai Teerth Theme Park interiors
After a spiritual tour from the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Temple, we headed to the Sai Teerth Theme Park. This amusement park is said to be the first spiritual theme park in the country. It is a fully air-conditioned park that boasts many modern facilities in this traditional town. Hosting 4 different kinds of shows, this place provides a great learning experience for the devotees of Sai Baba. At Sai Teerth Theme Park, we took a train ride and explored the entire premises. We also witnessed the artificially created setup of Dwarkami at this theme park that displayed exquisite architecture. The park also features a movie space and a 5D show. So, if you want to experience a fusion of entertainment and learning, then you must visit Sai Teerth Theme Park on your upcoming trip to Shirdi.
The serene atmosphere of Lendi Baug
After having lunch at the nearby stalls, we decided to spend some time in the Lendi Baug, which is a popular tourist attraction of Shirdi. Spreading over a large area, this baug or garden features lush greenery. According to legend, Sai Baba used to water the plants of this garden. It is also believed by the devotees that the spiritual leader dug a 2 feet deep pit and placed an earthen lamp in here. Today, in the memory of many episodes of Sai Baba and his followers, a lamp remains lit inside the garden premises. At Lendi Baug, we spotted a statue of Sai Baba watering the plants. Placed on white marble, the statue is considered to be a landmark of this place. Surrounded by trees and bushes, Lendi Baug is an ideal spot to rest and rejuvenate. As per my experience, spending the afternoon at Lendi Baug is the best thing you can do. On your visit here, you can also witness the Samadhis of Baba’s well-known devotees including Abdul Baba and Bhau Maharaj Kumbhar at the entrance.
View of the main shrine at Gurusthan
After spending most of our evening at Lendi Baug, we headed straight to the nearby popular attraction that is Gurusthan. This is a historical place where Sai Baba was first seen as a 16-year-old boy. Here, he sat under a neem tree. And today, a shrine has been built in the spirit of this event. According to the devotees of Sai Baba, incense sticks of Gurusthan can heal ailments. While we were at this sacred place, we witnessed branches of neem trees coming out from the roof of this temple. The shrine also encompassed a huge portrait of Sai Baba along with Nandi Bull and Shivling. If you want to spend some time alone at peace, visiting Gurusthan is a must-thing to do. This place with its soothing and calm ambience can instill a spiritual and positive vibe in your heart.
We concluded our trip by heading back to the hotel. It was surely an unforgettable experience. With proper planning and the right choice of places, you too can visit the popular places in Shirdi in 24 hours. However, make sure you book your flight tickets and hotel in advance and explore the beautiful attractions of this sacred land at your own pace.