Tourist spots the world over have certain special features to attract visitors in great numbers. Some destinations may not have the geographical features to boast of but will have some unique quality or possess something extraordinary to command the attention of people. Shirdi is one such destination, which does not have the natural beauty but has association to divinity to make believers visit and do a soul search. Sai Baba, a very popular saint lived in this village in Maharashtra. Devotees who follow various faiths have strong belief in Sai Baba and his powers, that even after nearly 100 years since he left the world they throng in great numbers to his erstwhile abode. Here are the top 5 places to visit in Shirdi.
1. Samadhi Mandir
Samadhi Mandir is where Sai Baba was laid to rest. Built of white marbles, the Samadhi Mandir attracts worshippers in great numbers. The site of the Mandir originally belonged to a multi millionaire named Shreemant Gopalrao who was an ardent worshipper of Baba. The site that houses the tomb of Baba was initially intended to be a wada, meaning ‘a huge private house’ for Baba along with a temple. Baba’s health deteriorated and before his last breath, he asked to be taken to wada. His mortal remains were buried in the site intended to have the image of Lord Murlidhar. A showroom here houses the articles used by Sai Baba.
2. Shri Saibaba Sansthan Temple
Covering an area of 200 square meters, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Temple stands at the center of Shirdi. The temple attracts pilgrims from various parts of the world. Accommodation is provided here for pilgrims. Once you arrive at Shirdi, you need to contact the Niwassthan office for registering your name for accommodation. Arrangements to keep your valuables safe in lockers are also available here. In short, you can have a comfortable and peaceful darshan of Sai Baba.
3. Dwarkamai Masjid
Dwarkamai Masjid was Sai Baba’s abode for over 60 years. It was here that he blessed his devotees and it was here he lit a sacred fire, which still burns. The stone grinder which Baba used and the wooden bowl in which he collected the offerings made by public are preserved here. The oil painting of the saint is spectacular.
Chavadi was closely associated with Baba as he used to sleep here every alternate day during the last ten years of his life. He was moved to this place by his devotees on a rainy day when the Masjid in which he was staying started to leak. Since then, Baba used to return to Chavadi every alternate night to sleep here. After Baba attained Samadhi, the Sansthan acquired the place. Books were stored here and pilgrims were accommodated here for sometime. Now, Chavadi is protected as a shrine of Baba.
5. Dixit Wada Museum
Dixit Wada Museum is situated inside the Sansthan Trust complex. Here you will find pictures of Sai Baba with his devotees. These black and white pictures take you back to the olden days when Baba had been physically present comforting those that needed help. The museum also houses the articles he used including cooking utensils, long robes and bathing stone.
For the devotees of Sai Baba, Shirdi offers refreshing experience. It soothes their souls and makes them face the challenges of life. For others, Shirdi could still be captivating as it gives an insight into the life of a saint, who though lived a humble life had the power to conquer the hearts of many. I would appreciate hearing about more destinations here from those of you who had been to Shirdi.
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