December 17, 2016

Quote of the Post: "Shirdi Saibaba Temple truly attracts millions of devotees of all religions, castes and creed from all over the world and deserve to be in India's most famous shrines." - Quote about 'Saibaba Temple, Shirdi' - Sachin Kumar Gupta

If you are searching for Shirdi Sai Baba visit, what you should know about, what to keep in mind, what places to visit in Shirdi Temple, what instructions to follow, what are the Puja timings, you are at the right place. 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 from all around the world. The temple is a beautiful shrine that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba. Shirdi is a small village in Kopargam taluka, in Ahmadnagar District of the Maharastra State. Shirdi is located about 270 kms from Mumbai (MH) and about 190 kms from Pune (MH) in India. If you are planning to travel by train, Kopargaon (KPG), Manmad Jn (MMR), Nasik Road (NK) and Aurangabad (AWB) are 4 nearby train stations near Shirdi.

Important Instructions for Shirdi Sai devotees: These points I have collected after my visits to this place, and also includes family and friend's experiences.
- If you have not visited this place before, make sure on arrival at Shirdi, devotees should immediately get in touch with one of the Niwassthan Office for booking of their accommodation which will be made available after registration of name and other particulars. No deposit is required for accommodation.
- Sai Devotees are requested that they should not keep of their  foot wears any where except Chappal stand. it is near Darshan 'Q' entrance.
- Sai Devotees are requested not to carry their cell phones and cameras in Samadhi Mandir. Please keep it in lockers provided by Sansthan in Mandir Premises.
- All the devotees, especially women and diabetic persons, are requested to eat some food before joining the darshan queue as during heavy rush days time required for darshan will be from 2 to 3 hours.
- It would be best to keep all your belongings in your vehicle only, so you can save some time. 
- Thursday is the day Saibaba is specially worshipped. On this day devotees from all over India visit Shirdi for Darshan of Saibaba.
- For VIP pass, only one family member need to be in queue, and now cashless (card) payments are also available. It may take more than an hour on weekdays and more than 2 hours on weekend, and important dates. 
- Now Online Darshan Booking has introduced for Sai devotees which are providing them an option of not standing in a queue for several hours to have darshan of Siababa Samadhi Mandir. Refer this link Devotees need to be first register themselves in the Website and create an Account, after that they can select the Online services like Darshan, Accommodations, Donation, etc and make their payments online.
- It was good to see that the devotees were being offered free tea/ water / coffee while they waited in queues.
- As the Samadhi Mandir is overcrowded at the time of Aarti, devotees should safeguard their ornaments and purses from pick-pocketers and take care their children.
- All the necessary assistance and guidance is readily available to the devotees at the Niwassthan Office of the Shri SaiBaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi.
- As the various dealers and vendors of Pooja articles are not connected with the Shri SaiBaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi, devotees should first fix the price before buying these articles to avoid any trouble thereafter.
- Medical facilities are available at the well-equipped  Hospital run by the Shri SaiBaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi.
- The Laddu counter is always very crowdy. Free dry boondi also distributed in similar 50 gms packet per head.
- The three main festivals in Shirdi are of two to four days each. They are Ramnavami (March/April), Guru Purnima (July),and Vijayadashami (September). 
- There are programme running throughout the year of puja, music (bhajan) public parayana (reading of scriptures and devotional texts) and exuberant processions with the palanquin and the Rath (cart).

Make sure to visit all places within the Shirdi temple boundary. 
Sri Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir
Shri Saibaba Sansthan Temple
Dixit Wada Museum
Lendi Baug
Maruti Mandir
Dwarkamai Masjid
Baba's Chavadi
Adul Baba Cottage

Literature about Shri Sai Baba containing authentic information in various languages has been published by the Shri SaiBaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi at reasonable prices and is readily available at its Book shops near the Samadhi Mandir.

Khandoba Mandir: Khandoba Mandir is situated on the main road. In front of this temple Baba was welcomed by Poojari Mhalsapati of this temple, who said "Aao Sai (Come Sai)", when Baba stepped in Shridi. In this temple there are icons of Khandoba, Banai and Mhalsai.

Daily Sai Darshan Puja Timing: The worship schedule at Shirdi Saibaba temple begins early in the morning that continues till late in night. (As of 2016 - It may change.)
·         4:30: Dwarkamai, Gurusthan, Chavadi open
·         5:00: Mandir opens, Bhupali, Abhishekam at Gurusthan
·         5:15: Kakad (morning) Arati, Naivedyam of butter and sugar to Baba in Samadhi Mandir, Oil offered to the lamps in Dwarkamai
·         5:40: Bhajan in Saibaba Mandir
·         6:00: Mangal Snaan (washing) of Statue and Samadhi in Samadhi Mandir
·         7:00: Darshan begins in Samadhi Mandir
·         9:00: Naivedyam in Samadhi Mandir and Dwarkamai
·         8:00 -10:30: Satyanarayana Pooja
·         11:30: Dhuni Pooja with rice and ghee in Dwarkamai
·         12:00: Mid day Arati
·         12:30: Naivedyam in Samadhi Mandir, Dwarkamai and Gurusthan
·         4:00: Pothi (Devotional reading/Study) in Samadhi Mandir Sunset: Dhoop (evening) Arati
·         6:30: Naivedyam in Samadhi Mandir, Dwarkamai and Gurusthan
·         8:00 - 9:00: Devotional Songs in Samadhi Mandir and other Cultural Programs (if any)
·         9:00: Chavadi and Gurusthan close
·         9:30: In Dwarkamai water is given to Baba, a mosquito net is hung and the hanging lamp is lit
·         9:45: Dwarkamai (the upper part) closes
·         10:30: Shejarati -Shej (night) Arati, after this , a shawl is wrapped around the statue in the Samadhi Mandir, a Rudraksha mala is put around baba's neck, Mosquito net is hung, and a glass of water kept there
·         11:30: Samadhi Mandir closes after night Arati

Apart from these there are other nearby destinations like Trimbakeshwar jyotirlinga, Shani Shingnapur, Renuka Mata Temple, Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Ajanta and Ellora, Vani Saptashrungi Shakti peeth devi temple, Muktidham & Panchvati Temple in Nashik are located within 150 km from Shirdi that can be visited by the tourists here.

Om Shirdi Sai.

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