Looking for a travel guide to Shirdi? Visiting Shirdi for the first time? Here is your practical Shirdi guide to answer questions like How to reach Shirdi? Where to stay in Shirdi? And how to have quick and smooth darshan of Sai Baba?
Shirdi is among the most popular religious places in India. It is a small town situated in the state of Maharashtra. Located around 250 km from Mumbai, the humble abode of Sai Baba attracts millions of pilgrims every year.
Travel Guide To Shirdi
Every time a first-timer thinks of planning a trip to Shirdi, reaching there where to stay and how to get quick. Enjoying smooth darshan are some of the basic questions that come to mind. This Shirdi travel guide tries to answer all these questions.
Before we go to the practical part of reaching Shirdi. Figuring out a hotel and how to have a hassle-free darshan is a quick background about Shirdi Sai Baba.
Sai Baba as believed came to the town of Shirdi in a marriage party and stayed here for the rest of his life. He spent most of his time under a neem tree that you can still find in the temple complex. He wanted to stay at the Khandoba temple but the priest there apparently did not let him stay there. Eventually, he stayed at a broken mosque, which is now known as the Dwarkamai. During his stay at Shirdi, Sai Baba performed miracles, healed diseases, preached brotherhood and harmony. He breathed his last on 15 October 1918. Today, Shirdi has a well laid out temple complex and a beautiful shrine dedicated to Sai Baba.
How To Reach Shirdi: Travel Guide To Shirdi
Shirdi can easily reached by rail, road and air. Mumbai is the major nearest airport to Shirdi, which is 250 kms away. Pune is 200 kms away and Aurangabad is 140 kms away as these are the other ports near to Shirdi. Read on with the travel guide to Shirdi.
The temple town of Shirdi has recently been linked by train to other parts of India. Sainagar is the closest railway station, which is just 10 km away from the Sai temple complex. If you are not able to get tickets for Sainagar, your second best choice is Kopargaon, 14 km away from the complex. Manmad is 55 km away and Nasik is 85 km away and is the other railway stops where you can get down and reach the Shirdi temple complex. State transport buses and private buses and taxies are easily available to Shirdi from all these destinations, a train time table booklet is available at all railway bookstall for your reference.
Places To Visit Near Shirdi
Most of the cities around Shirdi are well connected by road. Mumbai, Masnmad, Kopargaon, and Nasik are well connected and you can easily get a bus or taxi to take you to Shirdi. If you are not hard-pressed for time and want to experience the real local life then try the Maharashtra State Transport buses run on time and offer good connectivity from one point to the other within the city and also the other cities around Shirdi.
Where To Stay In Shirdi
There is no dearth of hotels in Shirdi. Most basic hotels, clean with attached bathrooms should not cost more than Rs. 600 to 700. Three-star and above hotels start from Rs. 1000 and go higher during the season time at the peak. Most of the basic budget hotels in Shirdi are located within the vicinity of the Temple Complex and they have a location advantage. You can roam around the temple complex in the adjoining bazaar for as long as you want without being bothered too much.
If you are not averse to staying in guest houses, ashrams, dharamshalas, there is a good neat and clean accommodation offered to you by the Sansthan Trust. You can book a room in any of the ashrams online.
If you have not booked your hotel in advance then don’t worry. As soon as you get down at the Shirdi bus stand, you will be greeted by touts to help you find a hotel. It is up to you. If you want to take their help or not. Most of the touts have their shops or get a commission from the hotels and shops for bringing customers.
Best Time To Visit Shirdi
Keeping in mind the weather of the region, October to March is the best time to visit the town of Shirdi. The temple gets really crowded during the summer vacations in May- June and during the different festivals. Besides a large number of devotees visit the temple on every Thursday, which is considered as the Sai Baba’s day. A procession of Sai Baba is taken out at 9:15 pm.
If you prefer to visit during the lean season then August and September are good months, Monday and Friday are lean days when the temple is not so crowded.
It depends on the crowd and the time of the day when you join the line for darshan. On average it takes 2 to 3 hours. If you don’t want to wait long in the queue, you can have relatively quick darshan booking darshan online by doing a payment of Rs. 100.