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Shirdi City Guide - A Trip Through the Religious Town

Shirdi is one of the most religious towns in Maharashtra. Known as the hometown of Sri Sai Baba, there is a huge temple dedicated to him. This Sai Baba Mandir is forever busy with devotees offering homage to this patron saint. There are a number of other interesting sights in this city.

Almost synonymous to the most beloved saint of Indian, Sai Baba, Shirdi is one of the best known towns in the country. An obscure village, Shirdi was suddenly transformed into the most revered town by the charisma of this saint. Countless devotees throng to Shirdi to catch a glimpse of the place where Baba once lived. The rituals and ceremonies that go around his Samadhi are worth a watch. The Sai Baba temple is the only attraction in Shirdi, yet it is the most visited place in India.

The Samadhi Mandir is the heart of Shirdi and sees a constant inflow of devotes. Constructed by an ardent disciple of Sai Baba, the Samadhi is done brilliantly in white marble and enshrines a white marble life-size statue of the saint. The temple is administered by the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan which conducts all the activities in the temple. Mostly four aartis are held everyday. Due to the high number of devotes visiting the temple one might take an hour to get a darshan on a usual day. In case of festivals it can increase to many hours. Every Thursday a procession is taken out wherein a palki carries Baba's memoirs around the town.

The tree under which Baba is believed to have meditated is also a celebrated place called Gurusthan. A temple with Baba's picture is present there. Baba is believed to have stayed in a double storey mosque, Dwarkamai close by. It now houses images of the saint and some articles used by him. His wooden bed and stone chair are present in Chawadi, a stone structure which formed his abode at night. Opposite this is the cottage of Abdul Baba, his most ardent follower. It has a Koran and photographs of devotees. The Dixit Wada Museum also houses some interesting articles including a black and white picture of Sai Baba, his robes, slippers, gramophone records and other objects of daily use. The Lendi Bagh is a major tourist and pilgrim attraction in Shirdi. Sai Baba used to water the plants here everyday. The Shivadi well here was used by him. Laxmi Bai Shinde's house is also a major attraction because it was here that Baba has his last dinner. He gave nine coins here which have been put on display now.

When in Shirdi, visitors are mostly completely engrossed in the spirituality it has to offer. Yet, the town offers decent facilities to its visitors. Though a strictly vegetarian town, Shirdi has a couple of good eating places. Alcohol is prohibited though. One can easily get good vegetarian meals and thalis at many joints here. Most hotels here have their own in-house restaurants and serve good food. Do not expect much to shop for in Shirdi. Most of the shops here sell out basic essentials and loads of Sai Baba souvenirs. The best thing to take back home is the Shri Sai Satcharita which is readily available in English also.

Staying is not a problem in Shirdi as there are a good number of hotels in Shirdi. YetScience Articles, festival season draws huge crowds and one might find it difficult to find a place. It is always recommended to book hotels in advance to avoid the last minute hassle.

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Ruchira is an experienced travel writer, specializing in writing on Shirdi Hotels & attractions in Chennai for Travelguru. Get all details on holidays in Shirdi and best hotel deals in Shirdi here: Hotels in Shirdi 

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