14 Best Tourist Places in Shirdi
Shirdi is most popular for the main Sai Baba Temple, and it is visited by every saint or Sai Baba devotee, but certainly, it is not the only tourist destination in Shirdi. The fact that tourists or devotees who visit Shirdi are not aware of tourist destinations other than Sai Baba Temple makes them underrated but must-visit places to explore during the trip to Shirdi. Shirdi, which is a popular pilgrimage center, is visited regularly by a bunch of crowds, and now, it is also turning into a tourist hub where one can plan a trip with their family or friends. For the people of nearby areas, like Nagpur, Mumbai, and Pune, Shirdi is like a perfect weekend gateway destination for them where they can go to spend some time off from their normal life, and in today's time, this place is not only limited to temples, and it has much more to offer for visitors. Visitors can come here to spend their time in shopping malls, heritage, and cultural sites, amusement parks, and many other places which Shirdi offers to visitors apart from temples. Shirdi, by offering multiple tourist attractions, make sure that visitors or devotees of Sai Baba are captivated after seeking blessings of Sai Baba from the main temples.
All these different kinds of tourist destinations of Shirdi make sure that one can easily plan a two or three days trip to Shirdi with their family or friends and enjoy the fullest in such a beautiful religious place. This home of Sai Baba is becoming more diverse as time passing, and one needs at least two days to explore most of these places; otherwise, one will get a miss out feeling even after visiting Shirdi. Most of these tourist destinations of Sai Baba's home provide everyone a glimpse of his life and that of all villagers and take back in time to feel all those historically significant events. Shirdi is definitely a great place for all those people and devotees of Sai Baba who not only want to learn about his life but also want to feel the important events of his life and make their journey a wonderful and everlasting experience. This article provides an overview or a brief description of all such tourist destinations of Shirdi so that one cannot miss any of them while having a trip to this beautiful place.
(1) Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, which is positioned at the Shirdi Taluka, Rahata District of Ahmednagar, is placed rightly at the top of the list of tourist destinations of Shirdi because it is the biggest temple and home of Sai Baba. This temple of Sai Baba, which is believed to be one of the greatest saints even known in human history, marks approximately 30,000 to 35,000 tourists or devotees from all over India on any day of the year. Also, this temple gets flooded with not less than a lakh devotees from all across India during festivals and many other special occasions. From 4 in the morning to 11 at night, prayers and songs are sung in this temple all day long. The timings to enter the temple are from 5 AM to 12 PM in the morning and 4 PM to 9 PM in the evening. The Satyanarayan Pooja and Abhishek Pooja are conducted here in different batches, and the following are details of the timings of these batches:
Batch Timings for Satyanarayan Pooja at Shirdi Sai Baba Temple:
Batch Timings for Abhishek Pooja at Shirdi Sai Baba Temple:
Gurusthan, which is positioned at Kopargaon - a town situated 14 kilometers away from Shirdi, is counted as one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially for Sai Baba devotees because it is believed that this is the place where Sai Baba is first seen in the world. According to the stories of Sai Baba, Gurusthan is the place where the world saw Sai Baba as a 16-year-old boy, who sat under a Neem tree here, and since then, this place has been named Gurusthan. The meaning of Gurusthan is "Seat of Teachers," which perfectly fits this place, and now, a shrine has also been built here. Inside the shrine, along with Shivling and Nandi Bull, a portrait of Sai Baba is also placed to worship, and devotees of Sai Baba who visit Shirdi Sai Baba Temple also come here. In the same shrine, a statue of Sai Baba, which is made up of Marble, is also placed with pictures of all 12 jyotirlingas. Devotees from all over India come to Gurusthan to take blessings of Sai Baba, and it is also believed among them that lighting incense sticks here can heal all their ailments. The Gurusthan is open every day for everyone, and its timings are 5 AM to 10 PM.
(3) Shani Shingnapur
Here, in the Shani Shingnapur temple, which is positioned only 65 Kilometers away from the Sai Baba Temple, it is believed that Lord Shani is present in simple black stone that protects all his devotees from evil, and this miraculous temple of Lord Shani holds no deity-like any other temple. The devotees or people of nearby regions of the temple have complete faith in their Lord Shani, which is why they don't have any doors or other locks at their houses. All of them believe that Lord Shani will save them from all types of risks and dangers and take care of the thieves and other evil-intentioned people. One more thing which makes this temple one of the best tourist attractions of Shirdi is the interesting history of the temple and the stories behind it. The timings to enter the temple are from 12 AM to 12 PM.
(4) Lendi Baug
Positioned at the Mauli Nagar, Shirdi, Lendi Baug is a garden where Sai Baba used to rest under a Neem tree and come to water plants in this garden every day. Devotees of Sai Baba believe that Baba had dug a pit with a depth of 2 feet, and he had also placed an earthen limp inside the pit he dugged. In the memory of many episodes of Sai Baba's life and his devotees, a marble enclosure with a lamp inside remains lit all the time in today's time. Samadhis of Nanavalli, Bhau Maharaj Kumbhar, Tatya Kote Patil, Abdul Baba, and many other Sai Baba devotees are present at this garden's entrance. Gurusthan, which is discussed earlier in this article, is very near to this garden, and visitors, who are visiting this garden, should definitely visit Gurusthan as well. The garden is open on all days of the week from 4 in the morning to 11 in the late evening.
(5) Hanuman Mandir
One more tourist attraction of Shirdi, Hanuman Mandir, is positioned near the Dwarkamai mosque and Chavadi, Mauli Nagar, and it is also known as Maruti Mandir. Counted among one of the oldest temples of Shirdi, Hanuman Mandir is an unusual one, and during the initial days of his arrival in the Shirdi, Baba used to visit this temple occasionally. This is the temple where Sadhus used to live, and it has two idols of Shri Hanuman side by side. Also, because Hanuman is considered to be the strongest among all gods, a few dumbbells are played in the corner along with the idols, and it faces the south. Hanuman Jayanti and Ram Navami are the two Hindu festivals that are celebrated in grand grandeur here, in this temple. The temple is open on all days of the week from 7 in the morning to 6 in the evening.
(6) Khandoba Mandir
Khandoba Mandir, which is positioned at Sai Nagar, Nimgaon Korhale, is one of the 13 very highly regarded temples of Khandoba, and it is dedicated to Lord Khandoba. This temple of Khandoba in Shirdi has two shrines inside the premises of the Mandir, whereas the main one is in Jejury, close to Pune. Out of the two shrines in the Mandir, one has Shyamsundar's, Lord Khandoba's horse, idol placed in it, and the other one consists of Sai Baba's idol with his padukas arranged together. This temple also has the icons of Mhalsai and Banai, and it is also said that Khandoba was one of the avatars of Lord Shiva. This Mandir is considered one of the historically important places to visit in Shirdi, and it is positioned only at a walking distance of 5 minutes from Sai Baba temple. The temple is open on all days of the week from 6 in the morning to 10 in the evening.
(7) Baba Chavadi
Baba Chavadi, which is positioned at Mauli Nagar, is a Hindu temple where during his last ten years of life, Sai Baba used to spend alternate nights, and it is located close to the Dwarkamai Mosque. Devotees or visitors here can see the wooden bed on which Sai Baba is believed to have taken his last bath, and they can also observe the space where the Baba used to meditate and gain spiritual focus. Every Thursday evening, as tribute and respect to Sai Baba, the weekly procession takes place, which makes this place more worth visiting, and the room here has two partitions - for ladies and gents. If devotees want to attend the weekly procession, they should make sure that they have to reach a little before time so that they get decent visibility. The Baba Chavadi is open on all days of the week, and the timings to enter the temple are from 5 AM to 12 PM in the morning and 4 PM to 9 PM in the evening.
(8) Dixit Wada Museum
Dixit Wada Museum, which is a charming little museum, is positioned at the Sanstha Complex, Mauli Nagar, and it is home to some of the rarest white and black images of Sai Baba and villagers of Shirdi in his time. Visitors or devotees of Sai Baba, who want to have a better understanding and learn about the lifestyle from the days of Sai Baba, will find these images very interesting. Along with leather Padukas (Padukas means chappals) and a Kafni, a few items of baba's clothing Baba, and his smoking pipes are also displayed in the museum. Other than these items, visitors will also get to see many other items that were used by Sai Baba, such as gramophone records, water tumblers, cooking utensils, and a number of other items. The museum is open on all days of the week from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening.
(9) Sai Teerth Theme Park
Sai Teerth Theme Park, which is positioned near Sun-N-Sand hotel, Nighoj, Taluka - Rahata, is a fully air-conditioned theme park which also offers four different types of shows, and it is also popular for to be as India's first-ever spiritual-themed park. This Sai Teerth Theme Park includes a train ride, an artificially created setup of Dwarkamai, a 5D Show, and a movie space. The entry fee for this theme park is INR 470 for adults and INR 390 for Children. The train ride of the theme park showcases all the famous temples of India, whereas the different shows educate all the visitors about the life of Sai Baba in a very entertaining and appealing manner. The theme park is open on all days of the week from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening, and there is also a restaurant inside this park that takes care of all the hunger needs of the visitors.
(10) Sai Heritage Village
A relatively new addition to the list of tourist attractions of Shirdi, Sai Heritage Village is positioned only 3 Kilometers away from the Sai Baba Temple, and this village is a theme park that works as a delight for all the devotees of Sai Baba. This heritage village also works as a pilgrimage cum picnic spot for all, and it only opened in 2014. Since the theme park showcases various stories and incidents from the time of Sai Baba, it has gained popularity all over India. This park also has a small restaurant where visitors can fulfill their hunger needs, along with a play area for kids to have fun in this theme park village. One more reason Sai Heritage Village is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Shirdi is that anyone can learn and better understand Sai Baba and the villagers' life here. The theme park is open on all days of the week from 9 in the morning to 11 in the evening.
(11) Wet and Joy Water Park
Wet and Joy Water Park, which is positioned close to Sun-n-Sand Hotel at Post Nighoj, Taluka-Rahata, Ahmednagar, Shirdi, can be counted among one of the most popular tourist destinations of Shirdi, and as the name of the park suggests, it is a water and amusement park. This water and amusement park is the go-to place for experiencing a fun-filled & relaxed day, and this tourist destination is meant for anybody or everybody who wants to explore Shirdi and spend some quality time with their family. This park can also be considered one of the perfect spots which visitors can count as their ideal one-day picnic spot with loved ones, and this park offers a variety of rides that take care of visitors from every age group. Summer season gives everyone the opportunity to beat the heat in this water park as this park also offers exciting offers on entry prices during this season, and that's why Summer time is also considered the best time to visit Wet and Joy Water Park. The water park is open on all days of the week from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening.
Following is the complete fee structure of various types of the entry fee for Wet and Joy Water Park:
(12) Dwarkamai Mosque
Dwarkamai, which is positioned at the Pimpalwadi Road, Rahata, near Samadhi Mandir, is a mosque where Sai Baba used to come from, and it is also the place where Baba lived until the very end of his life. This mosque used to be in very poor condition before the arrival of the Sai Baba in Shirdi, and later, Baba himself turned this mosque into Dwarkamai. Dwarkamai is also the place where Baba started curing and healing people, and at this place, Baba also used to listen to the problems of the villagers of the Shirdi. Baba solved all the villagers' problems and provided them with solutions for their problems, and there are two levels in the Dwarkamai. One of the levels has a square-shaped stool made out of stone, whereas the other level has two rooms with a portrait of Sai Baba in these rooms and a huge rock. The huge rock is the place where Sai Baba used to sit in Dwarkamai, and the square-shaped stool is the place where baba used to bathe. An oil painting of Sai Baba, in which he can be seen sitting on a carved wooden shrine, is the main highlight of the Dwarkamai and attracts most of the visitors. Dwarkamai is open on all days of the week from 5:30 in the morning to 9:45 in the evening.
(13) Jangli Maharaj Ashram
Jangli Maharaj Ashram, which is positioned at the Jeyur Kumbhari, Kokamthan, Kopargaon, is a new addition to the list of tourist destinations of Shirdi, and that's why this name may be unfamiliar for most first-time visitors. Jangli Maharaj Ashram is owned by a spiritual guru named Om Gurudev, and it is a residential & coeducational school for children in Shirdi. Visitors, who want to seek some spirituality and peace, can visit the ashram, and it is a well-maintained ashram as well. Jangli Maharaj Ashram is present only 7 Kilometers away from Shirdi, and that's why, if visitors want to see the Ashram, they can visit it here on the same day after visiting Shirdi Sai Baba Temple. This Ashram is open from Monday to Friday, and its timings are from 12 in the morning to 8 in the evening.
(14) House of Laxmibai Shinde
Every thorough follower and devotee of Sai Baba, who has followed him and his stories from starting, would surely have heard about Laxmibai Shinde and her importance in the life of Sai Baba. Laxmibai Shinde is known as the greatest devotee of Sai Baba, and when Sai Baba came to the city, he used to ask for food from the neighborhood, and it was only her (also the only female devotee of Sai Baba) who served baba food every single day. She was the only lady for whom Sai Baba always felt grateful, and he used to come to her house every day for food. Now, after knowing who Laxmibai Shinde is, one can surely feel how important her house is, and that's why the House of Laxmibai Shinde is included in the list of tourist attractions of Shirdi. The house of Laxmibai Shinde is positioned at Palaki road, Tajimkhan Baba Chauk, Mauli Nagar, and at this house, devotees can also take a glimpse of the displayed collection of nine silver coins. These nine silver coins are also significant in it as they were given by Sai Baba to Laxmibai Shinde at the time of his death. The house is easily accessible from the main road and is very near to both Dwarkamai and Sai Baba Temple. The house is open on all days of the week, and its timings are from 7 in the morning to 10 in the evening.