Shirdi is a small town located about 250 km away from Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is one of the most popular religious places for Hindus in India and it attracts a lot of devotees every single year. Sai Baba is said to have come to Shirdi and lived all his life there performing miracles on those who were suffering from sickness and helping the poor. He is said to have preached good things by sitting under a neem tree which is preserved well within the temple complex. He was laid to eternal rest on 15 October 1918. The year 2018 marked the 100 years of Sai Baba laid to rest on this planet. There are various sites around Shirdi which speak about the life of Sai Baba. It is said that one should have done some good deeds in one’s life to have the chance to step in this holy land by keeping this handy guide and remember these Shirdi travel tips.
Shirdi Travel Tips To Remember
These are some of the tips you can follow when you are planning your trip to Shirdi. The few are listed below.
1. Ways To Reach Shirdi
One can easily reach Shirdi via roadways, railways, and airways. The airport at Mumbai is one of the nearest airports to Shirdi which is located 250 km away. The airports at Pune and Aurangabad are located about 200 and 140 km away from Shirdi. Train routes connect Shirdi to other cities of India. The train station of Shirdi is known as Sai Nagar which is about 10 km away from the temple. Kopargaon, Manmad, and Nasik are the other railway stations that are located very near to the Sai temple.
There are many state transport corporation buses, autos, and private cabs that operate to and from this place. There are many buses which are operated by the state transport corporation of Maharashtra. One can get on to these buses and get down right at the top of the temple. You can also hire a private cab and reach the temple. The roads are very well laid that there are pilgrims who are ready to take the road to reach the temple from the other states of India as well. Various National Highways connect Shirdi to other parts of India as well.
2. Book Hotels In A Jiffy
Shirdi has started attracting a lot of tourists from all corners of the world. This is reflected in the mushrooming of hotels in Shirdi. There are a lot of hotels in and around Shirdi that would fit anyone’s pockets. There are budget hotels around the main temple which only cost you about INR 600 to INR 700 per night. You can keep roaming around the temple complexes even in the late nights as there are darshan timings fixed for late nights as well. There are a lot of food stalls that are around the temple complex, which serve you mouth-watering dishes and some drinks to quench your thirst as well. If you book hotels that cost you about INR 1000-2000 per night, then you can avail of a free breakfast option. The prices of the star hotels shoot up during the peak season. So, it is better to book off the hotel rooms well in advance to avail a lot of discounts.
All these hotels are located very near the temple, so location is not a problem. There are a lot of rooms and other accommodation facilities which are offered by the Sai Baba Trust. These rooms have attached bathrooms and are very well maintained. You can book these rooms offered by the Ashram online and avail of a lot of facilities. There are a lot of travel websites using which you can book rooms for your Shirdi travel and avail of a lot of discounts. Even if you have not booked your hotel room already, you need not worry as there are a lot of tourist guides who work around that place. They will help you with booking hotel rooms and availing the right accommodation facility.
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3. Best Time To Visit Shirdi
Shirdi is located in the state of Maharashtra and experiences very harsh summers. So, if you visit Shirdi during April, May then be prepared to take the brunt of the sun. The best time to visit Shirdi keeping the weather conditions in mind is from October to March. Despite the hot weather conditions, there is a heavy rush found in Shirdi temple during summer as the schools close for vacations during those months. There is also heavy rush which is found during the festival days and special days like Vijayadashami, New Year’s Eve, Rama Navami and Guru Poornima. There is also a heavy rush on Thursday as it is considered as Baba day. An image of Sai Baba is taken all around the temple by 9 15 pm. If you wish to visit in less crowded months, then you need to visit the temple from August to September.
The temple is usually less crowded on Mondays and Fridays. Gate number 2 is the entry gate for all except those who have booked the VIP tickets. One can book VIP tickets online. Even if you buy the tickets online, you need to stand in the line at least an hour earlier to make sure you experience the arthi completely and devote yourself to god. The temple timings are from 4 am to 11 pm. It usually takes about 2 to 3 hours for darshan. If you wish to quickly move in the line, then you can buy the Rs 100 tickets. If you wish to pray to Baba during the aarti timings, then you need to either visit during the morning aarti, noon aarti, evening arthi or night aarti. You can pay INR 500 and book your arthi. Apart from these arthis, other poojas are performed throughout the day. You can participate in either one of them.
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4. Safety Tips And Other General Tips
There is a lot of pickpocket menace in and around the temple premises. Make sure to keep your belongings very safely. You should also keep your children very close to you and make sure they don’t keep running here and there as it becomes really difficult to locate your kid in this heavy crowd. Mobile phones, video cameras, and other major gadgets are not permitted near the shrine and you are required to deposit these at the locker counters of the temple. You are also required to leave your footwear outside the temple premises. You can leave your footwear in any of the shops and you can just not worry about it.
You can visit Shani Shignapur on your way towards Pune from Shirdi. It is said that Lord Shani resides in the form of Blackstone in this village and people offer oil to it. There are no doors in the houses of this village as they believe that Lord Shani is taking good care of the valuables. It is also one of those places where you can experience pure divinity and there is so much positivity around. You should also never miss out on visiting the Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad. These caves are known for their architectural marvel and they are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. When you are planning to visit your cousin, who lives in Mumbai or Pune, then make sure to plan a quick trip to a world-famous pilgrim center like Shirdi.
Every devotee who visits Shirdi is given a packet of Udhi and a packet of Boondi as prasadam. You can mix this udhi with the other sacred ash powder at your home. Various shops around the temple complex sell real-life pictures of Lord Sai Baba. There are tiny statues as well. You can get some of these for your family and friends. There are various landmarks like the houses of devotees of Sai Baba and other places where Sai Baba lived which you should never miss out visiting. So, whenever you plan a vacation in Maharashtra, make sure to visit Shirdi and take the blessings of the Sai Darbar.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Shirdi Travel Tips
Does Shirdi have an airport?
Yes, Shirdi has an airport. Flights ply from Pune to Shirdi regularly. The airport started its service very recently.
Can one reach Shirdi by road?
The most common mode of transport to reach Shirdi is via road. The best road route is from Pune to Shirdi.
Are there enough budget hotels in Shirdi?
Yes, there are enough budget hotels in Shirdi. There are star hotels and other types of high-end hotels as well.
Can one get international cuisines at Shirdi?
Yes, many hotels serve international cuisines like pasta, pizza, bread, jam, etc., These are available at very nominal rates.
Can one book darshan tickets for Shirdi in advance?
Yes, there are various avenues to book tickets for Shirdi in advance. You can either book online or contact a tour operator. By booking in advance, you can avail a lot of offers.
Can one travel to Shirdi by train?
Yes, there are direct trains to Shirdi which ply once a week. You can take the train to Shirdi from Pune as well.
Do tourist operators operate out of Shirdi?
Yes, there are many tour operators who operate out of Shirdi. These tour operators can get the entire booking done for you right from travel tickets, hotel rooms to darshan timings.
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