Follow in the footsteps of a Hindu saint and visit temples and shrines in the western Indian town where he used to live.
Shirdi was the home of one of India’s most revered spiritual leaders, Shirdi Sai Baba. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come here to honor and remember a holy man, who devotees consider to be a saint. Tour beautiful temples and shrines and visit the places where the guru lived, preached and died.
Shirdi Sai Baba died in 1918 and is worshipped as a god. During his life, he tried to reconcile Hindus and Muslims and his messages of love, forgiveness and charity still resonate with millions of followers worldwide.
A good place to start your visit is at the town's main attraction, the Sai Baba Temple complex. Go to Samadhi Mandir, the shrine temple where he spent a lot of his time. Marvel at the stunning golden spire and then step inside to visit Shirdi Sai Baba’s tomb and to see his white marble statue.
To the right of the main temple is the Dwarkamai, the mosque where he lived. Stand before the dhuni in the building’s interior. This is the eternal flame that has been going ever since it was built by the saint, more than 100 years ago. A few footsteps away is the Chavadi, where Sai Baba often slept. Observe his bed and a garlanded portrait of the holy man. While you are in the temple complex, relax in the Lendi Gardens and stop by the Gurusthan. There is a large neem tree here that provided Sai Baba with shelter during his first years in the town.
For a change of scenery, treat the family to hours of fun on the water slides at Wet n Joy Water Park. Go on a day trip to the Ellora Caves archeological site to see the rock cut temples.
Being one of India’s principle pilgrimage centers, Shirdi is well connected by road and rail to many major cities, such as Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. The nearest international airport is in Mumbai, approximately 150 miles (241.4 kilometers) away.
Spend time in Shirdi to draw inspiration from Sai Baba, who was a champion of peace, love and equality.