There is hardly anyone who does not know about the Shri Shridi Sai Baba, and Shridi , the land of Sai.
We were fortunate to visit Shri Shridi Sai baba temple and below are some of our experiences which might help you to plan your visit in case you are planning to go.
Visiting Shri Shridi Sai Baba temple is a very blessing experience. This place is full of positive energy.
This was our visit after a gap of 10 years and hence a lot has changed. If you are also going there first time or after a long gap, this might help.
How to reach Shirdi?
If you are planning to go by your own car, then best is to follow google maps. Google (maps) are now part of our lives like roti, kapda and makan 🙂
For others there is Shridi railway station (station code: SNSI) and Shridi Airport (SAG). As most people travel to Shridi by train below are couple of points to know!
- Shridi station (SNSI) has few trains and hence the other good option is to travel till Kopargaon (KPG). Kopargaon is on main line and hence lot of trains cross kopargaon (Kopargaon is 15kms from Shirdi). Once you get down at Kopargoan you will find lot of auto and small taxis (shared ones) offering a ride to Shridi for rs 50 to 60 per person. Now this can be negotiated, remember this.
- Then you can also book a full auto or small taxi (mahindra ace etc). They will generally ask for Rs 700 and but if you are good at negotiation you can book it for 400 as well .. in general they end up with 400 to 500 INR. So don’t just agree to what the auto guys say at kopargaon. Negotiate
- Third point, if you are booking a full auto/taxi, then agree in advance that they will take you to the hotel and in case there is a issue with hotel address, they will find you the correct hotel with out any extra charge. This is very important as many hotel names are similar there and once you reach to a hotel which is not actually what you booked, the taxi/auto guy will ask for extra money to find and take you to right hotel and some times they also do this purposefully to make money.
You Stay at Shridi (Hotel)
Remember Shridi is a religious place and hence it is not a luxry vacation destination. There are few luxry hotels as well there, but I am more talking about regular hotels around the temple. So here are some tips
- Best is to book hotels around Gate 2 and 3. They give you the best access to temple.
- Don’t expect hotel to be great, basic amenities should be there. But being a dry place, we suggest that you book AC room(s) at-least in summer. You will really need a good night sleep if you are staying overnight right? Make sure that AC works as soon as you enter the room.
- Important point – many hotel guys ask you to deposit some advance amount before you travel and then only confirm the booking and when you reach there they again ask you to deposit full amount and would say that they will refund the excess amount once you check out. This is a bit wiered. But if you are asked to deposit room rent in advance, insist on paying only the difference amount.
- If you order something at room, they will generally ask for the payment immediately. Do ask for the bill in that case. You need to make sure that it’s not added to you room rent during check out.
Your Visit to Shri Shridi Sai Baba Temple
I assume that you are planning to visit now. Remember that exams are over and summer holidays have started. There will be huge rush. Though it isvery hot weather, but that will not deter Sai devotees visiting Shri Sai Baba temple 🙂 . So plan in such a way that you have time in hand for all the activities you do. Some tips from our experience
- If you are planning to go for morning aarti at 4.30, you need to be there well before in time. Many a times people start reaching the waiting area as early as 1.00 AM and hence the queue gets long by 4.30 AM
- During normal season the regular visit to temple (from entry to exit), takes 1 to 2 hrs. During rush hours and special occasions it might take 3 hours or more. And this time does not include the time you spend in taking pass for darshan.
So let me give you the steps:
- There is a token counter near gate 1 / 2. You need to take token first ( now it is a bio-metric system to get token). Free for regular queue and Rs 200/- ( at the time of writing this post) for VIP darshan.
- Deposit your luggage at Luggage counter ( no charge). Anything you have like a bag pack, any metal item (except keys) etc needs to be deposited.
- Deposit your mobile phone at mobile phone deposit counter ( Rs 5 /- per mobile).
- Deposit your footwear at footwear deposit counter.
- Camera and Phones are not allowed inside the temple
- Then go to Entry Gate ( it is in front of coupon counter)
- Once you have had the Darshan, you come out and then you can visit a Shri Shridi Sai baba Dhuni and a small Sai baba meusum.
- There is a donnation counter where you can donate any amount you wish to under various heads like “Annadan”, “Ambulance Service”, “Education” etc
- You will get some prasad packets once you come out of main temple and you can buy some more in case you need to.
- You can exit from Gate 3 or 4.
- There are few other places you can visit in/around Shirdi. Most important being “Shani Signapur” and “Sai Heritage Village”.
Some important points to note:
- All shops will try to sell lot of items to you including a flower garland (starting from Rs 20 to Rs 150), Chaddar for Sai Baba ( it again depends on what size and what kind of cloth you take). Some other pooja stuff and once you stop at their shop they try to do this in a hurry so that you do not ask much questions on price extra or hesitate to ask. If you do not ask properly the whole pooja package will easily cost you 1000 bucks. So our tip for you is take your time in choosing the items and ask for price of each and every item and then decide.
- Then, they will say phone and cameras are not allowed and as a service they offer free locker. Don’t go for free locker. As I have mentioned before, there are lockers available at coupon counter. Same is true for foot wear.
And once you are out of temple and darshan is done don’t forget to eat Sai Prasad at “Prasadalaya”. It will be a divine experience.
Prasadalaya is a bit far from temple so better take a auto or you can board free buses to Prasadalaya (you might have to wait though for your turn). A prasadalaya , take the coupons and wait for your turn.
Your visit to Shani Signapur
Shani Signapur is the most famous Shani temple and is around 75 kms from Shirdi. And hence a trip to Shirdi also means a trip to Shani Signapur 🙂
This village is also famous for the fact that no house in the village has a door and lock. It is believed that the Lord Shani is taking care of this place. There has not been any incident of theft in this village. Lord Shani is said to be Swyambhu here. So how to go Shani Signapur and tips from us.
- Shani Signapur is 75 kms from Shirdi and that is a long distance. Last 25 kms of the stretch is under construction and hence a lot of dust on the road. Also during summer it is very very hot and dry. So remember these points specifically if you are with kids.
- From Shirdi, you can take shared taxi, costs around Rs 150 per person (for complete journey i.e to Signapur, Vsiting temple and back to Shirdi). But remember this is negotiable. You can bargain up to Rs 100 per person.
- Our suggestion is that if you are with kids, avoid shared taxi. Better book a car, the cost will be around Rs 1000 for the journey (that is Shani Signapur and back to Shirdi). If you negotiate, you will be able to book in Rs 800/-.
- In Signapur, the taxi guy will stop in front of his known shop and they try to sell lot of things. Please note that main thing to offer Shri Shani maharaj is oil. These guys try to sell around 250ml oil for Rs 150. (minimum). But you can buy oil near main temple, there are small bottles of oil costing Rs 20 to Rs 50 and that can be given in offering. You can take other items based on your requirement.
- Make sure that you carry water bottles with you and keep yourselves and kids hydrated. It is going to be very hot this time.
So above were some tips based on our experience. I feel that you should give at-least 2 days in Shirdi. There are many websites which can give you some good information on Shirdi.
The trust also offers a very affordable accommodation at Shirdi and you can use below link to check and book accommodation.
For booking Darshan and Aarti services online you can visit below
We hope that you liked the above information. It is indeed a divine feeling to visit Shri Shirdi Saibaba Temple. Do enjoy your stay there and have a blessed darshan.
Do write back your experience.
Om Sai Ram!
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