Spiritual Sojourn: Discovering the Presence of Sai Baba in Shirdi


Whenever I plan a weekend getaway from Pune, Shirdi is my top choice. Nestled near Kopargaon and Ahmednagar, this small town is renowned as the abode of Sai Baba. While many make pilgrimages to Shirdi during festivals, I find myself drawn to this sacred place on numerous occasions.

Our journey began on a Tuesday morning, and by 11 AM, we arrived in Shirdi, opting for a cab from Pune for convenience. The route offered picturesque views of lush greenery, hilly terrain, and charming villages, making the road trip a memorable part of the experience.

Here’s the itinerary for my two-day sojourn in Shirdi:

Day 1: Sai Baba Temple

Though the temple’s exterior may seem unremarkable, the intricate decorations within reflect the spiritual richness associated with the saint. Adorned with an abundance of flowers, the temple surrounds the beautiful stone idol of Sai Baba. The main complex is divided into various zones, with the Samadhi Mandir being the focal point—a marble-carved burial site covered in a magnificent mantle.

The temple follows a fixed daily schedule, commencing with the morning aarti at 4 AM and concluding with the night aarti at 10:45 PM. I attended the midday aarti at noon and later explored the Gurusthan, the spot beneath a grand neem tree where Sai Baba was first spotted meditating.

While the outer precincts house the Samadhis of the villagers from that era, a museum on the premises displays Sai Baba’s personal belongings. The temple hosts a Pothi reading at 4 PM and a Dhoop Aarti at sunset, with additional timings available on their website. When planning your Sai Baba Temple visit, make sure to include at least one aarti and one reading in your itinerary.

After witnessing the night aarti, I retired to the room I had booked in a nearby hotel.

Day 2: Dwarkamai and Chavadi

Dwarkamai, the renowned mosque where Sai Baba often meditated, and Chavadi, originally a village meeting place, were on the agenda for the second day. The Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust has transformed Chavadi into a space where visitors can sit and meditate, believing that this practice can reveal Sai Baba’s face and smile. Though I could only spare half an hour, the experience left me feeling remarkably peaceful and connected to the divine.

Having spent two enriching days in Shirdi, I used a cab booking app to arrange my return trip to Pune. While a day trip is feasible, I recommend dedicating at least two days to truly grasp the spiritual essence of Shirdi and appreciate the simple, serene life led by Shri Sai Baba.