Shirdi is a popular pilgrimage town in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra in India.
Shirdi was the abode of Saint Sai Baba who lived here in western India, till his Samadhi in 1918. Every year millions of devotees visit Shirdi Temple of Sai Baba to pay their respects to the godly Saint.
When To Visit Shirdi Temple
The best months of the year to visit Shirdi temple are January, February and March. April to June is hot followed by the monsoon. September to November witnesses the highest footfall of pilgrims since many Hindu festivals occur during these months. Sai Baba’s death anniversary is also observed in the month of October, the date is decided observing the Hindu calendar.
Many residents of Nashik city visit Shirdi quite regularly as it lies only at a distance of 80 kms.
When you go on a pilgrimage, the objective is to feel spiritual and be at peace with yourself. Shirdi could be a chaotic place where many people try to get around the system to have a quick darshan (holy view). It is important to maintain sanity and not get overwhelmed by the surroundings.
Important Things to Know About Visiting Shirdi in Advance
We have listed down few things which are important to know when you go for Sai Baba darshan:
- Aarti Timings: There are four Aartis that happen during the course of the day at the Sai Baba temple. Their timings are – 4.30 am, 12 pm, 7 pm and 10 pm.
- Temple closure timings: The temple remains closed from 10 pm to 4am every day. It is open all 7 days of the week.
- Time taken for Darshan: Aarti is the main event in the temple and people start lining up 3 to 4 hours before every Aarti; otherwise darshan can be done in 1-2 hours during usual times. If you wish to see the Aarti, be prepared for long queues and some unruly crowds.
- Most crowded day: Thursdays are the most crowded as that is considered to be the day of the Baba.
- Entrance gate for the temple: Entrance for the Darshan is allowed only from Gate No 2. The queue goes through one hall in the ground floor, two halls in the first floor, post that there are stairs that lead to an adjoining building that houses Sai Baba’s idol.
- Prohibited items: Water bottles, mobile phones, cameras or any electronic gadgets are not allowed inside the Sai Baba temple premises. Security is tight and there is electronic surveillance throughout the temple premises.
- Shoes and mobile phone deposit: You may deposit your shoes, mobile phone electronic items at a counter on the opposite side of the Shirdi temple. The standard charge is Rs 2 for shoes and Rs 3 per electronic item.
- Flowers for offerings: You can buy flowers at the shops on the street which lead to the temple. No one is allowed to offer flowers at the Sai Baba’s idol, you have to drop them in a bucket kept near the seat of Sai Baba.
- Quick Darshan provision: You can go for a fast darshan after paying Rs 1500 per person. We would not recommend this practice since a pilgrimage is not a place to rush.
Shirdi temple is a true haven for Sai Baba devotees.
It is always good to know important facts about the place and be prepared to ensure a peaceful and satisfactory darshan.