Working and staying in aamchi Mumbai or city of dreams was always associated with great memories. One of them was my yearly pilgrimage to Sri Sai Shirdi Baba temple. The first time I visited Shirdi was with my college friends on a bus. Money crisis always looms during college days and can be a single point of decision making during those days.
We all have gone through this phase at some point or other. Considering everyone’s interest in mind, we decided to book an overnight bus from Dadar(Mumbai) to Shirdi. The total distance between the megacity and holy city is approx 230 Kms. Also, the overnight journey gave us ample time to reach Shirdi very early in morning to have a darshan of Baba.
The journey was nothing much to write about, except that we talked a lot about our college life and how fast it was coming to an end. It takes a real time for the bus to exit Mumbai city because of insane traffic. We didn’t realize when we slept only to wake up at 5 AM when the conductor shouted “Shirdi pahuch gaye.”
For quick refreshing before darshan of Shirdi Sai Baba, there is plenty of options in town, operating either at free or charging nominal fee. These facilities are very good for backpackers or budget traveler, however it is recommended to take a hotel or real lodge if coming to Shirdi with family.The good news is that there is plenty of hotels available in all ranges from budget, to standard and even premium category to suit the traveler’s needs.
We stayed in Hotel Sai Simran. We found the hotel to be a good one, what I liked about this hotel is its location, situated bit far from the temple(1 km) so it will give you the needed peace and solitude once you are done with Puja. Also, the hotel is nearly 1.5 km from Shirdi railway station.
We were expecting large crowds at the temple, it is a Thursday, every Thursday is considered to be an auspicious day to do puja and the arrangements made at the temple complex assured us that the authorities too were expecting a massive influx of devotees. We took our place in the queue and were happy to note that it was moving.
There are ample seating desks made of steel en route to Baba darshan; these are superb for elders and children who want to take rest while in the queue. I would say it usually takes 1 hour in the queue and finally to have grand darshan of Sai Baba. As we were out in 1 hour after our puja, we had all full day at our disposal, so we decided to go to Shani Shingnapur.
Shingnapur is known for its popular temple of Shani, the Hindu god associated with the planet (graha) Saturn and is 2 hrs journey from Shirdi.There is a special queue for those who want to approach the idol, and this was quite long.We had darshan soon, and started on our return journey, stopping along the way for fresh sugarcane juice.
We returned to Shirdi around 4:00 PM, drenched to the core after a sudden rainfall, as the auto which we took to Shingnapur had no means of protection from rain.We had dinner at our Hotel Sai Simran (their Gujarati Thali, especially their Khichdi is excellent!).
After spending the evening roaming in around the Shirdi town, we checked out from our hotel for the return journey to Mumbai. We considered ourselves lucky by booking the return bus ticket well in advance. We got the best and comfortable seats on the bus. The bus left Shirdi roughly around 11 PM.In no time, we all slept.We slept comfortably, waking up only to alight at Dadar at 6:30 AM.Thus ended a journey we had made with our friends.
Sai baba live darshan online feed is available at– Here
Cheapest Hotel In Shirdi Near Temple- Explore Here