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 History

Shirdi is the abode of the famous Indian saint Shri Saibaba, and is a small town fragrant with the devotional strength that ropes in devotees from the world over. Shirdi is one of the most revered among the spiritual destinations of India and is situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra near the sacred city of Nasik. Both Hindu and Muslim pilgrims visit this town from far corners of India and tourism in Shirdi is gaining huge popularity, drawing considerable number of foreign tourists as well. The key attractions of Shirdi are Sai Baba mandir (temple) and his samadhi (memorial), Dwarkamai (mosque), Gurusthan, Chavadi, Lendi Baug, Maruti Mandir, Chawadi and Samadhi of Abdulbaba.Find more information about Shirdi that will prove to be of useful help to the travelers planning to visit this place. Touristplacesinindia.com offers online information about Shirdi including fast facts, history and the ideal time to visit.

The history of Shirdi is closely linked with the life of the highly venerated saint Sai Baba who died here in the year 1918, and ever since this town has attained importance as a spiritual and religious center. He used to reside in Khandoba temple, where he got the title of 'Sai' (saint) given by a local villager named Mahalsapathi. Leading a very simple and ascetic life, Sai Baba lived in the village as a beggar and soon his innate charisma began to draw followers from both the Hindu and Muslim communities. The natural gifts of this saint r said to have healed the wounds of many people who were caught in worldly dilemmas. The entire town can still feel the grace of this saint who is believed to have been the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, one of the Hindu trinity.



 Culture

In India, in nearly every larger city there is at least one temple dedicated to Sai Baba. There are even some in towns and cities outside India. In the mosque in Shirdi in which Sai Baba lived, there is a life-size portrait of him by Shama Rao Jaykar, an artist from Mumbai. Numerous monuments and statues depicting Sai Baba, which serve a religious function, have also been made. One of them, made of marble by a sculptor named Balaji Vasant Talim, is in the Samadhi Mandir in Shirdi where Sai Baba was buried. In Sai Baba temples, his devotees play various kinds of devotional religious music, such as aarti. Indian Postal Service released a Sai Baba commemorative stamp in May 2008. On July 30, 2009, the New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah inaugurated what has been acclaimed as the largest solar steam system in the world, at the Shirdi shrine. The Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust paid an estimated Rs.1.33 crore for the system, Rs.58.4 lakh of which was paid as a subsidy by the renewable energy ministry. It is said the system can cook 20,000 meals per day for pilgrims visiting the temple


 Festival

Ramnavami: ( March / April ) Ramanavi is one of the most important festivals celebrated with great excitement and fanfare. In the year 1897 Goplarao Gund proposed holding in Urus in name of Saibaba in gratitude of a child which he was granted after so many childless years. Saibaba conceded to celebrate his urus on the condition that it be celebrated on Ramnavami. This was indeed an ingenious touch of Saibaba bringing together the Hindus and Muslims together. People may know Urus is a Muslim festival that is celebrated to honor a saint.

You can come to participate in Ramanavami at Shirdi, celebrated every year in March or April. This shows the kind of communal harmony that weaves people of different faiths at Shirdi. Ramnavami has equal and enthusiastic participation of both Hindus and Muslims. In Shirdi, two locally historic rituals are carried out during this festival. The sack of wheat that is kept in Dwarkamai is changed and the old one taken to prasadalaya to be used there, and secondly, the dwarkamai flags are replaced. This year that is in 2007, Shirdi is celebrating the Ramnavami from 26th to 28th of March.

Gurupurnima: ( July ) Gurupurnima or Full Moon is also a wonderful time to visit Shirdi. It is the time to honor the Guru and seek his special blessing. Quite a significant festival in Shirdi Guru Purnima was the only festival which Saibaba has asked his devotees to celebrate. This is the time devotees all across the world converge in Shirdi to seek Saibaba's blessings. There is also Vyasa Puja that is held during Guru Purnima, in honor of Ved Vyasa who wrote the epic Mahabharata.

hirdi Vijayadashmi: ( October ) Vijayadashmi is a big festival in Shirdi, venerated as a holy day when Shri Saibaba left his mortal body for heavenly abode. The festival is also celebrated as Shri Sai Punyathithi in Shirdi attracting great number of devotees from all over the world. Various religious activities are arranged Great number of people flock to Shirdi during this Festival. During this festival 'Brahman Bhojan' is arranged with Dakashina (Donation to Guru). This year the festival is celebrated from 20th to 23rd October.


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