Abdul Baba's cottage
This is the home of one of the Baba's most ardent followers, and houses some interesting memorabilia. It is a small, green-coloured cottage.
*Location Opp Chawadi Timings 7 am-10 pm
Dixit Wada Museum
This charming, compact museum has rare black and white photographs of the Baba. It also displays his kafni (long robes), leather padukas, his chillum (smoking pipe), gramophone records, water tumblers, cooking utensils and bathing stone.
*Location Almost at the centre of the Sansthan complex Timings 10 am-6 pm
Samadhis of the Baba's followers
The samadhis of the Baba's four key lifetime associates, Tatya Patil Kote, Maharaj Kumbhar, PV Padmanabha Aiyyar and Nanavall, have been constructed adjacent to the reception area of the Sai Baba Sansthan. This is a serene spot.
*Location To the west of the Sansthan complex Timings Open 24 hrs
The Baba is said to have spent a lot of time in a garden called Lendibagh. It's now beautifully landscaped. Here too is the well that the Baba used, known as the Shivadi. An akhand deep (continuously burning lamp) glows under the pipal tree that the Baba planted here.
*Location At the entrance to the Sansthan Timings Open 24 hrs
This small temple, easily missed if it weren't for the history surrounding it, is where the Baba is said to have halted on his first visit to Shirdi.
*Location Between the Sansthan and the ST Bus Stand on the Ahmednagar-Manmad Highway Timings 5 am-10 pm
Upasani Maharaj Ashram (6 km S)
Upasani Maharaj was the Baba's contemporary and follower. His samadhi and that of his disciple, Godavari Mata, are located inside this quiet ashram. Autos charge Rs 120 for a return trip from Shirdi.
*Location Off the Shirdi-Ahmednagar State Highway Timings 5 am-10 pm
Jangli Maharaj Ashram (6 km N)
Spiritual guru Om Gurudev runs this ashram, which has a full-fledged co-educational residential school for children. The ashram organises meditation classes regularly (Tel: 02423-222255, 224330; Website: omgurudev.org). Autos charge Rs 120 for a round trip.
*Location On the Shirdi-Manmad State Highway Timings 7 am-10 pm
Shani Shingnapur Mandir (65 km S)
In this unusual village, no house has a door! The villagers believe that Lord Shaneshwara, their patron deity, will protect them from all evil, including theft and robbery. Shivaji Shete, the village sarpanch (headman), told us that there has been no robbery in his village in living memory.
The image of Lord Shaneshwara is a large, black stone, which stands without any roof or doors to protect it. Only male devotees are allowed to worship the deity. They are required to take a bath in one of the many public bathrooms that have been provided by the temple trust, and offer their prayers in wet dhotis without wearing any upper garment. Shingnapur is best accessed from Shirdi by a taxi (Rs 700-800 round trip), or by regular buses from the Shirdi Bus Stand.
*Location Off the Shirdi-Ahmednagar Highway Timings 5 am-10 pm
Read a `Special' from Outlook Traveller Getaways' 101 Pilgrimages
All you need is a handful of flowers and a heart filled with devotion to attain joyous communion with God.
By Subhadra Sengupta