The Shirdi Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir is what keeps the small town of Shirdi alive and bustling throughout the year. This iconic shrine, dedicated to Sai Baba, attracts hundreds of devotees each year- regardless of their caste or religion. Worshippers brave long queues and sometimes hours of waiting just to enter the Samadhi Mandir and catch a glimpse of Sai Baba’s colossal marble statue.
Within the temple complex dedicated to Sai Baba are various significant sites connected to him. The prominent ones being:
- Gurusthan – It is said that under the neem tree here, lies Sai Baba’s guru’s tomb.
- Khandoba Temple – Sai Baba is said to have visited the temple as a young man and was greeted by the temple priest as ‘Ya Sai’.
- Chavadi – Sai Baba is said to have slept here often during the last decades of his life. A framed photo of him is preserved here.
- Dwarkamai – A most revered spot as Sai Baba spent most of his time healing the sick and injured here.
- Lendi Gardens – A perennially burning lamp lighted by Sai Baba himself still burns in these gardens.
The Mega Kitchen
Besides the places that Sai graced with his presence, the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust has also preserved his teachings. Free food to all was one of Sai Baba’s core beliefs and forms the bedrock of the Sai Baba Prasadalya. The gigantic kitchen is a miracle in its own right- it has earned the title of being Asia’s largest kitchen that provides free food to all.
Set up in 2009, the Sai Baba Prasadalya serves more than 40000 devotees in a day, a number which increases to 70000 on special occasions. The food- referred to as prasad- is cooked in a solar power kitchen with the help of aids like roti makers, vegetable cutters, rice and vegetable washing machines and dishwashers. The kitchen is self-sustainable and follows the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) cooking standards. It has also earned the Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) and Solar Cooker Excellence Awards- 2016 from the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources.
The clean and sparkling dining halls have endless rows of steel tables and stools and are managed by employees who serve food to the devotees. One can also serve as a volunteer in this kitchen that works like well-oiled machinery. The halls can host 5500 people in one sitting.
A meal at the Prasadalya comprises of dal, rice, chapatti, two vegetables and a dessert. It is open from 10 am to 10 pm and serving begins once the food has been offered to Sai Baba. The ‘laddoos’ made at this enormous kitchen and distributed as ‘prasadam’ are especially popular amongst devotees.
Stay At Sterling
Being the holy abode of Shri Sai Baba, Shirdi is where devotees come for wish fulfilment, to soak in a spiritual experience, or simply to seek peace. Whatever your reason for visiting this blessed town, Sterling has your stay covered. We offer well-appointed rooms and a delightful ambience within 1km of the Temple Complex. Allow us to make your stay comfortable and memorable when you visit Shirdi.