The song “Shirdiwale Sai Baba” from the Amitabh Bachchan blockbuster “Amar Akbar Anthony” essentially describes a renowned pious town called “Shirdi” located in the Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra. This town has attained cult religious status over the years due to a saint known as “Sai Baba” who is supposed to have lived in this town during the 19th century. Important travel information regarding this sacred town is as follows.
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a. Best time to visit Shirdi:
The ideal to visit this town is in between October to March due to a pleasant climate available during this period with, the temperature ranging from a maximum of 22 degrees Celsius to a minimum of 8 degrees Celsius.
b. How to reach Shirdi?
1. By train:
This holy town has its own railway station. The Shirdi Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the country such as Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Chandigarh etc.
2. By road:
There are a number of bus services available from Shirdi that connect to major cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Indore, Hyderabad etc.
3. By air:
The closest airport to this religious pilgrimage site is located in Mumbai. The Mumbai airport is well connected to most of major cities around the country.
c. Religious significance:
During the 19th century in this town there lived a saint called “Sai Baba”. According to a book known as “Sai Satcharita” Sai Baba was first supposed to have arrived in Shirdi when he was about 16 years old. On his arrival in this town the name “Sai” apparently was given to him. He is supposed to have then led an austere life by sitting motionless under a neem tree and meditating. It is this legend of Sai Baba that has given this site a cult status with thousands of pilgrims from around the country visiting it every year.