From a very long time we were thinking to visit Shirdi Sai Baba temple, but were not able to plan it, or may be you can say we were just too busy with daily usual stuff and didn’t thought about it. Now being in Hyderabad for last ~4 years and a bit near to Shirdi (compared to Delhi) we thought to visit the temple and take blessings of baba.
We planed a 2 day trip to visit Shirdi & Trimbakeshwar, one day each place, this includes Shani Shingnapur in day-1.
–> TLDR: here is my short travelogue of HYD-Shirdi-Triambkeshwar-HYD trip:
1. Left to Shirdi by train 17002/SC SNSI EXP, from SECUNDERABAD JN(SC) at 16:40 Hrs, reached SAINAGAR SHIRDI(SNSI) at 09:15 Hrs.
2. Day-1, first half: Headed to Shani Signapur (~70km), and come back to Shirdi by noon.
3. Day-1, second half: Did Sai Baba darshan post noon.
4. Day-1, late evening: Left to Triambkeshwar by Taxi (~120km), reached at night and booked a hotel just near to the temple.
5. Day-2, first half: Visited the temple and nearby areas.
6. Day-2, second half: Left to Manmad via Nashik (~120km) to catch train back to HYD.
7. Day-2, late evening: Boarded the train 17063/AJANTA EXPRESS, from MANMAD JN(MMR) at 21:00 Hrs, reached SECUNDERABAD JN(SC) next day at 08:55 Hrs.
–> Day-1: at Shirdi (Sai Nagar town)
Shirdi Sai Baba temple is located in a small town Sai Nagar in Ahmednagar district in state of Maharashtra.
As we did an overnight journey by train from Hyderabad, the distance of 600 km didn’t felt much. At around 09:30 am we reached the Sai Nagar Rly St, from here Sai Baba temple was just ~1 km. Near to the Rly-St on the main road we booked a lodge till evening to refresh ourselves, and to store our baggage. After refreshing we headed to the Sai Baba temple by an auto. We thought to attend the evening arti, thus planned to visit Shani Signapur first and do Sai Baba darshan at evening.
There is a taxi and bus stand just opposite to the Sai Baba temple, talked to one driver, boarded the taxi and headed to Shani Signapur without any delay. Just few kms away from Shani Signapur they asked us to get out of the taxi and get into autos to visit the Shani temple area. And post Shani darshan take the same auto, reach the same place and get the same taxi to go back to the Shirdi taxi stand.
Shani Shingnapur village is popular for its temple of Lord Shani, Shri Shaneshwar Devasthan Shanishingnapur, the Hindu god associated with the planet Saturn. It is globally known as the only village where houses do not have doors and locks, and the village remains theft-free. Even the nationalised UCO Bank’s branch in the village does not have locks on its doors. Belief has it that thieves cannot steal or burgle in the village which is protected by Lord Shani, and misfortune and divine punishment would befall anyone who attempts to steal.
As we reached temple premise many shopkeepers & touts started approaching us to purchase pooja-samagri from them. We entered one shop, and the shopkeeper told what all things to buy for pooja. He listed out many items, and as we were in spiritual mood we just bought all stuff blindly. He told to pay money after we return and suggested to keep our shoes/slippers there only. He also provided one guide and we entered the temple premise with him. Darshan were quick, no long queues. He told to do different rituals and offer the stuff we had bought. At the center of the temple complex and under open sky is the main “stoopa” made of black stone which stands 5 foot tall on a platform and is worshiped as Lord Shani dev.
After darshan we purchased the prashad and went back to the shop where with our guide, paid the amount, wore our shoes/slippers and headed back to the auto stand. The Auto took us back to the taxi stand, we paid the auto fare for both sides and boarded the taxi.
After reaching back to the Sai Nagar we had lunch at a restaurant just besides the Sai Baba temple.
Shirdi Sai Baba was an Indian spiritual master who was regarded by his devotees as a saint or fakir, by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees. Sai Baba’s real name, birthplace, date of birth, and religion are unknown. Nobody was sure if he was a Hindu or a Muslim, and on asking such questions he used to give elusive responses.
Post noon we entered the temple, deposited our cell phones, and shoes/slippers. There was not much crowd so we took the free darshan line, and it took us around ~2 hrs to do the darshan, while moving through zig-zag lines and multiple rooms. After darshan we took prashad and moved out of temple complex. We also bought some souvenirs and did a bit of shopping.
It was getting dark and as per we went to the hotel, checked out and took a taxi to Trimbakeshwar. As we started I booked a hotel in Trimbakeshwar near to the temple, and it took us around 2 hrs to reach our destination.
–> Day-2: at Trimbakeshwar (Trimbak town)
Trimbakeshwar is around 120 Kms from Shirdi, and 28 km from the city of Nashik and 40 km from Nashik road. It is located in the town of Trimbak in Nashik district in state of Maharashtra.
Trimbakeshwar temple dedicated to the god Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, where the Hindu genealogy registers at Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra are kept. The origin of the sacred Godavari river is near Trimbak. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra. Due to excessive use of water, the linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones.
For darshan we had to go thruogh a big zigzag queue inside a big hall. Did the Jyotirlinga’s darshana on the main temple, and exited from the rear side.
After having darshan, we had lunch at nearby hotel and left to Manmad for our train via Nashik on a taxi.
–> You can visit Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust website for booking rooms and Darshan.
– Online Room booking: https://online.sai.org.in/roomBooking.do?parameter=input (Checkin/Checkout 11:00 AM)
– Online darshan booking: https://online.sai.org.in/bookDarshan.do?parameter=setServiceTypeDetails (Rs 100 per person)
–> Shirdi: Other modes of transport:
– We went with SNSI EXP (17002) from SECUNDERABAD JN (SC) to SAINAGAR SHIRDI (SNSI) which is very near to the Shirdi Temple.
– You can also take Ajanta EXP from SECUNDERABAD JN (SC) to NAGARSOL (NSL), this would save you around 3-4 hrs. From Nagarsol govt buses and pvt vehicles ply to Shirdi, and the duration of journey is around 45 mins to 1 hr max.
– Many govt and pvt buses from Hyderabad operates to Shirdi, Orange and Kesineni are best options.
– Telangana Tourism offers multiple Daily/Weekend packages: http://www.telanganatourism.gov.in/partials/packages/tour-packages.html
3. Car or private vehicle: From Hyderabad you can go via Zaheerabad-Sholapur-Ahmadnagar to Shirdi, preferably start early morning and try reaching Shirdi before its dark.
–> Hotel Booking: Book hotel in advance, but make sure they are not far from Temple by checking their location on map online.
–> Trimbakeshwar: Modes of transport:
Shirdi to Trimbakeshwar is around **120 kMs**, and can be covered within 3–4 hrs by a car, train or bus.
– You can hire a cab/taxi (fare: 2.5k to 3.5k)
– MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) govt buses (fare: 60 Rs at 02.30pm)
– Train (12132, Sainagar Shirdi-Mumbai Dadar Express at 11:00pm)
–> Places to visit around Shirdi:
>> Within 1 km:
– Sai Baba temple
– Shree Dwarkamai
– Baba-chi Chavdi
– Shree Khandoba Temple
– Wet and Joy Water Park
>> More than 50 km:
– Shani Signapur, 70 km
– Pandavleni Caves, 90 km
– Ellora Caves, 100 km
– Trimbakeshwar, 120 km