Have you ever visited the most peaceful place on Earth? Shiridi is tagged as the hub of serenity and spirituality. It’s difficult to talk about this small town in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra without mentioning Shri Sai Baba. The town breathes how the great saint brought harmony among religions and preached about life and love.
Shiridi sees an annual footfall of nearly a million tourists from around the globe. You may have already seen many Sai Baba devotees travel to this town to receive his blessings. The unparalleled devotion the famous shrine there receives makes it a must-visit for all.
I traveled to Shridi from Mumbai last year with my parents. They were visiting me for the first time in Mumbai, and I had a complete itinerary planned for them. I wanted to make sure they got to visit some of the best places on the west coast, apart from the trendy lifestyle of Mumbai.
I penned in Shirdi as the last destination on the trip. It had been on their wishlist for a long time, and I wanted them to experience the peace of this holy town finally. We managed to avail a Mumbai to Shirdi Cab package that also included the overall travel and local tours in and around Shirdi.
The Drive from Mumbai to Shirdi
Shirdi is located in Maharashtra’s heart and about 240 km from Mumbai city. We began our journey well before daybreak and traveled along NH160, which took us to Shirdi via Ghoti-Shirdi. This route was probably the fastest and smoothest due to the great road conditions, lesser traffic, and overall convenience.
There are two other ways you can travel to Shirdi. The first is to take Udaipur Muthalane Road along NH61. Second is the Bangalore-Mumbai Highway, which takes you to Shirdi via NH60. However, these routes may take an hour or so longer, and you may also face heavy traffic.
Short but worthwhile stops on the way
While the journey was five hours long, it took us a bit longer due to the short stops we made along the way. Here are some of the places we explored on the way:
25 km into our journey, we stopped at Thane to gorge on some delicious spicy misal pav. While we didn’t get the chance to visit all 33 lakes in the City of Lakes, we did enjoy the cool September breeze at Upvan Lake.
We quickly stopped at the magnificent Jain temple, Manas Mandir, in Shahapur, which left us spellbound.
Our last shortstop was at the marvelous Gondeshwar Temple. Located about an hour from Shirdi, the Khajuraho-style temple called to the history and architectural buff in me, and let’s say I was in love.
Arriving at Shirdi
We arrived at Shirdi around noon and made our way straight to the Sai Baba Sansthan Temple, just in time for the MadhyanAarti. As we were traveling on a Thursday, we also had the opportunity to watch the palkhi taken out at the Samadhi Mandir, which is believed to contain the mortal remains of Sai Baba. After the darshan, we made our way to the Dixit Wada Museum and Gurusthan.
There are two other spiritual places behind the Samadhi Mandir: Dwarkamaii (a mosque) and Chawdi. Sai Baba spent most of his life in these places, where you’ll find the famous pious fire that gives Vibhuti.
If you have a long explorative itinerary, you can take different cab packages to Nasik or a Mumbai to Pune Cab, spend a day in these famous cities, and then make your way to Shiridi to conclude your trip.