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Planning a Weekend Getaway: Pune to Shirdi Itinerary

Run away from Pune, and escape into the spiritual town of Shirdi which is located in the Sahyadri Hills. For a happy and blissful weekend, this itinerary can last up to two days with both soul cleansing and visitations done. Therefore, go with calmness and prepare to have a taste of Shirdi’s enchantment. There are moany transportation options but best one is hiring Pune to Shirdi cab for 2 days weekend trip.

Best Time to Visit Shirdi:

Shirdi enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year, but the ideal time to visit depends on your preferences:

  • October to March: Great weather is ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
  • April to June: The summers are extremely hot and dry, hence morning and evening.
  • July to September: During monsoons rich vegetation blooms and cold winds are noticed, but occasionally some rainfall will cause disturbances in travel plans.

Day 1:
Morning:

  • 6:00 AM: Wake up at zero hours in the morning, and enjoy a tranquil Shirdi sunrise. Go for Kakad Aarti at the Sai Baba Temple where music is composed of hymns and offered devotionally. Be there to watch the sun’s rays touch the temple and feel the heavenly feel.
  • 8:00 AM: After Darshan, have breakfast in any of the nearby eateries. Enjoy authentic Maharashtrian street cuisines like Misal Pav, Kanda Poha etc.
  • 9:00 AM: Go to Dixit Wada Museum located in the temple area. The museum highlights Sai Baba’s life and his teachings by displaying pictures, and artefacts along with paintings. Discover how his life transformed humanity, his modest lifestyle, and his legacy remains to date.

Afternoon:

  • 11:00 AM: At midnight, go to Gurusthan, a sacred place that marks the spot where Sai Baba first came to Shirdi. Relax and be with this spiritual place while enjoying its divine emanation of spirit.
  • 12:30 PM: At 3 in the afternoon have a lunch break from Gurusthan restaurant. Get a taste of Maharashtrian sample vegetarian meals or try out the best street foods like Samosas and Jalebis.
  • 2:00 PM: Rickshaw to Dwarkamai; the longtime home of Sai Baba at 24’o clock. Masjid kudus was such a tiny and significant masjid that it became popular among his followers. Nowadays, it’s a mandatory visit for every Muslim pilgrim.

Evening:

  • 4:00 PM: Chavadi is another abode of Sai Baba at 2400 hr. Many miracles happened at this hall, and many gatherings were conducted in a simple country style that still appeals to the worshipers.
  • 5:00 PM: Come back at 6:30 p.m. for “Dhoop Aarti” which is the evening prayer offering with incense and lamps at the ShirdiSaibab Temple. Engross yourself in the divine hymns and feel intoxicated with devotion.
  • 7:00 PM: At 7:00 pm, you can have dinner in any restaurant of your choice. Sample local delicacies such as Daal Tadka and Bhakri Bhaji for a sumptuous eating experience.

Day 2:

Morning:

  • 7:00 AM: Get up by half past six in the early morning and take a stroll around the temple area. Inhale the fresh air, appreciate the painting of the sun in the sky, and immerse yourself in the serenity of Shirdi.
  • 8:00 AM: Go to a nearby café for a small breakfast before setting off on a trip to the peculiar town of Shani Shingnapur, devoted to the God Shani.

Day Trip to Shani Shingnapur:

  • 8:30 AM: From Shirdi at about 8:30 am hire a taxi or one can use a bus to Shani Shingnapur which is about 85 km away. It takes approximately two hours to complete the trip.
  • 10: 30 AM: On arrival, experience Shani Shingnapur’s distinct culture. The houses do not have any doors or roofs signifying their absolute belief in Lord Shani’s security. The belief was that it warded off all evil influences. It meant one should walk barefoot on the hot stones at such a gathering.
  • 12: 30 PM: Head towards the revered Shani Shingnapur Temple, making supplications and sacrifices to the revered deity. Visit this unique village for peace and spiritual presence.
  • 1:00 PM: Have a light lunch in a nearby restaurant, then move back to Shirdi around 2:30 PM.

Afternoon:

  • 3:00 PM: For the evening of the second day, relax at your hotel as you shop in the market areas, choosing souvenirs like Sai Baba idols, rosary / malas, and/or traditional cotton-based Maharashtrian textiles, amongst others. The theme park has Sai Teerth which is more like an amusement experience based on devotion.
  • 5:00 PM: Palki procession – Attend this beautiful ritual at noon mid-day wherein Saibabas idol (image) is taken around the temple courtyard on a silver palanquin (palki). See the colourful decorations, excited worshippers, and the contagious excitement of the procession.
  • 7:00 PM: Saying goodbye to Shirdi with the last Darshan at the Sai Baba Temple (06:30 PM). Before you depart the spiritual hall, light a ghee lamp and silently wish your wishes into existence.

Dining:

There is a variety of dine-outs in Shirdi such as Thali restaurants offering Maharashtra cuisine, budget eateries and international restaurant chains. Here are some recommendations:

  • Maharashtrian: Sai Sagar Pure Veg, Hotel Sai Sagar, Annapurna Restaurants
  • Street Food: Datta vada pav, and Sai samosa house near sai chana Chowk.
  • International: Mainland China, Pizza Hut, Domino’s

Accommodation:

Accommodation in Shirdi is available for every budget and taste. One can also decide to reside in luxury hotels like Saibaba Resort, Sai Palace, and Sai Samarth just near the temple, or go with guest houses and lodges such as Sai Nivas, Om Sai Lodge or Sansksruti Lodge. When returning from Shirdi to Pune by cab you will also enjoy the way of these two cities.

Tips:

  • Covering your shoulders and wearing long clothes for modesty when visiting temples should be observed.
  • Always carry your water bottle and have slippers on when going out to walk.
  • Respect the local practices and traditions when within the precincts of the temple, with no loud voices or rude mannerisms.
  • Photography is prohibited within the temple of Sai Baba.
  • Crowds are inevitable, more so at weekends and in festive seasons.

Beyond the Itinerary:

If you have additional time, consider exploring nearby sights like:

  • Khandoba Temple: The temple for Lord Khandoba, and very attractive wall paintings.
  • Kopargaon: This was the dwelling place of Sri Gajanana Maharaj’s tomb with legendary magical capabilities.
  • Sambhaji Lake: A pretty lake, known for both boating and picnicking.

Note that this is an example of how one could tailor his or her trip. Looking for a quiet weekend in search of spiritual comfort, immersed into culture and recharged with happiness? Go to Shirdi! Therefore, take your bags along as you open up your heart towards a pilgrimage of faith and enlightenment at Shirdi town.

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