Shirdi (pronunciationi; also known as Sainagar) is a city in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is located in the Rahata taluka of Ahmednagar District. It is accessible via the Ahmednagar–Malegaon State Highway No.10, approximately 83 km (52 mi) from Ahmednagar and 15 km (9.3 mi) from Kopargaon. It is located 185 km (115 mi) east of the Western Seashore line (the Ahmednagar–Manmad road), a very busy route.

Sai Baba of Shirdi
Shirdi Nagari;
Sainagar Shirdi
Shirdi is located in Maharashtra
Shirdi is located in India
Coordinates: 19°46′N 74°29′E / 19.77°N 74.48°E / 19.77; 74.48
Country India
 • TypeMunicipal Council
 • BodyShirdi Municipal Council
 • Total13 km2 (5 sq mi)
504 m (1,654 ft)
 • Total36,004
 • Density2,800/km2 (7,200/sq mi)
 • OfficialMarathi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code02423
Vehicle registrationMH-17

Shirdi is famously known as the home of the late 19th century saint Shri Sai Baba.[1] The Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust located in Shirdi is one of the richest temple organisations.[2] One of the most famous pilgrim centres of India, Shirdi is where Sai Baba, the saint known for his divine powers, lived and preached for over five decades. Samadhi Temple, where he lived, has a room that depicts articles and things used by Shri Sai during his lifetime, and is therefore quite significant for his disciples, who follow his teachings and rever him till date. The temple also houses his mortal remains.

Every day, over 60,000 tourists and devotees from all faiths and religions throng to the temple, and this number increases during festive seasons. The temple opens at 4:45 am[3] and one has to wait in a queue to get a glimpse of the idol and worship him. Other places related to the life of Shri Sai in Shirdi include Dwarkamayi Masjid, Chavadi and Gurusthan.

Dwarkamayi Masjid, which is a mosque with a temple inside, may be the only one of its kind in India. Another interesting aspect of the mosque is that the dhuni, or holy fire that Sai Baba lit here has been kept burning to this day. The ash that falls from the dhuni called Udi is considered to have healing powers.[4]

Demographics Edit

As of the 2011 India census, the population of Shirdi stood at 36,004. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Shirdi has an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 76%, and female literacy is 62%. In Shirdi, 15% of the population is under six years of age.[5]

Transport Edit

Train Edit

The Sainagar Shirdi Railway station became operational in March 2009. As of 2011, there are trains from Chennai,[6][7] Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Mysore[8] and other cities/states that have Shirdi railway station as their terminal stop.

Air Edit

Shirdi Airport was inaugurated by the President of India, Ramnath Kovind, on 1 October 2017. There are major destinations from Shirdi airport, viz. the airports of Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. The airport is located at Kakadi in Kopargaon tahsil area, 14 km south-west of Shirdi.[9] The construction, according to the original plans, was completed in February 2016, and the first trial flight landed on 2 March 2016.[10] There are plans to lengthen the runway from 2,200 metres to 3,200 metres. The target completion date is 2017 or 2018.[11]

The nearest major airports are at Aurangabad and Pune, 115 km (71 mi) and 186 km (116 mi) respectively from Shirdi.

By car Edit

Shirdi is accessible via the Ahmednagar-Manmad State Highway No.10, approximately 83 km (52 mi) from Ahmednagar and 15 km (9.3 mi) from Kopargaon. It is approximately 240 km (150 mi) from Mumbai on the Eastern Express Highway.

References Edit

  1. ^ "Shirdi". Amazing Maharashtra.
  2. ^ "India's top 10 richest temples". 10 September 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Shirdi Temple Timing & Daily Programme - Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi". Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  4. ^ "Shirdi | Incredible India". Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  5. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  6. ^ "New trains will start operations from July". The Hindu. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Coimbatore-Tuticorin Express service from today". The Hindu. Tuticorin. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Mysore-Shirdi weekly train from Aug 1". The Times of India. Hubli. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Shirdi airport work in full swing: Official". The Times of India. 2 July 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  10. ^ Yogesh Naik (3 March 2016). "First trial flight touches down at Shirdi airport". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  11. ^ Kunal Anand (10 February 2016). "Maharashtra govt made the runway for Shirdi Airport in 2013, rest of it will be made in 2017!". India Times. Retrieved 5 April 2016.

External links Edit