A Spiritual Journey from Mumbai to Shirdi
As COVID-19 slowly takes a backseat, many people are gearing up for the outdoors. If you are wondering where to go, why not start with a spiritual trip to Shirdi, one of the holiest cities in India and home to the great Indian saint, Sai Baba of Shirdi.
At Shirdi, devotees embrace love, peace, and unity among humanity, propagated by the teachings of Sai Baba. So if you want to feel one with all, the city of Shirdi beckons you. This enchanting place exudes an air of spirituality that will elicit a sense of well-being and solidarity for all visitors.
Road Trip to Shirdi
You can hire a Mumbai to Shirdi taxi to travel to Shirdi. The best route is through Ghoti-Shirdi Road and NH160. This stretch of road is smooth and has less traffic. You can reach Shirdi in under five hours, but to enjoy the journey, you can take breaks and stop at scenic points. The best time to start from Mumbai to Shirdi would be before daybreak. It’s a great way to escape the heat, especially during summer.
On this route, you will come across beautiful lakes in Thane, and as you drive through the Ghats, there are waterfalls and picnic spots at Shahapur. Beyond that is Igatpur, with breathtaking views of lakes and untouched greenery. Further along the journey is the Gondeshwar temple in Sinnar, Nasik. The temple is an architectural splendour where you want to take some selfies with the temple as your backdrop.
There are eateries along the way where you can take a break for lunch or a snack. A must-try is the multi-cuisine food court at Shahapur called Food Hub. Here, you can get delicious idli-vadas, dahi-vadas, vada-pavs, and pohas at Vithal Kamat. There are also KFC and Mcdonald’s outlets for those who prefer the go-to fast food joints.
The Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir
Your last stop is Shirdi and Sai Baba Samadhi Mandir, where the last remains of Sai Baba are kept. A marble statue of Sai Baba is seated on a golden throne with a silver umbrella over the head. To receive Baba’s blessings, you may need to stand in a queue for a while. But the wait is worth it because of the peace you experience within the temple premises.
To soak up the spiritual ambience in Shirdi, please also visit Gurusthan, where Sai Baba spent most of his time; Dwarkamai, an old mosque where he spent his last days; and a strange village called Shani Shingnapur where all houses have no entry doors. Unlike city-breds who are afraid of thieves, the no-door concept depicts the immense faith devotees have for their Lord Shani.
Places to Stay in Shirdi
You have many choices for a stay in Shirdi, depending on your budget. A good hotel like the Sai Neem Tree or Sai Jashan would cost you between Rs. 3000-3500 for a night’s stay. Luxury hotels like Sun-n-Sand would cost around Rs. 5000 per night. You can also find budget hotels for less than Rs. 1000/night.
Return To Mumbai
To get back to Mumbai from Shirdi, you can hire a Pune to Mumbai taxi. If you have time, you could even explore Pune for a day or two before taking a taxi to Mumbai.
I’m sure you will enjoy and feel rejuvenated from your round trip and return home with the hope that we can all live in peace and free of religious and other divides.