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Mumbai to Shirdi trip
Dec 03, 2010 02:21 PM 12943 Views
(Updated Dec 12, 2010 10:55 AM)


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I live in Mumbai and I have gone to Shirdi during 4-6 of September 2010. I wish to share my experiences and I hope it may be helpful to other pilgrims.

Saturday – 4 th September 2010

I started my journey to Shirdi from Mumbai on Saturday(4 th of Sep 2010). I boarded the Jan Shatabdi train / 2071(Fare Rs. 107) from Thane @ 14:20 and reached Manmad Junction @ 18:25. It is a chair car train and the journey was comfortable. I came out from the railway station and I had some snacks from outside the station. There are taxi services(Rs. 50 per person?)available from Manmad station to Shirdi but I preferred to go by bus. So I hired an auto to go to Manmad bus stand(Fare Rs. 20). There are lot of buses from Manmad bus station to Shirdi and they charge Rs. 42. Normal travel time is 1 hour 30 minutes.

I reached Shirdi around 9:00 pm and l was looking for accommodation. First, I went to a new Devasthan cottage(Dwarawathi Bhakthiniwas exact name?) which is opposite to bus stand. It is a big cottage and stayed there during my last trip with my parents(AC rooms Rs. 1000 and non AC Rs. 500 with three bed). It is really a nice campus with good amenities at affordable rate. It is like Srinivasam complex of Tirupathi. Since I went alone, I was told they won’t give accommodation to single person and suggested I should go to other Dharamsala near the bus stand where I can get Dormitory facilities for Rs. 50. I preferred to stay in a hotel, so I searched for other private hotels. Most of the hoteliers have denied accommodation because I was single and finally, I was able to get the accommodation in a newly constructed Ashoka Executive hotel(Opposite to Shirdi English medium school, near to Axis bank, Nagar – Manmad highway, Shirdi) for Rs. 650 per day. My accommodation was good.

Sunday - 5 th September 2010

*On Sunday morning, I went to Saibaba temple for dharsan around 10 am. Near to Gate No. 4, there are counters to keep your shoes(Rs. 1) and cameras / mobile phone(Rs. 2). I entered the shrine through Gate No. 4 and came out through Gate No. 1 and next to Gate No. 1, the queue starts to enter into the temple. There are halls for the streamlining of pilgrims and the halls are good and they have facilities like toilets etc. Since it was Sunday there was a lot of rush and it took around 1 hour 30 minutes to reach the Sanctum / Samadhi. I had a good dharsan of Saibaba for more than a minute and it was really mesmerizing, soothing and I felt very happy. I came out from the Samadhi mandhir. There are also other small temples, shops, museum etc., inside the temple premise. The devasthan book store is really good and you can get Saibaba books and Photos at nominal rate. There are places you can sit and relax inside the temple premise.

I came out from the temple around 1:00 pm and I went to nearby Udupi restaurant for lunch. The south Indian meals cost Rs. 65.

Again on Sunday evening, I went for dharsan and it was also a pleasant one. After dharsan, I relaxed in a hall opposite to the Samadhi Mandhir(Mukdharsan hall?) for 10 minutes.

Monday – 6 th September 2010

Since my train was in the afternoon I planned to go for one more dharsan in the morning and it was good. Later, I went to Dwarakamayi also.

In the afternoon I left Shirdi and reached Manmad Station by bus. From Manmad I boarded Tapovan express @ 17:00 hours to Mumbai and reached Thane by 21:30.

Overall, the time I spent in Shirdi and inside the temple premises was good and I felt very happy after worshipping. It was really a good trip.



But there are other small things which I want to mention

  1. Buses(from Manmad to Shirid) are poorly maintained. You can see tobacco stain or stench smell of vomiting everywhere inside the bus.

  1. The area outside the temple and the way to bus stand is filthy with tobacco stains and panparag packets. It can be improved.

  1. You can’t see many places where you can keep your footwear/ shoes**. There is a small counter to keep your footwear near Gate no. 4, but since they keep it inside the polythene bags, you have to wait(for polythene bag) if all the bags are filled during crowded times. Again this place is so dirty and you cannot stand without footwear. I request authorities to add more shoe keeping centre, s so it can be helpful for pilgrims.

  1. Inside the temple premise, mobile phones / cameras are forbidden. It is better to keep them in our lodge itself. There is a counter to keep our mobile phone /cameras near Gate No. 4. and they were charging Rs. 5 for each item. But later I found the original amount mentioned in the receipt is Rs. 2. That means Rs. 3 extra for each item. Imagine how much amount they would be getting every year even if 500 people deposit their articles in that counter everyday?

  1. The food quality in most of the hotels in Shirdi is mediocre while the price is high. The cost of lunch in Shirdi is around Rs. 80(in a decent hotel near to Bus stand).

6. The rents in Shirdi hotels are arbitrary and it is costly(Like any other pilgrim place).

The above points are based on my own experiences and as a common man. Again the views expressed here are personal. I should concur experiences and perceptions about people and place will vary from person to person.



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