Om Sai Ram. Fortunate are those devotees, who had been lived with Shri Sai Baba in Shirdi. Whose tombs built in Shirdi and are also being taken care of by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan in Shirdi? Shri Sai took every care of them, and even after leaving their mortal being, Baba kept their souls nearer and ever conscious of Him.
1. Nanavali (Shankar Narayan Vaidya): A true Sai devotee who took his last breath on the 13th day of Baba`s Mahasamadhi that is on 26th October 1918. He once asked Sai Baba to get up from His Gadi(Seat) so that he can seat on it. Sai Baba immediately got up and left the Gadi for him. Sai Baba showed no ego or pride with this act of Nanavali. After seating for a while Nanavali got up and fell down at Sai Baba feet. The relationship Nanavali had with Sai Baba like that of Hanuman and Lord Shri Ram. One will notice these tombs built in Shirdi inside Shri Sai Baba temple complex on the right side while going to Lendibagh. Nanavali tomb is in middle among these tombs.
2. Bhau Maharaj Kumbhara: Among other tombs built in Shirdi, Bhau Maharaj tomb is beside Nanavali`s tomb. This Sai devotee breathed his last on 27th April 1937. It is a mere surprise to know the works and deeds this Sai devotee was doing at that time. The Spiritual influence of Sai Baba had bestowed upon him. Bhau Maharaj had this vision that time about the very cleanliness and hygiene in Shirdi. As he came to Shirdi at a very young age, lived like a selfless and helpful person. Today mothers of young children pray for well being and a better future for their children near his Samadhi.
3. V P Iyer: This tomb is behind Nanavali`s tomb. He was an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. He had complete faith in Sai Baba. When Iyer Saheb transferred to Shirdi, his lifetime wish was fulfilled and remained in Shirdi. He breathed his last on 27th May 1944 embracing Photo of Shri Sai Baba. Shirdi villagers requested Shri Sai Baba Sansthan to built a Samadhi near other tombs built for Sai devotees.
4. Tatya Kote Patil: Sai Baba loved Tatya as His younger brother. Their bond of a relationship like two loving brothers. This made Sai Baba in protecting Tatya from every kind of mishappenings and danger. Thus, it is believed that Shri Sai Baba left His heavenly body for the shake of Tatya who was in bed for illness in the year 1918. Later Tatya Kote Patil breathed his last on 12th March 1945.
5. Haji Abdul Baba: The first tomb seen while going to Lendi Bagh is of this devotee of Shri Sai Baba. He was very close to Shri Sai Baba. Abdul Baba got the knowledge and wisdom of every action of Sai Baba. Then, He began writing the words and preachings of Sai Baba. Today this book is not available to the public for reading. This book had an in-depth meaning from Holy book of Quran. Haji Abdul Baba cured many types of diseases and maladies with the help of this Book. One can find a separate cottage specially dedicated to Abdul Baba in front of Chavadi, where Sai devotees visit with pure heart and love. At last, he left his heavenly body in the year 1954.
Are you planning to visit Shirdi in near future? Following are the important visiting places during your Shirdi pilgrimage journey. Again your spiritual knowledge will increase manifold while think back to these historical monuments and surroundings.
1. Panchmukhi Vishnu Ganapati Temple: This temple is around 3 Kms from Shirdi Sai Baba temple. One among important visiting places in Shirdi. Famous astrologer Mr. Bejan Daruwala, an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha inaugurated this temple in the year 2002. The temple opens at 07:00 AM and closes at 08:00 PM. Visiting this temple before going to Sai Baba temple will bring fortune to Sai devotees. Every month, on the 4th day of the dark fortnight (Sankast Chaturthi) devotees, come here in large numbers to get blessings from Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha is the destroyer of evil things. Hence all your obstacles are removed during your Shirdi pilgrimage journey.
2. Upasni Maharaj Ashram: Named after renowned Spiritual Guru Upasni Maharaj of Sai Baba`s period. He was earlier staying with Sai Baba in Shirdi. He got God realization from Sai Baba.
Upasni Maharaj taught three principal things. Firstly, do not harm or trouble anyone. Secondly, suffer for others and become useful to others. Thirdly, to remain satisfied and happy in any given circumstances. He had written many verses in Sanskrit languages which are being recited during Sai Baba Aartis. The popular Sloka, “Sada Nimba Vrukshasya Muladhi Vasaath” was crafted and installed in Sai Paduka at Gurusthan by Him.
3. Khandoba Temple: Among other important visiting places in Shirdi, The Khandoba temple is very nearby. Khandoba temple in Shirdi is just very near to Shri Sai Baba temple. This temple is considered as of 700 years and might have been built in the 13th century. Lord Khandoba an Avatar of Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this temple. Lord Khandoba is also considered as the savior and guardian angel of Shirdi village. Prior to the times of Sai Baba, This temple is the only one where regular Pujas done by villagers of Shirdi. A Goldsmith named Mhalaspati looks after this Puja regularly.
Sai Baba first noticed by Mhalaspati, when came to Shirdi with Chand Patil`s marriage party. The Banyan tree of that time where Sai Baba first gets down is also alive now. Upasni Maharaj also stayed in this temple for some years.
4. Baba`s Old Shirdi: This is around 4 Kms from Shirdi Sai Baba Temple. It is also called as Sai Heritage Village. While going towards Pune on Ahmednagar route, will find this place after passing Nisarga Cottage Hotel.
For devotees visiting Shirdi, must visit this place with their family and children. Presently, Rs. 100 only is charged as an entrance fee to this site. On entering, one feels going 100 years back and living in Shirdi village with Sai Baba. There, one finds the life-size statue of Sai Baba as well as the statue of Shirdi villagers of those periods. Here, the lifestyle of Shirdi villagers, their houses, clothes, and economic activities are depicted naturally. The ambiance and atmosphere of this place are peaceful and calm replicating Sai Baba`s old times. Inside there is a toy train and gaming activities which makes worth visiting.
5. Wet-N-Joy Water Park: If you have time to spend in Shirdi after having Darshan of Sai Baba than visiting this water park is in the last choice. Official timing for this park is 10 AM to 6 PM.