“Chalo Bhulava Aaya Haiiii Baba Ne Bulaya Hai”. As the Indian saying goes “jab tak bhulava nahi aata, tab tak nahi ja sakte” (one can pay visit to the holy place only when god himself has called you, want you to see). Well I didn’t believe much on this saying and always felt it is you who decide weather you want to go or not. But now i think, i kind of have some belief on this saying.
So the story goes like this. It was early this year when we all went (me, my son, parents, sister, aunt and driver) to Yeola for shopping saree’s in bulk for my sister’s wedding. Yeola is famous for manufacturing and selling traditional Marathi style saree. Before even reaching this place my mom was insisting, that we also visit Shirdi to pay respect to Sai Baba as it was very close by. We got quite late in Yeola, so we then decided to drop the plan visiting Shirdi and directly go back to Pune (i was little happy as i was not so keen visiting Shirdi). The story moves forward by 3-4 months in June. Post my sisters marriage my mom was very firm to visit Shirdi even if she had to go alone. Now the climax, we all went to Shirdi, the same combination including that driver (but except my sister who got married). It was destined that we all go there together. So the saying goes “Chalo Bhulava Aaya Haiiii Baba Ne Bulaya Hai”.
It was the second time that i went to this place till date. The first time was when i was in school and now after so many years i visited this place. It felt very nice. I noticed many changes happened compared to my last visit. It has become very organized now because of heavy footfalls of devotees. The ques now are much longer all through the year.
One thing which i really liked – they have created a separate entry point for senior citizens which is quite helpful during peak seasons. One only needs age proof that he/she is senior citizen and then a pass is issued which is free of cost. There were 3 senior citizen and one toddler in the group, so i got an entry along with them, hassel free, Que free, my good luck.
We had an amazing darshan of Lord Sai Baba. Eveybody was able to stand for couple of minutes in front of idol which made the trip extremely successful. Otherwise, it is very difficult to stand even for seconds because of huge crowd. But it was little off season, hence, less crowded. As i mentioned earlier , we were lucky.
Another attraction in Shirdi is newely opened devotional theme park “Sai Teertha”, dedicated to Sai baba. There are four themes created – Teerth Yatra, Lanka Dahan, Sabka Malik Ek and Dwarkamai which is a combination of devotion, technology and entertainment. Although I have not visited this theme park but is definitely in my bucket list.