Sai Baba’s Punyatithi and Vijayadashami 2012 at Shirdi

Shirdi is famous as the land of Shri Sai Baba, and it is visited by millions of pilgrims every year. Devotees celebrate Sai Baba Punyatithi every year which falls on the day of Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami. It was on this day that Shri Sai Baba attained enlightenment or Mahasamadhi before passing away on 15th October, 1918. Festivities include performing various rituals and distributing Mahaprasad among devotees. As this day coincides with Dussehra celebrations, entire Shirdi town is in a festive mood and full of gratitude for their favourite saint. This is also a time when Shirdi sees a major gathering of pilgrims from different parts of the world.
Dussehra is celebrated with great zest in Shirdi and the temple complex, including Dwarkamayi Mosque, commemorates Sai Baba's Mahasamadhi. The Shirdi Dussehra festival celebrations go on for three days with various devotional programmes being conducted on this occasion. First day of festivities is marked with a huge procession which is taken out along with Sai Baba's image and Sai Satcharitra written by his devotee, Hemadpant. On the main day, water from river Godavari is brought for Shri Sai Baba's holy bath and a procession on chariot is taken around with great devotion. Main temple remains open for 24 hours during final day of celebrations.
Those who plan to have comfortable accommodations for a stay while in Shirdi for these festivities can find many luxurious hotels and resorts in the region. As Shirdi gears up for Vijayadashami 2012 celebrations, all these hotels and resorts are coming up with special offers and discounts for their guests. They also have world-class facilities and modern amenities for guests to make their stay pleasant and enjoyable. Most of them have online booking facilities which provide greater convenience for tourists and devotees wanting to book accommodations well in advance.

Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan

Increase in devotees visiting Shirdi over a period of time has also increased the demand for various facilities for them. Management of Samadhi temple and all other places of worship in its premises are done by Shirdi Sai Sansthan Trust with the help of its able team of administrators. It is also involved in many other activities that are directed towards providing various facilities for devotees and villagers. It is also committed towards development of Shirdi village and has taken many initiatives in this direction. Various departments within this administrative body manage each and every aspect of the village in general and Sai Baba Samadhi Temple in particular. This trust also has a website that provides valuable information and memberships online.

Shirdi has got an excellent hospital owing to constant efforts of the trust and it has achieved tremendous growth in terms of structural changes and advanced medical care. The Shirdi Sai Sansthan Hospital has been taking necessary measures to increase quality and availability of health care to all. It has maintained special emphasis on people from lower sections of society who are deprived of quality medical care due to rising costs. Lodging facilities are provided for devotees through Shirdi Sai Sansthan accommodation which offers simple and air-conditioned rooms at reasonable rates. They have excellent features like 24-hour electricity and water supply.

Almost all devotees offer donations to Sai Baba’s temple and Sansthan trust. Funds collected through Shirdi Sai Sansthan donation is used for the trust’s administrative and developmental activities. There have been several instances of people and organizations collecting money and cheating devotees under the pretence of having an authority for such collections. For preventing any further occurrence of such incidents, Sansthan trust has made an appeal that all donations are to be sent in the form of crossed cheques or money orders to Sansthan trust’s executive officer. No other person or organization has been authorised to collect donations from devotees.