At the entrance of the temple, you will find all the regular temple shops. One thing I can’t understand is the beggers surrounding the baba temple’s. Its quite natural in any temple but in the entrance of Sai Baba temples, I notice them in a big way. We had to undergo their harassment before entering the temple. The best thing about Shirdi that’s visible(atleast visible) is that there’s no special queue, special sadha queue etc. We have to stand in the single queue that’s going through many rooms before entering into the sanctum sanctorum. All the way through the queue, we could get water tap’s to quench thirst.One glaring thing I need to mention here is the TV’s that they have placed all through the standing queue at the top to enable devotees to see the Sanctum Sanctorum.If we are telecasting live, then why this queue for?, We can telecast in the cable tv direct. We can have the darshan in the homes than waiting in the queue for hours to have the glimpse. The whole purpose is getting diluted. I notice this even in the temples of Tamil Nadu.
Since we came early to the temple, it took us around 1.5 hours to have the darshan. People who come late have to wait for around 5 hours approx, it seems. Plan yourself for an early darshan to make things comfortable. Once you have the darshan, you can go and pray at the samadhi’s of few of the direct disciples of baba. Prasadam is available at the selected counters at a reasonable price. Next in the offing will be the place where Baba used to sit in for dhyana, the hand grind he used to prepare flours, the tree bark on which he sat were preserved. The holy fire which he lit to prepare food for the poor and the needy is glowing till date. Devotees can pour ‘Sambrani’ to add their part in its eternity. The room in which Baba used to stay is adjacent to the temple.
We went all around the landmark points and I was visibly happy that atlast, the pictures on those temple walls were standing true in front of me. As we grow, challenges grow in size and magnitude which requires the support of an external power. No doubt I had an ulterior motive of requests and wishes from Baba, some genuine and many may not that I deserve. But, above all, I had a satisfaction of going through the places that I visualized once through those paintings.It can’t happen for Asterix or Obelix you know !!!!.