Saturday, April 11, 2020
Thursday, January 2, 2020
COURTESY: GOOGLE PHOTOS
For my first post in the year 2020, I wish to narrate my experience of visiting Shirdi to have darshan of Shirdi Saibaba. This is my third visit to the holy place. Myself and my wife planned to visit the place Sainamam Tours Pvt Ltd as on 30th and 31st December 19 so that I could be in Shirdi for my 70th Birthday. The
We reached Chennai International Airport to board Spicejet flight to Shirdi. Spicejet operates two direct flights to Shirdi daily to and fro Shirdi from Chennai. On reaching the place, we were provided with Lunch by the co-ordinator of the tour. The flight took off at 1.30 pm with delay and reached Shirdi International AIrport around 3.30 pm. Coordinator/ Guide of the tour at Shiridi, Mr.Rajesh received us and arranged for our travel of the twenty members of the Group to ST Laurn The Spiritual Resort by different cars.
St Laurn - The Spiritual Resort, the best luxury hotel in Shirdi, a resort where peace of mind is restored. Spread across five-acres, the upcoming property will be a luxury five-star hotel with 138 keys. St Laurn is one of the best 5 star hotels in Shirdi offering top-end Meditation & Spa facilities. A warm welcome awaits you! To know more about the Hotel and to book rooms visit the site at http://stlaurnhotels.com/shirdi/
After getting refreshed we went to Saibaba Samadhi Mandhir by the Cars arranged by the Hotel. Our Guide Mr.Rajesh took us to important places in the Mandhir complex like Gurusthan (Holy Neem Tree), Dixit Wada Museum and explained in details about the importance and details of each place. Then he took us to the entrance of queue for Paid darshan which was arranged by the Travel and we joined the queue and had nice darshan of Saibaba.
Mobiles/Cameras/ Electronic Devices and wearing cheppals inside the temple are prohibited and we had to leave them outside.
Mr.Rajesh informed us that the present idol of Saibaba in the Mandhir was installed in the year 1954 and until then a portrait of Sai baba was worshipped in that place. At present the portrait is kept in the Dixit Wada Museum.
Courtesy Google Photos
After having nice darshan of Shirdi Saibaba , we reached the Hotel and had our dinner.
About St Laurn The Spritual Resort
As explained earlier the Hotel has five star facilities like Swimming pool,Gym,Spa,Children's Play area etc. There are also Idols of Shidi Saibaba in an ambiance of Temple with Priests doing Pujas regularly.
Sai Baba's idol in St Laurn Resort
Sai Baba's idol in St Laurn Resort
Sai Baba's idol in St Laurn Resort
Big Portraits of Shirdi Saibaba with his Messages adorn the walls of the Hotel everywhere. On the whole the Hotel has a Divine atmosphere and the Rooms and Room Services are very Good. It is a nice place to stay in Shirdi with a Spiritual feeling.
Second Day of visit 31.12.19
On the second day after taking our breakfast in the Hotel, there was a get together of the Group members arranged by the Coordinator to celebrate my 70th Birthday with cutting of Birthday cake by me.He also presented 'Sri Sai Satcharita' book on behalf of Sainamam Travels. It was an unforgettable Birthday celebration for me since it happened in Shirdi.
Next we went from the Hotel to Hanuman Mandhir which is near the Samadhi Mandhir. The Anjaneya inside the temple is reported to the exisitng in the same place when Saibaba was alive and he used to worship the Anjaneya Idol which is in the temple.
After worshipping Lord Anjaneya we went to Dwarakamai, a place where Saibaba used to dwell. Dwarkamai is one of the treasures of Shirdi for the devotees. They say that Dwarkamai is the heart of Shirdi, the place where the great Sai Baba spent a significant part of his life including his last moments. Though we had to stand in a Queue , it was fast moving and we could spend considerable time inside the Dwarakamai.
Entrance of Dwarakamai
Then we went to Chavadi which is also nearby Hanuman Mandhir and Dwarakamai.
Chavadi means village meeting place, office, or court and was the place where taxes were collected, village records kept, disputes settled by the village heads, and visiting officials put up. After Baba's mahasamadhi the Sansthan acquired the Chavadi, and until the late 1930s, used it for storing books and accommodating pilgrims. The village offices have long been relocated and the Chavadi is kept as a shrine to Baba and is open to all. https://holyshirdi.saibaba.com/chavadi/index.html
The Chavadi is very significant to Sai devotees not only because Baba stayed here but also because it played a major role in the inception of formal worship of Baba. Once Baba started sleeping at the Chavadi, the custom arose of offering regular arati to him on his arrival from the mosque. This was Sej (night) Arati. Later, Kakad (morning) Arati was offered when he woke up there. Inside the Chavadi is a large portrait of Baba which was painted by Ambaram from Nausari in Gujarat, after Baba had given him darshan in a dream in 1953. The right portion of the building contains the framed photo of the cross-legged Baba kept in grand attire. https://holyshirdi.saibaba.com/chavadi/index.html
There were separate queues for Men and Women to enter inside Chavadi but the queues were not long like the queue to enter Dwarakamai. So we could easily enter the Chavadi and worship Saibaba.
After visiting Chavadi we went for shopping in the shops located in the area where they are selling Idols and Pictures of Shirdi Saibaba and other mementos.
Return to Chennai:
After taking our lunch in the Hotel we vacated the Hotel and reached the Airport by the Taxis arranged by the Coordinator of the tour. The flight was on time and we could reach Chennai by 4.45 pm.
Thus our visit to Shirdi though hectic , it was very pleasant and we could cover all the important places within a short span of time.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
India is a land of surprises that evokes thoughts of fantastic food, colorful people, bustling cities and ancient heritage. As the 7th largest country (by land mass) in the world, you can also be sure that it offers a wealth of varying landscapes and places of natural beauty that are sure to appeal to people who want to get away from it all. From the skyscraping mountains of the north to the beautiful beaches of the coast, India really does offer breathtaking views for any nature lover. Here are 14 of the most spectacular sights you can find in this wonderful country.1. The Nubra Valley, Ladakh2. Nohkalikai Falls, CherrapunjiThe Nohkalikai Falls are the tallest waterfalls in India, plunging some 1115 feet (350 meters) over a well vegetated cliff side near the town of Cherrapunji in Eastern India. The falls take their name from the Khasi for "Jump of Ka Likai" and makes reference to a local legend about a girl called Ka Likai who jumped from the cliff next to the falls after her Mother was killed by her Stepfather.3. Mizoram State, Eastern IndiaThe state of Mizoram in the far east of India is a land of lush hills, hidden valleys rushing rivers and pristine lakes. It boasts a pleasant climate with warm summers and comparatively mild winters, while heavy rainfalls feed local crops and maintain the attractive greenery that characterize this beautiful region.4. Jog Falls, Sagara Tuluk
The Jog Falls - also known as the Gerosoppa Falls or the Jogada Gundi - are a major tourist attraction found in the western state of Karnataka. The attractive cascade plunges 830 feet (230m) and is a feature of the Sharavathi River, while the amount of water flowing changes dramatically between the seasons.5. Matheran, MaharashtraMatheran is a tiny hill station located just 90km from Mumbai, and it's renowned for its incredible sunsets. It sits at an elevation of around 2,625 feet (800m) and offers dramatic, panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. The town itself features beautifully preserved, British-style architecture.6. Lonar Lake, MaharashtaThe Lonar lake is a stunning. saline-soda lake formed by a meteor impact, and is the only hypervelocity impact crater found in ballistic rock anywhere on the planet. There are numerous temples surrounding the lake - suggesting it was once considered an important spiritual place - although most of them sit in ruins today.7. The Andaman Islands8. Chitkul, Kinnaur DistrictChitkul is a small village found in the Kinnaur District of the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is famous for being the last inhabited settlement before travelers reach the Chinese border and for its spectacular mountain scenery. Potatoes grown at Chitkul are also considered to be among the best in the world!9. Tea Estates, Tamil Nadu HillsTamil Nadu is the southernmost state in India and home to a number of diverse sights including 8 UNESCO world heritage sites, a wide range of classic art, impressive Hindu temples, high hill stations and coastal beach resorts. It is also one of India's best known tea growing regions, and the rolling green tea fields prove a picturesque view for keen photographers.10. Tso Moriri, LadakhTso Moriri is a striking lake set in a stunning part of the Ladakhi region of Jammu and Kashmir. The lake sits at an altitude of 14,836 feet (4522m) and is fed by springs and melting snow from surrounding mountains. People can only access the lake during the summer, as conditions are typically too extreme during winter.11. Kerala State, South West IndiaKerala is a state found in the far south-west of India on the Malabar Coast. It is an important tourist destination thanks to its easy way of life and incredible scenery, which includes a tropical forest, hidden sea inlets and archetypal beaches. Visitors to the town of Kovalam can take a romantic boat trip through the lush fauna of the Keralan backwaters, a magical experience that's popular with honeymooners.12. Gandikota Gorge, Andhra PradeshVisitors to India who want to look beyond beaches, backwaters and hills would do well to take a trip to the small village of Gandikota in Andhra Pradesh. Nestled on the banks of the River Pennar, not only does it boast a magnificent ancient fort, but its nearby gorge is a spectacular sight situated amidst beautiful hills and wild forest.13. Beaches in West Bengal14. Nanda Devi, UttarakhandNanda Devi is the 2nd tallest mountain in India and the 23rd highest in the world. Rising to a height of 25,643 ft (7816m), it sits in a national park that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. The peak's name means 'Bliss-Giving Goddess' and the mountain is regarded as the patron deity of the Uttarakhand Himalaya.