Jai Sai Ram!!!
Our main purpose of going to Shirdi was to have Sai Baba Darshan and to seek His blessings.
We reached Shirdi via Pune, which was convenient. Located some 185 km away from Pune, it's connected by a 4 lane highway. Takes about 4 hours to reach Shirdi from Pune by road. Though there are convenient rail connection also, we had booked a cab to save time.
We reached Pune in late evening (10:30 PM) from Bangalore and took a cab straight to Shirdi. Not much traffic. But road was safe. No issues at all. This was the 2nd visit almost after 20 years. So was looking forward to have darshan of Sai Baba.
Checked into the hotel in Shirdi we had booked in advance. There are hundreds of hotels available suiting to one's needs and budget. People are very nice and very helpful. After an hour's rest, had a quick Bath and went to the Temple by 6:00 AM.
After biometric registration (near Gate-1), we received the passes for free darshan and got into the queue through Gate-1 of Temple. Just took around 20 minutes to enter the Sanctum Sanctorum and had a very good darshan early in the morning. Cannot describe the feeling of satisfaction and happiness we felt while praying before Sai Baba in the temple.
There are several other temples inside the precincts also. Dwaraka Mai is outside the temple, just a little away (say 50 meters).
It is always a desire fulfilled to be in Shirdi to have darshan of Sai Baba.
The place has the divine presence of Sai Baba everywhere and in everything.
Since most of the visitors are Baba devotees, the main purpose is to seek blessings of Sai Baba. The darshan itself, even if only for few moments, is a blessing by Him.
Having fulfilled our dream, we left Shirdi after breakfast heading towards Ajantha & Ellora caves, before returning to Pune for our return flight the next evening.
It was a memorable journey and would want to go back to Shirdi any time (and any number of times) to have Baba's darshan.