About Shirdi Chavadi
Shirdi Chavadi is the place in Shirdi where villagers of Shirdi used to meet and settle disputes and collect taxes and the visiting officials used to stay. The place is maintained and managed by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi. After Baba Mahasamadhi the Sansthan occupied the Chavadi and used it for storing books and accommodating devotees.
During the last days of Sai Baba, he used to sleep on the alternate nights here in the Chavadi. This started on one of the wild stormy nights around 1909. The heavy downpour came inside the mosque (Dwarakamai) through the leaky walls. The devotees of Baba tried him to move out of the mosque but baba didn’t agree to move, then the devotees picked Baba up and half-carry him to Chavadi, from then baba spent alternate nights here.
The place is very special for the devotees of Sai Baba because the place is where Baba used to sleep alternate days and the place played an important role in the establishment of formal Worship of Baba. From the day baba started sleeping here people decided to offer regular Aarthi to him on his arrival from the Mosque. The Sej Aarthi i.e., the night Aarthi and the Kakad Aarthi i.e., the early morning Aarthi were offered to him. As Baba used to stay rest of the day in Dwarakamai the mid-day and evening Aarthis are probably developed at Dwarakamai.
As the Dwarakamai was renovated, the Chavadi is also renovated. The mud walls were neatly coated, huge mirrors were hanged, glazed tiles replaced the floor and glass candle holders were suspended from the ceiling. The funding for the renovation was provided by the deeply devote of Sai Baba- Anna Chinchanikar. Feeling the triumph of Baba’s grace, from the court ruled in his favour in the land dispute, he wanted to give Baba a full sum award. However, Baba refused the award and Dixit suggested him to spend that amount on renovating Chavadi. The sitting platform along the front wall outside the Chavadi is the later addition. The names of Anna Chinchanikar and his wife were inscribed on an ornamental tablet above the doorway.
A large sketch of Baba is placed inside the Chavadi which was painted by Ambaram, an 18 year old boy from Nausari in Gujarat, after the Darshan of Sai Baba in his dreams. The villagers of Nausari out of love with Baba collected donations in order to buy the paintings and bring the sketch to Shirdi.
On the left of the painting, there will be a wooden plain bed on which baba had his last bath after he passed away in the Mosque. On every Thursday the bed is taken and the palaki is placed on it. At the same place next to the bed where will be a wheelchair which is presented to Baba when he was suffering from asthma, but Baba never used it.
On the right portion of the building a framed photo of cross-legged Baba is kept in grand attire which is now kept on the silver throne which is placed where Baba used to sleep. On every Thursday and on festival days the picture is taken out on parade. Baba didn’t allow women into this portion and this tradition is maintained till date. Only boys and men are allowed in this portion.
Shirdi Chavadi Utsav
On the moving from Dwarakamai to Chavadi is the effort Radhakrishnayi, who wanted Baba to be honoured as Maharaja, and supplied all sorts of Ceremonial full-dress and ornaments. With a decorated horse Shyam Sunder leading the way, Baba with Tatya on one side and Mhalsapathi on the other side walked on the carpet laid on the path. Number of devotees joined them, singing Bhajans, chanting Hari naam and Baba’s name, dancing, playing musical instruments, letting crackers, holding a sliver umbrella over Baba, waving Flags and Fans. Even the distance is few metres it used to take 3 hours to cover it.
Baba give importance to the holy poverty and his reluctance to allow devotees to worship him, for the happiness of his devotees Baba allowed himself to be led to the Chavadi in lavish display of adoration. Before the parade starts, Hemadpant hints at Baba’s response. Devotees used to sing Bhajan, Some decorates the palanquin, and rows of oil lamps were burning. Shyma stood waiting, then Tatya Patil with a party of men went to Baba and asks him to get ready but baba used to sit quiet in his place till Tatya come and helped him to get up and put his arms under Baba’s armpit.
When Baba arrived at the Chavadi and stood in front of it, his face glittered with a “Peculiar Lustre”. All people viewed Baba’s lustre to their heart’s and remember the event and thinks about what a beautiful procession and what an expression of devotion.
Baba Devotees are so fortunate that those days are not completely gone. On every Thursday similar procession is done with the Baba’s photo in honour of that tradition. In the evenings, Baba Satka and Padukas are displayed in front of the tomb from 7:30 untill the procession begins at 9:00pm. More crowd will be at Samadhi Mandir as people are very eager to touch and pay their tributes to these holy objects which are accessible only at this time. This procession is enhanced by the melodious Bhajans offered by some villagers and a group of young men from the local youth organization dancing rhythmically to the drumbeat.
Around 9:15 pm the procession moves from Samadhi Mandir. At the centre the Garlanded Portrait of Baba is carried by the great grandson of one Tatya Kote Patil the devotee of Baba and another of his relatives. They are ahead by one of the Mandir staff carrying the Satka and Padukas. Other staff, dressed in Maharashtrian-style red tunics and turbans. The procession is done on the way awaited with the crowd eagerly waiting to see this. The procession enters Dwarakamai about 10 minutes later, and again there is an assembled crowd waiting for the arrival and crowed for the view. The photos of baba are placed on the silver palaki and this takes about 15 minutes. Mandir staff and locals carry the palakii to the Chavadi, where people await inside and out.
The palaki after reaching Chavadi it is parked outside and the photo is taken inside the Chavadi on red-carpet. Baba’s photo is settled into the place on the silver throne and Aarthi is performed and the whole group is returned to the Samadhi Mandir.
The coconut is kept beside Baba’s statue until the final night Aarthi. The photo is returned to Chavadi after the morning Aarthi the next day.
During the Procession , Lalkari is performed which means the ceremonial shouting of slogans or words of praise Baba such as “Long Live Sai Baba”. There are particular points where is is done during the Utsav.
Chavadi will be open from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
Further Information about Shirdi Darshan Package