The three-day Ramnavami festival is being celebrated
with fervour at the Saibaba temple here.
As part of the celebrations, a Saibaba palkhi and procession was
taken out from Dwarkamai Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust. The ‘samadhi’
temple of Saibaba was illuminated and decked up for the occasion.
At least 200 palakhis from different parts of the country and
lakhs of Saibaba devotees have arrived in Shirdi for the festival,
After the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court had given an
interim stay on the government-appointed 16-member trustees on March
27, a three-member committee, headed by principal district judge
Jayant Kulkarni took charge of Trust last evening.
Lakhs celebrate Ram Navami
Ignoring the politics and controversy revolving around
appointment of trustees at the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi,
devotees in lakhs celebrated the Ram Navami festival in gaiety and
The three-day Ram Janmotsav festival in Shirdi was started by Sai
Baba himself in 1911 and the festival is now in its 101st year of
The festival began on Saturday with innumerable palkhis and
padyatras (pilgrims on foot) arriving in Shirdi from all corners of
the state and some parts of the country.
As is the trend, most of the pilgrims came from Mumbai and so the
trust made arrangements for water and first aid at five places on
Mumbai-Shirdi Road. Pilgrims also came from Pune, Nashik, Kopargaon,
Surat and other places. They were all offered free lunch by the
The festival began on Saturday with the ritualistic recitation of
the ‘Sai Satcharitra’ the book on the life of Sai Baba.
Kakadaarti was performed at 4 am. District judge and chairman of
the three-member committee appointed to oversee the working of the
trust after the high court put an interim stay on the new board,
Jayant Kulkarni and his wife Anuradha performed the pooja at the
samadhi. After the kakadaarti, a procession of the ‘Sai Satcharitra’
and the padukas of Sai Baba was taken out in a palkhi from Dwarkamai
to the main temple.
Kirtans, bhajans, discourses and pooja were organised as part of
The Kawadidharak i.e people carrying pots of water on foot from
places also arrived in Shirdi. About 4,500 people brought water from
different rivers to perform the abhishek at the samadhi. All of them
were welcomed by the trustees.
As is the tradition, a bag of wheat kept at Dwarkamai was
replaced with a new one, which was first prayed to at the Samadhi
About 80,000 devotees were provided prasad by the trust.
In the evening, a chariot procession in Shirdi captivated the lakhs
of devotees present. The temple was kept open through the night to
enable the devotees seek darshan. The festival will end on Monday