The Famous Prasadalaya of Shirdi
Shirdi is one of the most revered pilgrimage destinations of India. Located in the state of Maharashtra, it is quite frequently visited by celebrities, cricketers and renowned industrialists throughout the year. The Shirdi Sai Baba temple visits more than 25,000 devotees on a daily basis and that too on an average day. On special occasions it is more 50,000 devotees including VIPs. This temple is maintained and managed by the Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan Trust which also maintains a huge hall for feeding devotees with the offerings made at the temple of Sri Sai Baba.
These offerings are specifically known as ‘Prasad’ and the name of the hallway is ‘Prasadalaya’ in which the word ‘alaya’ refers most appropriately to abode. A complete meal is available for the devotees at highly reasonable rate of Rs. 10/-. The Prasadalaya remains open from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm and between this time about 10 lakh devotees visit the place on a daily basis. Apart from a nominal rate for the food, the Prasadalaya, welcomes anyone and everyone who intends to enjoy the Prasadam.
Food Served at Prasadalaya in Shirdi
The food served here is completely vegetarian and Maharashtrian. The meal is very simple yet delicious, hygienic and very much like homemade food. All the food items are prepared in the largest solar cooker of the world. The daily menu comprises of the following items:
- Dal (Pulses)
- Chapati (Indian Bread)
- Two Types of Vegetables
- An Indian Dessert
More than almost 100 people visit the Prasadalaya to make only Chapatis. The dessert, which mainly comprises of Ladoos, is prepared in a very special manner comprising of Bundi, Pure Ghee, dry fruits like cashew, almonds, khoya and milk. It is a special kind of sweet dish that is available from as early as 6.00 am until 10.00 pm and can also be offered to Sai Baba’s Temple.
Apart from the temple and the Prasadalaya, there are other places to visit as well around the Sansthan, which include a store named Shirdi Sai Store which has many souvenirs which can be taken home as a memories of Shri Sai Baba and the trip. This store offers stickers, images, posters, statues, cassettes with Bhajans (religious songs) dedicated to Shri Sai Baba. With the help of this store you can take home, a piece of Shirdi along with you.
There is also a Wet and Joy Water Park which is a fun place for kids and even adults as it offers many water rides for amusement. Another interesting activity that starts from the Sai Temple itself is the Palki Procession, which takes place every Thursday. In this procession, the Idol of Sai Baba is carried in a Palki, which is a swing like carriage and carried by 4 people on four sides. All visitors can join this procession as it is considered to be an extremely pious and auspicious activity.
Every visitor at the Prasadalaya has a range of places to choose and visit from around it along with enjoying the simple homemade food with a heavenly dessert.