Shopping in Shirdi
Finger rings with Sai Baba's image imprinted on it, wall hangings with "Sai Baba" written on them, laminated photos of Baba and even miniature clay idols of him, books on Sai Baba, the lovely lamps, souvenirs and some more trinkets are the items that one would shop for in the sacred town of Shirdi. And the place doesn't disappoint you even a single bit in terms of "holy shopping", it's a paradise for Sai Baba devotee.
Outside The Samadhi Mandir, you would find a number of small shops to big stores dotting the circumference of the temple. And all these have one thing in common, Sai Baba. Everywhere you would find something or the other related to Sai Baba, which is why it is a paradise for any Sai Baba devotee. From books on Baba to his idols you can lay your hands on anything for gifts or as souvenirs of this holy visit. Most of these shops in Shirdi open very early in the morning at around 7 am and wind at about 10:30 pm at night. So, you get ample amount of time to shop your heart out.
What to Buy in ShirdiGoing through a large number of shops, browsing through all the items amidst the huge crowd can be mind boggling for many so here is a short guide on what you can buy from Shirdi as souvenirs:
FigurinesA figurine/idol of Sai Baba can be bought from even the place where you live but getting it from Shirdi is altogether a different thing. It gives you a sense of security that Baba is there with you and is watching over you at all times. It feels divine to have the essence of Shirdi in the figurines or pictures you buy from Shirdi. From laminated frames, miniature idols of Baba, stickers to beautifully carved figurines of Sai Baba, you have plenty of options to choose from.
BooksBooks are said to be one's best companions and if it's a book on Sai Baba, can anything be better than this? If you want to know more about the life of Sai Baba and his philosophies or want to gift something to a newly turned devotee of Sai Baba then Shri Sai Sat Charitra is one book that you must not leave Shirdi without. The book is available in English as well as other vernacular languages of India. Another interesting ritual that many follow after buying this book from Shirdi is to sanctify it. If you wish you may do the same by taking it over to The Samadhi Temple or may skip doing so if time doesn't permit.
TrinketsIf an idol or a picture of Sai Baba is not enough, then you can also buy some small trinkets like the chains, lockets, finger rings, keychains or the arm candies, all of which either have Sai Baba written on them or have a picture of him. These trinkets are great for gifting and also for personal use. It's a constant reminder of Baba's blessing.
ClothesShopping for clothes in Shirdi is not the same as you would in other tourist places. Being a pilgrimage centre you find many cloth stores selling shawls that can be used for offerings in the Sai Baba Temple or even as headbands during meditation. Some people even use these shawl to decorate the small temples in their house. You can also buy clothes from here, which would again have some connection with Sai Baba in the form of his image or his sayings. If you wish you can also donate some of the clothes you bought to the beggars in order to help the poor and the needy and in turn receive blessings that is thousand times more than you spent.
SweetsFrom pedas to laddoos, you would find a wide variety of sweets available in the shops selling sweets. And as most of these sweets are dry in nature, they don't get spoiled so quickly and you can savour them even after you are back in your home. These are wonderfully sweet travel friendly items plus make awesome gift items for your friends and family.
And if pilgrimage shopping is not your thing then you can also take a look at the Sai Complex Mall, which is just a few feet away from the gates of Shirdi Sai Baba Temple. However, you may not find much as it's still in its development phase in Maharashtra.