[ Khandoba Mandir entrance, Shirdi ]
The place is very significant as it was here that the temple head priest Mhalsapati had first spotted Baba and said ‘Yaa Sai’ meaning ‘Welcome Sai’ in Marathi. The name stuck to Him and people started calling Him Sai Baba.
[ Idol of Shri Khandoba, Shirdi ]
The temple is dedicated to Lord Khandoba (Shri Martand Bhairav), an incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is considered to be the patron deity of Maharashtra and is also worshipped in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This temple is among one of the 13 main temples of Khandoba, the main being at Jejuri near Pune.
[ Lord Khandoba's Horse ]
[ Sai Baba's Padukas ]
In the temple room, there are idols of Lord Khandoba, Banai Devi and Mhalsai Devi. On the walls there are black and white photographs of Mhalsapati, his wife and their sons. Just outside the temple room, there are two small shrines, one housing the idol of Lord Khandoba’s Horse and the other Sai Baba and His Padukas. There is also a Banyan tree under which there is a small idol of Sai Baba.
[ A Banyan tree in the Khandoba Temple premises ]
[ A small idol of Sai Baba just beneath the Banyan tree ]