Friday, November 2, 2007

Shirdi Sai Baba Palkhi in Surat

Surat city in Gujarat State, India (my hometown), has so many dedicated devotees of Sai Baba. I remember last year just after Diwali festivals, while we were returning from Shirdi, for about 200 kilometers, constantly we could see Palkhi Yatris.

Palkhi yatris are the devotees, who prepare Palkhi of Sai Baba, put and image of Sai Baba in it and carry the Palkhi to Shirdi. All the devotees walk their way to Shirdi, carrying the Palkhi, chanting the name of Sai Baba and Sai Mantras and singing Sai Baba Bhajans on the way.

Truly Sai Baba's presence is felt strongly in the Palkhi. I have experienced it a number of times. My mother accidentally, happened to find herself, this Dussera day in front of local Palkhi (described later in this post). She told me, as she touched the Palkhi, which happened to be in front of her, as she came outside the jewelery shop, after buying some gold on auspicious Dussera festival. She went and bowed to the picture of Shirdi Sai in the Palkhi, and could feel some great sensations, in emotions and body.

Recently, have come in contact with many Sai Baba devotees in Surat. An example of how like minded people happen to meet. Seeing each one's devotion and services to Sai Baba in different ways, just fills the heart with joy. Few of these devotees have been to the Palkhi yatras to Shirdi. And they are so happy narrating their experiences during the pada yatra (pilgimage on feet).

Estimated 10,000 people from Surat do the Pada Yatra, or rather Palkhi Yatra ( Pilgrimage on Feet, lifting the Palkhi with the image of Sai Baba. Surat to Shirdi is a little more than 300 kilometers in distance.

There were number of local Palkhi yatras, within the city of Surat on the day of Dussera ( 21st October 2007, Sunday ), Palkhi is initiated from one temple of Shirdi Sai Baba and the processioned moves, with chanting and bhajans of Sai Baba with music. Moves around in the city on it's respective decided route to end at another Sai Baba temple.

There was one grand one. A huge Sai Baba idol(see the picture with this post) was made for this procession. There were number of idols of other Gods, starting with Shree Ganesha's idol. There were also many more idols of Shirdi Sai Baba, displaying some events that took place in Shirdi, as described in Shri Sai SatCharitra.

The huge idol of Sai Baba was the central attraction. For most devotees, not just for the size of the idol, but it brought tears in eyes of most of the devotees. Most of the devotees, including me, felt something mystical while watching the idol. I learned yesterday that it is supposed to be taken with a Palkhi yatra to Shirdi, in few days, just after Diwali.

About this idol, i came to know about it a day before Dussera, when it entered the city. A freind of mine, who is a dedicated devotee of Shree Sai Baba, gave me a call. He and one other friend of his also a devotee, happened to see this idol at the boundary of Surat city. He told me that a huge Sai baba idol has entered our city and he and his friend cannot help stopping excited about it. All the hairs on their body were standing. They remained with the idol, until it reached it's destination.

They inquired about the idol, learned that it was made by an artist in Baroda city ( about 200 kms from Surat), drove their way to Baroda and ordered for a idol of about 7 feet in height also to be taken with a Palkhi Yatra to Shirdi.


Meera Kaura said...

Baba's maya is is his idol...

Anonymous said...

Hi Alpesh, are there any plans to bring this baba's idol to chennai. Please let me know.

Baba's idol is really beautiful and also if possible, please post baba's sleeping photo (like vishnu) in this article.


Alpesh Patel said...

Sai Ram Sindhu,

I don't know if there are plans of bringing this Sai Babab idol in Chennai, i will inquire for the same. However this idol is always moving at different places and activities of Bhajans etc. are conducted wherever Baba resides in form of this idopl.

I will try to get the picture and upload it with this post.

Anonymous said...

Jay Sai,
walking to shirdi with Palkhi padyatra is total different experience .since 1999 i used to go to shirdi every year by walk in month of November December. you see our side under construction.

Ajay C Patil

Sai ankita said...

Shirdi Paadayaatra is a great Sai Blessing in my life........It was from Mumbai to Shirdi (around 300 km, in 9 days!!)......from Mumbai, around one lakh people participated in this Paadayaatra (in different groups). We used to walk min 27 kms and max 40 kms a day, and speed was 10 to 15 min per km...... many old people also participated....every night we used to see people treated for water boils in legs and with leg massages.....
.......but, they never stopped their journey.......continued with bandages... Again in the morning....with freshness....people would start walking......with Sai Naam jap.........the whole atmosphere was filled with "Om Sai , Jai Sai , Om Sri Sai Naathaaya Namaha" was really a great can see the devotion and attachment to Sai there...

Our daily stays were like - sometimes....we used to get good accomodation(means closed rooms).......but sometimes, open areas........night was ok.......but in day time, in that hot summer ( nearly 45degrees), it was only Sai's Blessings that gave us strength to carry on.....After stepping on SHIRDI soil,.....really no words to express our joy.......actually, completion of Paadayaatra itself was enough.....we didn't feel the need to go for Darshan also.....After reaching Samadhi Mandir......tears didn't words to express that joy.....and ANANDA..

Every person should perform SAI YAATRA.....and see the deep devotion of's really a great experience.....Actually, I had some health problems...all my family members were worried about me........but I had great confidence in SAI......finally He brought me back home without a single pain nor a single bubble in my legs...only on one day, I had little fever due to heat, was nothing......recovered in one's really SAI'S BLESSINGS.....


Unknown said...

I stay in Nerul, Navimumbai and I want to do Padyatra to Shirdi. I would appreciate if anybody offers me the information and support to join the Padyatra group. Om Sai Ram.

Sachin said...

are there any groups going on padayatra from mumbai to shirdi in December 2011. I am interested in going on a padayatra this year. Any information on this regard will help.

Sachin Nath

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