Gurusthan means “place of the Guru”. It is where Baba spent most of his time when he first came to Shirdi, and also where, according to Baba, the tomb of his own Guru is located by the neem tree. Gurusthan is therefore one of the most important places in Shirdi. From underneath the NEEM tree there is an underground tunnel or passage leading to the place of Dwarkamai as told by an old lady.
To the devotees of Sai Baba, Dwarkamai is one of the treasures of Shirdi. Baba stayed in this place for more than 59 years. Sai Baba respected all religions and creeds, and all had free access to the mosque. It is typically unique of Sai Baba that he regarded a place of worship – the mosque – as a mother. He once told a visitor, “Dwarkamai is this very mosque. She makes those who ascend her steps fearless. This masjidmai is very kind. Those who come here reach their goal !”
The shrine which houses Baba’s tomb was originally constructed as a wada during Baba’s last years in his physical body. It is built on some land that Baba had tended as a garden. The shrine was built by a wealthy devotee from Nagpur, Gopalrao Booty. The Sri Sai Satcharitra describes him as a “multimillionaire”. He was introduced to Baba by S. B. Dhumal about ten years before Baba’s Mahasamadhi.
Sai Baba is intimately connected with this place, as he used to sleep here on alternate nights, during the last decade of his life.Chavadi means “village office”, and was the place where taxes were collected, village records kept and visiting officials put up. After Baba’s mahasamadhi the Sansthan acquired Chavadi, and until the late 1930s, used it for storing books and accommodating pilgrims. The village offices have long been relocated and Chavadi is kept as a shrine to Baba and is open to all.
Mahalsapati was the temple It is said that a young man, dressed in the Muslim fashion in a Kafni arrived in a bullock cart as the guest of the wedding party. As the party approached the temple, the temple priest, Mhalsapati, on seeing the fakir, called out, “Ya, Sai!” (“Welcome, Sai!”) and the name remained ever after (Sai is a Persian word meaning “saint” or ‘holy’, and Baba means “father”). In this way, it was Mhalsapati who was responsible for Baba’s name, which has become the sacred mantra of thousands of his devotees.
In Baba’s time, Lendi was an area of wasteland between two small streams, the Lendi and the Sira (now dried up). Baba used this area for toilet purposes. He would leave the mosque for Lendi around nine o’ clock in the morning accompanied by some devotees. However, none was allowed inside with him except Abdul Baba.
On the lane that runs between Dwarkamai and Chavadi is the Hanuman Mandir, one of the oldest temples in Shirdi. marked by a pair of trees enclosed by a circular railing, It is also known as the Maruti Mandir. Unusually, the temple faces south and there were two Hanuman statues here, side by side.