Khandoba Mandir is near Shri Sainath Hospital in Shirdi. Khandoba is the presiding deity of the village. The Khandoba Temple is situated on the main road. The temple has icons of Khandoba, Banai and Mhalsai.
Significance of the Temple
The famous Khandoba Temple is been dedicated to lord Shiva and is known by the name Khandoba. Khandoba Temple is one of the two temples with which Sree Sai Baba had direct connections. Including Shri Upasani Maharaj of Sakori many saints stayed in this temple for long for their spiritual evolution. This temple has the honour of welcoming Sai in Shirdi. The priest of this temple Mhalsapati called out the nameless fakir with the words 'Welcome Sai' as He stepped on the soil of Shirdi. Since after, the nameless fakir came to be called as 'Sai Baba'.
At Khandoba in Shirdi, Baba came along with a marriage party and he set his foot under a banyan tree. The priest at the temple welcomes Baba by saying "Aao Sai". The fakir without a name began to be called "Sai Baba" from then. Baba asked Upasani Baba to stay in the temple for some time doing nothing. The temple is open for visitors from 5 am to 10 pm.
Lord Khandoba temple is situated west side of national highway not far from the Sai temple. Lord Khandoba is great Lord Shiva's incarnation and was created by Lord Brahma to kill Mani and Mall, the two demons. Sai Baba while accompanying the auspicious Chand Bhai baraat(wedding procession) stopped at Khandoba(guru of Sai Baba) temple. Mahalaspati was the priest of the temple and on seeing fakir within the temple premises he said "Aao Sai" and "Sai" has been named. Mahalaspati later become the disciple of Sai Baba. Mani And Mall the two demons were killed by the great Lord Khandoba on Champashashasti day. Each year people celebrate champashashasti day by the way of walking over coal-fire present within Agni-kund(fire-place) within the Lord Khandoba temple premises. It is said after killing demons Lord Khandoba danced over fire and since that day the tradition continues.
The Khandoba temple can be divided into two parts, the Mandap and Gabhara. The idol of Khandoba enshrined in the areas of Jejuri temple which speaks volumes about the talent of its craftsmen. The weapons situated inside the temple namely, a sword, a damaru and a paral, have historical importance attached to them. The temple also serves as a venue of Sword Competition held every year on Dussehra Day. Jejuri town is also important from historical point of view. It was here that Shivaji met his father Sahaji, after a long period of time and discussed the strategy to be followed against the Mughals.
Through airways the Mumbai Chatrapati Shivaji International airport, which is 305 km away from Shirdi is the nearest airport. All the major airlines have service from Mumbai to all major cities in India and many cities abroad including Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombo and Gulf countries. Taxis are available from Mumbai to Shirdi and costs about Rs 6000.
Recently there are trains services which have been also begun operation from the different parts of the country for Shirdi. Located just 10 kms away from the temple, the newly built railway station of Shirdi now runs many trains from across the country. The trains here at this place also have air conditioned compartments and various classes to suit every pocket.
The Jejuri is one the popular pilgrim centres of Maharashtra, located 38 kms. from Pune and 60 kms. from Sholapur. It houses a temple dedicated to Lord Khandoba. Khandoba popularly known as Khandobachi Jejuri which is one of the important Gods worshipped by Dhangar the oldest tribes in Maharashtra.