At least three lakh devotees from different parts of the country thronged Shri Saibaba temple during the three-day long “Guru poornima” festival which concluded on Saturday, official said on Sunday.
Saibaba Sansthan Trust’s (SST) Executive Officer Kundan Sonawane said that devotees reached Shirdi shrine walking along with palanquins from Pune, Mumbai, Jalgaon and Nashik.
The highlight of the occasion was a new Rs. 20 lakh chariot decorated by colourful flowers worth Rs. 2 lakh, he said.
According to Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, more devotees attended the festival this year due to remarks against Shri Saibaba by the Shankaracharya of Dwarka.
SST Chairman Shashikant Kulkarni, who is also chief justice of the Ahmednagar court performed a pooja of Shri Saibaba on the occasion, they said.
The SST made arrangements for free meals as “Prasad” for two lakh devotees, besides also distributing 2.5 lakh packets of sweets to devotees.
SST Executive Officer also released a book on Saibaba written by a devotee Mugdha Diwadkar.
The Saibaba temple was also decorated with flowers by Subbramani Raju and Prasad Rao, who are devotees from Bangalore.