The Shirdi Sai Baba movement began in the 19th century, while Sai Baba himself was living in Shirdi. A local Khandoba priest, Mhalsapati Nagre, is believed to have been his first devotee. In the 19th century, Sai Baba’s followers were only a small group of inhabitants of Shirdi, and a few people from other parts of India.
Because of Sai Baba, Shirdi has become a place of importance and is counted among the major Hindu places of pilgrimage. The first Sai Baba temple is situated at Kudal, Sindhudurg. This temple was built in 1922. It is believed that Sai Baba gave one Rupee to Dada Madye ji with which he built the temple in Kudal. Today, The Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi is visited by an average of 25,000 pilgrims a day, and during religious festivals, this number can reach up to 100,000.