This wada occupies a significant place in the history of Baba's Shirdi as it was
built on Baba's instruction, and was the first of its kind. Moreover, it was during
preparations for its foundations that Baba revealed that this was the place of his
guru. Furthermore, several of the devotees whose names have gone down in history
stayed here. For example, it was here that Khaparde wrote part of his informative
Shirdi Diary, that Jog did daily parayana as asked by Baba, that Dada Kelkar lived,
and where Hemadpant had his first darshan of Baba standing outside; arati to Baba's
picture was conducted regularly at the wada. By providing what was, at that time,
the only accommodation for visitors to Shirdi, Sathe rendered valuable service to
H. V. Sathe was a man of considerable social standing who worked in the colonial
government as a Deputy Collector. Four years after his wife died in 1900, he came
to Baba to ask whether he should remarry. Baba advised him that if he did so, he
would have a son. Sathe did remarry and the couple had two daughters and a son.
Sathe became a keen devotee and played a prominent part in life around Baba. He
was also responsible for bringing Megha (who became Baba's pujari and faithful devotee)
into contact with Sai Baba.
The wada was built in 1908 on a site between the Gurusthan neem tree and where Booty
Wada (now the Samadhi Mandir) was subsequently constructed. Sathe describes the
building's inception as follows:
Near Baba's favourite neem tree were the remnants of the old village wall. Baba
told me: "Pull down the wall and build." Baba's suggestion was for building residential
quarters there and for including the village wall in the construction. So I bought
the land there and using the remnants of the village wall built a wada enclosing
or surrounding the neem tree.
In 1924 the wada was bought by R. S. Navalkar and in 1939 his heirs gave it to the
Sansthan. Two years later the Sansthan added four rooms for the use of pilgrims.
Until 1998 part of the wada still stood and was being used by the Sansthan as an
administrative office. It was pulled down during the restructuring of the Temple