Weather :

Timings : 5:45 AM - 2:00 PM & 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM (Everyday except Thursday)
On Thursday it is open from 5:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Chennai Overview

Shirdi Sai Baba temple in Chennai is among the most visited and respected places of worship In Tamil Nadu as well as India. The resident deity of the temple, Sai Baba of Shirdi, was an esteemed saint of the 18th century and the stories of his origin and teachings are mostly born out of folklore.

However, Sai Baba later became the centre of a cult called All India Sai Samaj, and the temple acts as the headquarters for the community. The Samaj was found in the 1940s by Narasimha Swamiji, and the same person founded the temple as well in 1952. The temple now has followers and devotees in hundreds of thousands. Every year, a large number of people pay their tributes to the mysterious saint - even celebrities and public figures are a part of his following.

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Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

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Sai Baba is recognised as one of those spiritual reformers who does not have ties to any particular god of any religion but is a figure of worship himself. So, there are no religious restrictions imposed upon those who visit the temple. In fact, this temple has fixed days and hours for reading Islamic text Quran and the book of Christianity, the Holy Bible - something that you will not find in any other spiritual establishment.

Another unique feature of the Sai Baba Temple is that it still has a part of the flame that was lit by Sai Baba in Shirdi to mark his contribution to society. Every Sunday, devotees pay tribute to Sai Baba and his work by worshipping the flame with Agni Puja. The temple offers a peaceful retreat for anyone, whether or not they are followers of the saint. The premises welcome people of any faith with open arms. Anyone who takes an interest in listening to holy texts or spiritual songs can spend some time here in the calm and serene environment.

Legend of Shirdi Sai Baba

Shirdi Sai Baba was a holy saint who was born in Shirdi to a Hindu family and brought up by a Muslim Fakir. However, when he grew up and turned into a spiritual person himself, he disapproved of the concepts of one's ethical or religious roots and claimed love to be at the core of all. There are famous folklores about him foretelling the future and causing miracles. He often did his preaching with metaphorical stories, and his answers to his followers were shrouded in mystery.

History of Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

The Shirdi Sai Baba Temple of Mylapore was built by Narasimha Swami from Salem, a lawyer by profession and an ardent follower of Shirdi Sai Baba spiritually. He used to worship a picture of Sai Baba under a tamarind tree in the exact location where the temple stands today. Due to some reason, the place of reverence had to be shifted to a house in Nanjunda Rao Colony. However, soon Sai Baba's picture came back to its original location.

Narasimha Swami established the All India Sai Samaj in the 1940s. He started the magazine Sai Sudha in June 1940, where he talked about the stories and ideas of Sai Baba in his excellent writing. He went around the country preaching on Sai Baba's life, his teachings and his principles. He managed to propagate about Sai Baba wide and far and managed to gather quite a large following with his excellent oration. Later, he established the temple in 1952 with the help of a donation from his friend J.D. Pannalal, a merchant and made it the headquarters of his community – All India Sai Samaj.

This temple is one of the most revered establishments within the Sai community of India. In the beginning, it was the same picture that Swamiji worshipped that was put in the sanctum for all devotees to worship. However, in 1987, another devotee, Sri Muthu Venkatraman installed the beautiful white marble statue that now stands in the temple.

Architecture of Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

The temple of Sai Baba is made of striking white marble, with a golden arch on the wall of the shrine. The new idol of Sai Baba installed later is also made of white marble, which sits on a throne of sparkling silver. A huge picture of Sai Baba hangs right above the sanctum sanctorum. There are places segregated for the followers to sit or stand on both sides of the aisle that leads to the sanctum. The temple carries of Sai Baba's legacy, and as a remembrance, there is a fire which is said to be a part of the original flame that was lit by him at Shirdi. There are shrines of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna - the two epic reincarnations of Lord Vishnu. The temple also houses the final resting tomb of Narasimha Swamiji.

Unique Feature of Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

The temple upholds the religious harmony preached by Sai Baba with dedication. The authorities not only welcome people of all faiths, but there are arrangements for religious activities as well. On every Thursday, a Muslim saint reads out the holy text of Islam - Quran at 4:30 PM. Thursdays are busy days in the temple, as there are also Hindu bhajans and kirtans, as well as the 1000 people feast or annadhanam on every Thursday. On Sundays, the Bible is read out loud following the Christian tradition of Sunday Mass Service. The eternal flame of Shirdi is also worshipped on Sundays called Agni Puja.

Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Festivals

Other than every Thursday which invites a big crowd every week for the bhajans and annadhanam, there are some other festivals celebrated in the temple as well. Navaratri is celebrated in a big way, with particular attention on the tenth and final Mahasamadhi Day on Vijaya Dashami. Other than that, Guru Purnima, the day when devotees worship their spiritual masters, is also celebrated. Sai Baba asked his followers to observe his birthday on every Ram Navami – so that day is given special recognition. The birth anniversary of founder Sri Narasimha Swamiji is also celebrated on every August 21.

How To Reach Shirdi Sai Baba Temple

The Shirdi Sai Baba temple is in Mylapore, which is a very popular area of Chennai. The temple is well connected with buses, autos and cabs. If you are a non-Tamil speaking person and do not want to risk public transport, hire a car from the hotel and it will not take more than half an hour to reach from the heart of Chennai city.

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