Well, that really is the million dollar question! When you go on a pilgrimage, you are at peace with yourself – talking inwardly to God and trying to shake away the surroundings around you. Not at Shirdi though. Appalling as it may sound, when you reach Shirdi, you will find most people to be hurrying around, trying to beat the system to get a quick glance of the revered Baba and leave.
I will not do a blog on “How to get a quick darshan of Sai Baba @Shirdi’. My principles and respect for the Baba don’t allow me to do that. Instead, I will tell you about the few things you ought to know when you go for a darshan of Sai Baba at Shirdi, so that you are not overwhelmed.
What You Need To Know When You Go For A Darshan of Sai Baba @Shirdi
- Aarti Timings @Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi: 4 Aartis happen during the course of the day at the Sai Baba temple. The timings are – 4.30 am, 12 am, 7 pm and 10 pm.
- How are the queues at @Shirdi? People start queuing up 3-4 hours before every Aarti. Saying that the queues are serpentine would be an understatement. Its a sea of people out there and a number of them are quite unruly who do not adhere to queue rules and basic, acceptable public behaviour.
- When is the Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi closed? The temple stays open every day of the week, but is closed from 10 pm to 4am every day.
- When is the Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi most crowded? Thursdays. That’s the day of the Baba.
- Where is the entrance to the Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi? Entrance for the Darshan @Shirdi temple is only from Gate No-2. Sai Baba darshan queue starts from the entrance gate (No-2), crosses one hall in the ground floor, two halls in the first floor, following which there is a flight of stairs that lead to the adjoining building that houses Sai Baba’s temple.
- Is there a separate queue to the Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi? Remember, it is the same queue for men and women for the Darshan @Shirdi temple.
- What items are not allowed at the Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi? Water, mobile phones, camera or any other electronic gadget are not allowed inside the temple premises of Shirdi. There is both electronic surveillance and electronic checking.
- Where can I keep my shoes/mobiles? You may deposit your shoes and electronic items at the counter on the opposite side of the Shirdi temple. They charge INR 2 for shoes and INR 3 for electronic items.
- Where can I buy flowers for the Lord? You will get them at the shops on the street leading to the temple. They are open almost all through the day and night. The temple authorities, however, do not allow you to offer the flowers to the Baba. You need to drop them at one of the many buckets kept near the main seat of the Baba.
- Can you pay your way to a darshan of the Sai Baba? From information gathered, yes. You can pay your way to a ‘super fast’ darshan for about INR 1500 per person. Outrageous practise according to me. We did not even think of it!!! Why come on a pilgrimage if you want to so rush???
Also read WOOF’s other Shirdi blogs: