Sai Baba Mandir (Temple)
The Sai Baba Temple is the oldest and most popular temple amongst the many Shirdi Sai Baba temples scattered across the city. It lies on a busy junction of Lodhi road in New Delhi and is easily accessible via local taxis and auto rickshaws.
Shirdi Sai Baba was a renowned saint who was born on 15th October 1918 and later went on to be known as a spiritual guru, fakir and yogi. He preached the goodness of life, forgiveness, peace, charity, love for God and that God was one who came in different images and hence worshipped accordingly. Shirdi Sai Baba always tried to bring unity and peace amongst the Hindu and Muslims. He was a highly regarded Saint who preached the word of God derived from both the Holy books of Quran and Bhagavad Gita. He was often seen performing rituals of both these religions and lived in a Mosque and was buried in a Temple.
The members of the Sai Baba community wanted to construct a Memorial in the honour of Shirdi Sai Baba and bought a plot addressed 17, Institutional Area, Lodhi Road in New Delhi. Two Businessmen, Shri Bhag Chand Taneja and Shri Krishan Chand Dhawan assisted in the construction of the memorial followed by Shri R. S. Sharma, Shri S. C. Gupta and Shri M. M. Lal who helped achieve the dreams of the Sai Baba devotees in Northern India. The foundation stone was laid on August 1972 and progress of the construction was supervised by M/s Pardhan Ghosh & Associates under the care of Mr. Chitnis who was the main contractor.
The Statue of Shirdi Sai Baba was imported from Jaipur under the expert hands and watchful eyes of Shri R. S. Chitnis, Shri K. C. Dhawan, Shri R. S. Sharma, Shri S. C. Gupta, Shri Siri Krishan Kapur and Shri Sushil Kapur. Havans and Puja were organised by South Indian Priests three days before establishing the Statue of Sai Baba which was to be held on 30th September 1976. Since then, devotees and members of the Sai Baba Community have generously donated towards the upkeep of the memorial and some funds are also received from the film fraternity who generously paid for allowing movies to be filmed in the memorial and its premises.
Fibre sheds made of Glass were installed to protect the devotees and visitors from the Sun and Rain but unfortunately these sheds were destroyed in a fire that erupted on 5th June 2002. Later, non-combustible sheds of excellent quality were installed with mercury lights that add to the view of the temple premise. Devotees donated generously towards the renovation of the temple after the fire incident.
Today, the Shirdi Sai Baba Mandirz has become the focal point of worship for all the Shirdi Sai Baba ardent worshippers and devotees of Northern India and attracts many tourists from across the globe. The temple opens on a daily basis at 0500 hours and various Aartis are performed between 0515 hours and 2130 hours for devotees. Tourists and visitors are welcomed to witness this lovely Aarti celebration and enjoy the spiritual enlightenment. One must also remember to remove their shoes before entering the temple complex and maintain the sanctity of the area.