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This is the oldest temple dedicated to the spiritual leader and saint, Shirdi Sai Baba, in South India. The temple is also known as the All India Sai Baba Samaj. The temple lies in the Venkatesa Agraharam Street in Mylapore, Chennai. The temple is also known as the 'Shirdi of the South'.
The Shirdi Sai Baba temple was built by Sri Narasimha Swamy, who was a lawyer from Salem and an ardent devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba. He constructed the temple at the same spot where he worshipped a picture of Sai Baba under a tamarind tree.
Sri Narasimha Swamy founded the All India Sai Baba Samaj in 1940, whose major publication was a magazine called Sai Sudha. He published many articles about the life and miracles of Sai Baba. He also toured the country preaching about Sai Baba's life and his teachings. He amassed a large following of Sai Baba and later established the temple in 1952 with the help of funds from his friend J. D. Pannalal and made it the headquarters of the All India Sai Baba Samaj.
Initially, it was only the picture of Sai Baba that was worshipped, but in 1987, Sri Muthu Venkatraman installed the white marble statue, which is revered today. The temple is also the resting place of Sri Narasimha Swamy.
Shirdi Sai Baba's origins are unknown. He later propagated Sufism and performed miracles. He promoted peace and harmony and did not distinguish people based on religion, caste, or community.
The inner part of the shrine is adorned with white marble stones, and the walls of the shrine hold an arch of gold. A Thiruvachi made of silver has been built for Shirdi Sai Baba. The founder of the temple, Sri Narasimha Swamy, initially worshipped a picture of Shirdi Sai Baba which is considered the Moolasthana. A marble idol of the saint was installed in the temple sixteen years ago.
The devotees in the temple are allowed to touch the statue of Sai Baba. They can offer garlands, clothes and take photos here. The temple still houses a flame that was a part of the Jyoti lit by Sai Baba in Shirdi.
The temple allows people of all religions to visit and holds prayers for Muslims and Christians and readings from the Quran and Bible on fixed days of the week. The temple undertakes Annadhanam on Thursdays, and around 1,000 people participate in this ritual. Prasadam is offered to devotees on other days.
The temple has a spiritual ambiance and rejuvenates people.
Navaratri is a grand celebration at the temple. The ten-day festival that ends on Mahasamadhi day falls on Vijayadashami. Guru Purnima – worshipping Gurus is also an important celebration. Sri Rama Navami is the most important festival as Sai Baba asked his devotees to consider that day as his birthday. The birthday of Narasimha Swamy is also of significance and is celebrated on August 21st.
The temple sees huge crowds of devotees on Thursday, a special day for Shirdi Sai Baba. Teachings and bhajans are conducted on this day. People also throng the temple on Sundays to see the special Agni Pooja being performed here.
Morning: 5.00 am – 1.00 pm
Evening: 4.00 pm - 9.00 pm
Chennai International Airport is the nearest to the temple and is about 17 kilometers from Mylapore.
From Central Railway station, the temple is 9 kilometers away, and from Egmore Railway station, it is 6 kilometers away.
The temple lies in the center of Mylapore and is 500 meters from Mylapore Bus Stop.
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