Situated on a busy road at the border of Central and South Delhi, this temple is dedicated not to a deity but to Shirdi Sai Baba, a 19th-century saint who was renowned for teaching compassion, charity, and pluralism. He's one of the most revered saints in Hinduism today, and his temple is one of the busiest in this part of town.
Sai Baba of Shirdi was a saint whose teachings incorporated philosophical underpinnings from devotional Hinduism and Sufism. He's respected by Hindus and Muslims alike, but whether he was of Hindu or Muslim origin is uncertain. What is known is that he taught compassion, charity, and the importance of eliminating communitarianism and divisions between caste and religions. As such, adherents of all faiths and cultural backgrounds are welcome in his temples.
The Sai Baba Temple is part of Mughal heritage tours or sightseeing tours of Central Delhi’s spiritual sites. A Golden Triangle trip takes you to Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, while a short trip from Jaipur is great for those with limited time.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Remember to remove your shoes before entering the temple.
- Out of respect for local customs, your knees and shoulders should be covered.
- Expect crowds, especially if you’re visiting on a Thursday evening, when the temple is at its busiest.
How to Get There
The Sai Baba Temple is in the Lodhi Road Institutional Area, south of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Lodhi Road in New Delhi. It's conveniently close to a number of attractions, including Lodhi Gardens and Humayun's Tomb, each about five minutes away by car. The closest metro stop is at Jangpura, but it's still about a 20-minute walk away, so you may be better off coming by taxi or as part of an organized tour.
When to Get There
Thursday is dedicated to Sai Baba, so this is when you’re likely to see the most crowds here. In general, this temple is at its most crowded around sunset, when devotees come en masse to make offerings and pray. If you’re looking to avoid crowds, come earlier in the day.
Sab Ka Malik Ek
Sai Baba is most famous in India for saying, “Sab Ka Malik Ek,” which roughly translates to “everyone’s lord is one.” In his eyes, and in the eyes of his devotees, while different religions may have different practices and philosophies, they’re all worshiping the same divine God. It’s not uncommon to see this phrase on windshield stickers in India, indicating that the car’s owners are devotees of Sai Baba.