Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Step by Step Guide: How to Book Shirdi Darshan and Arti Online?

Owing to the massive crowds in Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir, especially during weekends or festivals, the time it can take for the darshan or to get a glimpse of Sai Baba’s Samadhi after reaching the temple can be long (as long as upto 3 to 5 hours). Keeping in mind this fact, we decided to go for online Shirdi Darshan booking this time as we were visiting the temple on the following days of Diwali and were keen to avoid any associated rush that could come with it.

The entire process of darshan booking online, I must say, is a breeze thanks to the brilliant efforts of the managing committee of the Sai Baba Trust to facilitate the same via a simple process for all the devotees through their official website. All you need to do is register on the website, fill a form and pay for the services requested. Initially for the uninitiated though, the registration form might come across as a bit daunting – but be rest assured, it is NOT. It’s one of the easiest online bookings I’ve ever done for all its worth and with this step by step guide at your disposal now, I am sure you will also feel the same. So without wasting any more time, let’s get down to booking your darshan.

STEP 1: Log onto online.sai.org.in and click on ‘Register Here’ right beside ‘Don’t have an account’ since you are a new user.

Please note here that you can access the contents of the website even without registering but without registration, you can ONLY find out availability of Darshan and accommodation. You will NOT be able to make any payments or bookings.

Sai Baba Online darshan - Registration

After clicking on the registration link, you will be directed to a form where you will need to fill in a few personal details. You will see a question prompt as ‘Do you have a devotee number?’ where you can choose the relevant option. Since we didn’t have any such number, we chose the option ‘No’. As soon as you click on No, the registration form will appear on the same page below.

Registration details in the form - Sai Baba Online darshan

  • Type in your email id and password that you will be using henceforth to log in into your account.
  • Fill in your name, address and contact number.
  • Upload a recent photo (not more than 250 KB in size). Most of the image file formats are accepted.Type the number of any one of your Photo IDs – Adhar card, Pan Card, Ration Card, Passport, Driving License, Voter ID. Please note here that you DO NOT have to upload any image of the ID’s but just have to provide the number. It is advisable to provide your Pan card number here so that all donations you make are eligible for the IT exemptions.
  • Filling the second Identification number is optional and not really required. So I left it blank.
  • Choose a security question in case you lose your password, the question will be helpful for recovery of your account.
After completing the form, click on the Proceed button. You will be sent a link to your registered email id, click on that link to finally complete your registration process and log into the website.

STEP 2: After logging in, click on Darshan.

Sai Baba Online Trust - Click Darshan on Home Page

STEP 3: From the drop down box, select the type of Darshan that you want – Normal Darshan or Arti.

Select the date of your visit to the temple. Please note that the dates are colored in blue, red or yellow. The red and the yellow ones are not clickable as they are already booked or not applicable. The only ones that are of our interest here are the blue ones as these are available for booking.

One suggestion here is to make your booking as soon as possible to increase your chances of getting your desired date and time slot without any unnecessary anxieties. Especially true for ‘Arti’ as it is the more sought after type of Darshan by the devotees.

Sai Baba Online darshan - Fill the Details.png

There are 4 types of Arti starting from the morning Kakad Arti to the Night Shej Arti while there are 11 regular darshan timings that you can choose from starting from the earliest at 6.45 AM to the latest at night 9 PM.

We went for Normal darshan for the morning time slot of 6.45 AM.

Once you choose the darshan Type, you will be allotted a time slot for the darshan which you will be required to adhere to on the day of your visit.

Fill in the number of people who will be accompanying you; male, female and children.

Please note that with this one account, you can book the darshan for ONLY 10 people including you. Should you require booking the darshan for more than 10, you will need to register another account. Since we were four, registering with one account was enough to get all our darshan passes.

After filling in all the details, check the total amount of the passes (Rs. 200 per person) and click on ‘Confirm Service’.

Sai Baba Online darshan - Fill the Details.png

You will not be able to make any changes in the timings after this step, so check everything once again and click OK on the popped question prompt.

STEP 4: Once you click OK, the darshan page will open once again. Leave everything blank this time and click on ‘Proceed Payment’.

Here, an overview of all your selected facilities will be provided, verify everything once again and if you do not wish to avail any other facilities click on ‘Proceed to Payment’.

STEP 5: Here, you will be given various payment options to make your payment. I made my payment through Net Banking but you can also make it with credit / debit cards of VISA, Master card, Maestro card (issued by any bank).

Verify the details once again and click the box ‘I accept the terms and Conditions for payment’. Then click the ‘Proceed’ button.


STEP 6: Fill in the relevant details of the payment method selected. While doing so, do not press the back / refresh buttons anywhere in the process to prevent any errors.

Sai Baba Online darshan - Confirm the details.png

The first time I tried my payment with SBI debit card but received an error on the final step. The amount was deducted but our darshan passes were not confirmed. I called at the helpline number that was flashing at the bottom of the page and spoke to a person who spoke kindly and informed that the amount will be refunded back (which was as informed duly refunded later). He further suggested to try Internet Explorer browser instead of Chrome. When even that did not help out, I eventually decided to pay it via Net Banking and got through with my passes. 

STEP 7: The issued pass will be sent to your email id and will also be available in your account on the website. Take a print out of the pass before reaching the temple on the selected date and time. Take the Photo-ID of the account holder along. Entry won’t be allowed without either the print out or the photo  ID.

STEP 8: Reach the temple with the print out of the pass and the photo id of the account holder at the selected date and time. We reached 15 minutes early of the allotted time slot and went through the gate meant for online booking darshan line (it's different from the gate meant for the regular line) and reached Sai Baba’s Samadhi within 10 minutes of joining the line.

NOTE: For any queries with the booking at any time, you can write to Sai Baba Trust at their Customer Support: support@sai.org.in or contact them at 02423-258956, 02423-258963, 7720077203.

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