Visiting Sai Baba at Whitefield
This page last updated: 23 September 2012
Sai Baba's Ashram at Whitefield (sometimes also called Kadugodi) is named Brindavan. It is located adjacent Whitefield Railway Station on the outskirts of Bangalore. The gate, which you see below, is a short distance from the railway station.
It is not known beforehand if or when Sathya Sai Baba may visit the Whitefield Ashram. As of the last update to this page, Swami has not visited Whitefield for 3 years (March 2011). You will understand that none may second-guess nor predict what Sathya Sai Baba will do, nor, where he may travel to.
Accommodation is not provided at the Ashram when Sathya Sai Baba is not at Whitefield. When Sri Sathya Sai Baba is not at Whitefield, the ashram is open daily for visitors, and there are Bhajans (Devotional Singing) on Sundays in the hall called Kalanyam Mantap, which is adjacent the students Hostel on the other side of the Darshan Hall.
Sai Baba is resident in Prashanthi Nilayam Ashram most of the time. There are some websites you can check for information.
There is a web notification service here which has accurate up to date information on Sai Baba's whereabouts:
Also, the Central Trust Website, http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/ has a scroller across the top announcing the whereabouts of Sathya Sai Baba.
You may also also check the Sathya Sai Books and Publications Website http://www.sssbpt.org/Home.asp
- this site also has a notification on the top as to Swami's whereabouts.
You may also wish to check Sai Baba Website, which has most up to date information, and quickly. See http://www.ssso.net
Access to Whitefield Ashram
The roadworks have been completed. There is now a railway overpass adjacent the ashram.
Road traffic to and from Bangalore now bypasses the ashram gate. The turnaround to cross the road is adjacent the Gokulum Accommodation, apposite the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning:
Opposite is the Gokulum accommodation and canteen:
The overpass runs parallel to the Ashram boundary wall:
Trayee Brindavan, the home of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Whitefield
Accommodation in Whitefield (Brindavan) Ashram
Accommodation Office, Gokulum, Whitefield
You cannot book ahead and obtain rooms to stay in the ashram; it is not a hotel with accommodation that can be reserved. You must travel to the ashram and go to the Accommodation Office which is five minutes down the road from the Ashram on the opposite side of the road.
Accommodation is of two types - Dormitories in the Ashram and Rooms at Gokulum. Allotment of any type of accommodation is subject to availability. The Ashram reserves the right of admission to the ashram and its accommodation facilities.
During festivals usually there are large crowds. Hence at such times, room accommodation may be difficult to secure and only Dormitories may be available.
No separate room is allotted to an individual. However, rooms may be allotted if two or three persons of the same gender agree to share a room.
Advance reservations: No advance reservations are made for individuals and families. However, large groups may make arrangements in advance by contacting the Accommodation Office.
Accommodation charges are minimal for Indian Citizens. Dormitories are levied at Rs 5/- per day and rooms are levied Rs 130/- per day. The accommodation receipt must be carefully preserved during your stay in the Ashram and produced whenever asked for.
Staying in the Ashram
If you are resident in India and you wish to stay in the Ashram, you must go to the Accommodation Office at Gokulum, which is located in Main Road, some five minutes walk from the Ashram.
For Indian Citizens (NRI see below)
If you wish to obtain accommodation inside the Ashram, each person will be required to produce ONE of the following documents:
- His / her Voter Identity Card (the Identity Card issued by the Election Commission of India).
- PAN Card
- Driver's Licence
- Bank Pass Book (with attested photograph)
- Any other credible photo identity documents.
Please note that in case of a family, all members above the age of 10 are required to produce one of the above documents. Children (below 10 years of age) alone are exempt from the above rule.
For INDIAN CITIZENS who arrive in Whitefield during non-office hours (between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.), accommodation will be provided for a day in the dormitories, as allotted by the Seva Dal volunteers at the Ashram entrance. These devotees are required to report to the Accommodation Office later during office hours and collect their accommodation receipt in order to extend their stay in the Ashram.
Foreigners and NRI
The Ashram provides low cost accommodation to those who visit Sathya Sai
Baba. Rooms are available for Married couples, and those travelling alone or in
a group are allocated rooms in one of the many accommodation blocks. All rooms
have shower, toilet and vanity. Dhobi's (washer-men and women) visit each
accommodation block morning and afternoon to collect and return washing. Seva
Dal provide security and there are watchmen allocated to every accommodation
block in the Ashram. Accommodation is usually granted for three or four weeks
Note: persons under the age of 25 years, travelling alone, will be refused accommodation in the ashram. Persons under the age of 25 should be travelling in groups or with family.
Foreigners and Non-resident Indians need to carry their valid passport with Current Visa for India when registering themselves at the Gokulum Accommodatin Office.
[photocopy of relevant passport pages will not be accepted]
Where and When
Generally, Sai Baba can be found at the Puttaparthi Ashram. This is in South India, approximately three hours drive from Bangalore.
During the hot summer in Puttaparthi and the Rayalseema district, where it does not cool down overly much at night, Sai Baba generally departs Puttaparthi for Bangalore, where there is an ashram which was formerly the British Governor's residence. This has since been replaced by a new building called Trayee Brindavan.
Saraswathi Idol at Whitefield, facing student hostel.
Travel to Whitefield
The Old Airport on Airport Road, 9 k from Bangalore, known as HAL Airport closed for operations on 23 May 2008. The new Bengaluru Airport at Muddenahalli opened for commerical operations the same day. The runaway is 10850 feet long.
The exit from the new airport goes either to National Highway 7 (to Puttaparthi) or to Bangalore, where an exit to Whitefield may be taken. This is approximately one hour from Whitefield Ashram, and about two and a half hours from the Puttaparthi Ashram.
You may view some photographs of the new airport.
Volvo air-conditioned public transport service BIAS (Bangalore International Airport Service) is available from the Airport to Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ashram, Kadugodi.
Bangalore Taxi Pickup
All taxi companies listed below will collect from Bangalore Airport and drop at Whitefield either day time or Night time. Taxi drivers wait for you outside the airport exit with your name on a board. Airport drop to Whitefield is currently Rs 900 (or thereabouts).
You can pre-arrange a taxi to meet you at Bangalore airport. The following Taxi Services have been driving Sathya Sai Baba's devotees for more than 15 years in taxi service to Whitefield and Puttaparthi
Sri Ranga Guest House
Opposite Sai Baba Ashram
91 98452 17884
91 90357 72090
91 98452 17884
91 90357 72090
Email: rusidinu [at-symbol] gmail.com
rusdin [at-symbol] vsnl.com
Airport to Whitefield Rs. 900/-
Bangalore-Puttaparthi Rs. 1600/(Non AC)
Rs. 1900/- (AC)
Toyota six seater:
Airport to Whitefield - Rs. 1500/-
Whitefield to Puttaparthy Rs. 3200/-
Prince Carriers have a TRAVEL DESK in Hotel Sai Renaissance in Whitefield as well as Hotel Sai Renaissance in Puttaparthi.
MOHAMMAD TAXI SERVICES
Mohammad Taxi Services have been taking devotees to Prashanthi around ten years.
Email mohammadtaxiservice at yahoo dot com
Airport - Whitefield 900 rupees
Whitefield - Puttaparthi 1600 rupees
Noor Khan Taxi Services and Sight Seeing Tours
Has been taking devotees to Puttaparthi for over twelve years.
Contact for availability and fares
(fares will be approximately the same as above)
Bangalore Phone 0011 91-80-2864402
Mobile Phone 0011 91-98452-50603
email noorkhan1 at yahoo dot com
Rudy Muller Tours and Travel
Rudy and his drivers are well known to many devotees and have been driving devotees for more than 15 years.
Contact for availability and fares
Bangalore phone 91 - 80 - 2845 3657
email rmuller at rediffmail dot com
Trains stop outside the ashram. The station is called Whitefield. There, you have a 5 minute walk to the ashram.
Bangalore KSTC Buses ply between the city and the ashram. Bus travel takes approximately one hour. Fare is Rs 7/
Taxis are available from the airport to Whitefield.
Accommodation at Whitefield
You can obtain accommodation at the ashram. You may do this by going directly to the ashram accommodation office, called Gokulum, some 500 meters down the road past the entrance to Brindavan Ashram. Go in the entrance and turn left to the accommodation office. They will advise you of available accommodations. It is not costly, and there is also a canteen at that Gokulum residential accommodation.
View of Canteen at Gokulum
If you wish to pre-book accommodation - there are many residential places opposite the ashram.
Recommended accommodations are:
SriRanga Guest House
Single and double rooms, showers, etc, basic
Rate for double room
Monthly room rental is available off season
Rs 2000/- per month
Phone 0011 91 80 28452800
email sairanga at yahoo dot com
Patels Guest House
Single and double rooms, showers, etc,
standard Rs 275/- ... basic
rate goes up from 385 with hot water to 675
for shampoo, soap, toiletries, etc
Phone 0011 91 80 28452619
Fax 0011 91 80 28451547
Double Room 900/-
Double Room A/C 1350/-
Phone 0011 91 80 2845 6266
Fax 0011 91 80 2845 4422
Hotel Taxi available
Check for current prices on the Sai Renaissance website.
Whitefield is all flat; there is no need for stairs, steps except at your accommodation. There are ramps for entrance to the darshan hall, on the Ladies side. Wheelchairs can be accommodated.
At Whitefield, the weather can be dry and hot, approx 26-35 by Celsius each day. Mornings can be chilly, occasionally. Light summer clothes only, and light ashram whites are appropriate. Perhaps a shawl for the occasional chilly morning. You can obtain a light shawl opposite the ashram for about 250 rupees. You can obtain white punjab suits and other ashram whites from the shops across the road from the ashram, go one block back from the main road and you will find all the clothing shops. Ladies wear is also available. There is a small ashram shop in front of the Western Canteen, which is only open after the evening darshan, for a limited time.
Occasionally, it will rain at Whitefield. Rain in India is sudden, fast and heavy. Water runs everywhere, and puddles form quick where you usually walk. A foldable plastic macintosh and a collapsible brolly are suggested.
View of Darshan Hall after Darshan, Whitefield
In times past, Darshan has been anytime between 7AM and 8AM. Of late, it is observed that morning darshan is the morning bhajans session. This bhajans session generally commences between 9AM and 10AM, but generally sometime after 9am
Queues, if in operation, form on the left side of the ashram gate. (Don't forget the Cloak Room if you have valuables, purses, handbags, etc. - see below) Go though the security check and go around to the side of the darshan hall. Ladies go directly inside the darshan hall and sit in lines. Ladies lines and tokens are managed the darshan hall.
Queue on the footpath outside the ashram wall. The queue ususally begins on the footpath outside around 6.15AM .
There are two cloak rooms, one for cases, umbrellas, etc, and the other for your shoes, thongs, chappals. Leave footwear outside at the cloak room, you will be given a chit. No mobile phones, leave in the cloak-room and get a chit. If you are pulled up at the security check with a mobile phone, you will be asked to take it to the cloak room and obtain a chit.
Tokens are given out early, and lines enter the darshan hall as directed. Students generally take their place immediately before darshan. Bhajans commence when Swami arrives.
Many remain after darshan and meditate. Sundays, there are all-day bhajans in the darshan hall. Talks are given in the Hall beside the darshan hall, on spiritual topics. Bookstore is open after darshan, as is the supermarket, Western Canteen and Tiffin Stall.
View of Tiffin Stall after Darshan, Whitefield
There is a small tiffin stall between the supermarket and bookstore, inside the ashram. It generally opens for chai before darshan, chai and tiffin after darshan, and some snacks may also be obtained here. Normally, it is open during the day and closes sometime after lunch.
There are two canteens at the Whitefield ashram. One is the Western Canteen, which is inside the ashram directly behind the darshan hall. Breakfast is after darshan. Devotees are welcome to volunteer as sevaks in the Western Canteen. Meals are western, non-spicy, and often western deserts are on the menu.
View of Western Canteen after Darshan, Whitefield
The Gokulum Accomodation has a canteen open 365 days, from breakfast to evening meal. Prices are very low, and south Indian food is served. Obtain meal ticket before entering the canteen.
Afternoon darshan afternoon bhajans, and commences between 4PM and 5PM. More recently, during February 2006, the afternnon bhajans have commenced at 5PM. Go to the ashram at anytime after 3PM. Ladies go inside the darshan hall and sit in lines. Men's lines are in the extended shade area outside the darshan hall proper. Tokens and lines are arranged.
When Sai Baba gives permission, there are morning talks in the marriage hall (Kalayna Mantap) opposite the darshan hall, nearby the gate to Sai Baba's residential rooms. These talks are normally at 10am and you will see a notice on the gatekeepers hut inside the entrance to the ashram with the time, speaker and topic of the day's talks.
The Super Specialty Hospital frequently notifies blood groups needed for blood donation. The blood-donation notice is beside the "Thought for the Day" board, which is on the gatekeepers hut.
Super Specialty Hospital
Whitefield is on the outskirts of Bangalore, and is considered a rural area of Bangalore. It is also the home of the Super Specialty Hospital, which is near ITPL, the International Technology Park, where most of the innovative computer companies are located.