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Travel - Flying

- A small ant can travel any number of miles if it has the will to do so; whereas an eagle cannot move an inch if it does not have the will to move.

Booking of airplane tickets is possible through your local travel agent. The nearest airports from Prashanthi Nilayam are Puttaparthi (6 km) and Bangalore (180 km). Indian Airlines operates a flight twice a week between Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras) via Puttaparthi when Sri Sathya Sai Baba is at Prashanthi Nilayam.

When arriving in India from another country you probably need to change the plane to continue your travel to Puttaparthi or Bangalore. In Chennai (Madras) the international and domestic airports are very close to each other. In Mumbai (Bombay) it takes at least one hour to switch from the international (Chhatrapathi Shivaji) to the domestic (Santa Cruz) airport. In New Delhi travel time is about half an hour between the international and the domestic terminal (Terminal I). A bus shuttle service is operating between the international and domestic airports in Mumbai and New Delhi. Please contact the ground staff of your airline on landing for further information.

Several carriers operate direct international flights to Bangalore and major towns in India. To enquire the cost of standard airline tickets to Bangalore or Puttaparthi use the Sabre Flight Reservation System. The Airport location codes are as follows: BLR = Bangalore, BOM = Mumbai (Bombay), DEL = New Delhi, MAA = Chennai (Madras), PUT = Puttaparthi. For regional flights you might check the Internet sites of Jet Airways and Indian Airlines as well. Once you are at Prashanthi Nilayam there is an Indian Airlines counter available in Building N2-A1 to book or reconfirm Indian Airlines flight bookings.

If your travel plans fall into a busy period, call for reservations early. Flights to Puttaparthi may sell out weeks - sometimes months - well in advance. Don't buy a standby fare or an "open return" ticket if you need to fly during a high-demand period like festivals or celebrations. The months of July and August and the period from November to January are considered as holiday travel peak periods.

Travel Tips

Fares to India vary considerably depending on the travel period. The months of July, August, November, December and January are considered peak holiday period and airline tickets are often more expensive. Low priced tickets are typically available in spring.

Never put valuables like cash, credit cards, jewelry, critical medicine, keys, passport, business papers or other hardly replaceable goods into the luggage you check in. Carry these items always as hand luggage with you. It is wise to put items that you will need during the first 24 hours like toiletries or a change of underwear in your carry-on bag as well.

Label all your luggage inside and outside with your name, address and phone number. Most "lost baggage" is simply misplaced by the airline and turns up some days later. With proper labeling you help airline personnel to locate you quickly.

If you plan to check in any delicate or fragile items, pack them in a container designed to survive rough handling like a hardshell carrying case.

Try to get direct flights to Mumbai or Madras to avoid the hassle of changing planes and the experience that you may not receive your luggage on time at your destination.

Order special food requirements like Vegetarian meals when you book or reconfirm your ticket.

Make sure your ticket will show the flight number, departure time, date, and status of your reservation for each flight of your itinerary. The "status" box is important. "OK" means you're confirmed. Anything else means that the reservation is not yet certain (e.g., you're on a wait list).

Book the domestic flight ticket to Puttaparthi or Bangalore at the same time as your international flight.

To avoid any mishaps allow 6 hours between the time of arrival in India and the departure of the domestic flight.

On your arrival in India you need to fill out a Disembarkation form before you queue up and go through immigration formalities. It is advisable to fill out the form when you get it in the plane to avoid any stress.

You may enquire on arrival in India where Sathya Sai Baba is in residence, either from the ground personnel of your airline or the airport information or tourist desk before proceeding to Prashanthi Nilayam.

Respect the regulations that you may not take pictures inside the airport precincts, the ashram or other restricted areas.

Dharmakshetra Complex Mumbay If you are a member of the Sathya Sai Organisation and don't have a corresponding flight from Mumbai (Bombay) on the same day to Bangalore or Puttaparthi, there is a possibility to pass a night or two at Dharmakshetra, about 30 minutes from the airport.
Bring with you a letter from your Sathya Sai Organisation group leader, stating your needs like the number of persons you travel with, the date and time of your arrival and departure etc. Please enquire in advance whether accomodation is available from the manager of the Dharmakshetra Complex, Maha Kali Caves Road, Andheri East, Mumbai.
Phone +91 22 632 54 94.

A hotel reservation desk is available at the airport on your arrival in India.

Before leaving the airport, it is essential that you change some money into Indian rupees for your immediate needs. (See Currency regulations)

The domestic flight from Mumbai (Bombay) to Bangalore or Puttaparthi takes about 90 minutes, from Chennai (Madras) to Bangalore or Puttaparthi about 30 minutes.

Always get a prepaid taxi at the airport to your destination in the city, unless you are taking public transport.

Always reconfirm your return flights in India upon arrival (or at least one week before you return).

Frequent fliers in India will appreciate the Jet Airways or Indian Airlines Airpass which entitles you to unlimited flight privileges for a couple of weeks.

Last updated: May 28, 2002 - Quote from Paduka Puja, Prashanthi Nilayam, Oct 12, 1998