|Places of Interests (Outside of Ashram)
- Birth Place of Bhagavan Sai
A Siva temple in the Puttaparthi village signifies the birth-place of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The temple was opened by Baba in 1979. The real birthplace, not known to most people, is located accross the river in a small dilipated house.
- Sathyabhama Temple
On the other side of the street there is a temple for Sathyabhama, a rare one exclusively established for Sathyabhama. Sathyabhama is commonly known as the consort of Lord Krishna, and the worse example of such. Perhaps this is the reason why the temple in Puttaparthi is the only temple in the world dedicated to Sathyabhama. Sri Kondama Raju, Bhagavan’s grandfather, had a dream where he found Sathyabhama standing in heavy rain and wind, asking for shelter. This lead to the determination of constructing a temple for Sathyabhama.
- Sri Raju Kalyana Mandapam
The Old mandir was constructed in the year 1945. Bhagavan selected a new location for His darshans and a new mandir, the current one, was constructed in 1950. Thereafter the old mandir has been used as Kalyana Mandapam (marriage hall) and is given for free use for marriages in the village.
- The Village Mosque
The village mosque and the hall opposite was constructed and opened by Baba in 1978. At a certain borderline from Puttaparthi, accidents and diseases would set-in on travellers. Bhagavan asked local people in the area to dig at a certain spot, and a plate was discovered, containing various Muslim inscriptions. The plate was moved into the Mandir, and all inauspicious events stopped. A mosque was built in Puttaparthi and the plate was taken on yearly processions to the mosque from the mandiram.
- Anjaneya (Hanuman) Swamy Temple
This temple is between Kalyana Mandapam and the Sathyabhama temple. At the entrance, Lord Siva as Lingam, brought by Bhagawan from Kasim, is installed. The temple appears as if Anjaneya engraved in a guha stands inside a cave. There is always a pool of water at the feet of Anjaneya (Hanuman) representing the tears he sheds in his love and longing for Lord Rama.
- Kalpa Vriksha
This ‘wishfulfilling’ tree is an old tamarind tree from Bhagavan’s childhood. The Kalpa Vriksha is famous from Bhagavan’s life story in Professor Kasturi’s Sathyam-Shivam-Sundaram series. In His boyhood, Bhagavan used to display His miraculous powers to His playmates by asking these to think of any fruit, in or out of season, and the same would appear hanging off the branches of the tamarind tree. Thus the name ‘wishfulfilling tree’ was given.
Today the tree is a great look-out point over the Chitravathi river. It is located on the side of a hill on the banks of the Chitravati.
- Chitravati River
The river is located circa ½ kms from the ashram. It is considered by many as being the new Ganga, as Bhagavan bathed in the river, played on the banks of the river and displayed many miracles and manifestations on the banks of the Chitravathi. Currently and unfortunately the Chitravathi is the source of sand for all construction in Puttaparthi. A small secret: Bhagavan’s robes are still being washed in the Chitravathi, with a guard overlooking them as they dry.
The Samadhi of Bhagavan’s parents, Sri Pedda Venkappa Raju and Smt. Easwaramma, is located in the Samadhi Road, a few blocks from the Ganesh Gate. Every year during Eswaramma Day, May 6th, special Bhajans are conducted here and hundreds of poor people are fed. In earlier years, Bhagavan used to offer obeisance to His parents on His birthday every year and travel in procession to the Samadhi.
- Sai Gita-The Elephant
Sai Gita is Bhagavan’s temple elephant. It is considered auspicious in India in temples to have a real elephant residing in the temple as a symbol for Ganesh-the remover of obstacles. Elephants also represent intelligence and intellect, as they are highly intelligent animals.
Sai Gita was born in 1965 and was given to Bhagavan as a gift from the Zoo in Madras, when she was merely a small baby. It is not known whether she was an orphaned wild elephant, or breed in the zoo. In any case, she was quite spoilt by Swami as a young one and he even had a small compound built for her next to the Mandir, which she used to stay in when she was not trailing after Bhagavan in and out of the Mandir.
Elephants usually live until they are about 70 years old. To ease the pain of separation, Sai Gita has a photo with her and Bhagavan hanging on the wall in her private compound next to the Planetarium.
- Sathya Sai Nagar
This is a colony of 58 houses where the Harijans (outcasts) of the village have been provided shelter by Bhagavan after being displaced as a result of an unexpected flooding of the Chitravati River in 1975.
The houses (or huts) are located by the Gokulam, where all the cows are who provide milk for the schools and the ashram.
The ashram dairy is about half a kilometer from the Ashram, along the Main Road in Vidya Giri. All milk for the schools, the hospital canteen, and the ashram comes from the Gokulam. It is known amongst villagers that the Gokulam cows has the best milk; fresh and undiluted. The locals are quite proud if they have access to the ‘Gokulam milk’! To avoid the spreading of infections of the animals, you are requested not to go around or enter the cowsheds. By the Gokulam is a most beautiful image of Sri Krishna at the entrance. The artitistic ‘fill-ins’ with paint and brush on Sri Krishna’s face has been done by Bhagavan Himself years ago.
- Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium
Located behind the Higher Secondary School, opposite the hill, towering with statues of Hanuman, Krishna, Shiva, Buddha, Zoroaster, and Christ, it gives an imposing view.
Bhagavan addresses the mammoth gathering, from the Shanthi Vedika (covered podium) on the Southern end of the stadium on His Birthday on 23rd November every year.
In Bhagavan’s presence it is perhaps not coincidental that during the birthday celebrations each year with a clear blue sky, the stadium becomes covered with clouds to protect the crowd from the scorching sun!
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences and The Super Speciality Hospital
This hospital carries its own story, which has been known through video’s and articles. Professor Keith Critchlow with assistant John Adams from the Royal Institute of Architecture in London is the draftsman behind this magnificent building. Prof. Critchlow specializing in ancient Eastern architecture.
The structure, which contains over 15,000 square meters, was constructed within a period of one year in a village which barely had materials to put it up. An impossibility, according to W.H.O., yet it was done and completed, exactly as Bhagavan had stated one year prior.