Places Of Interest
Inside the Ashram
Prasanthi Mandir: This prayer hall was built in 1949. lt is the centre of Prasanthi Nilayam. The Omkar, Suprabhatham at dawn and many other spiritual activities are held in this Hall.
Ganesh Mandir:This Temple, built around the same period as the main Mandir, is located at the very entrance of Prasanthi Nilayam. Lord Ganesha is the Commander of Lord Shiva’s army. But as Vighneswara, obeisance is made to him for the removal of all obstacles.
Situated to the South of the Ganesh Mandir, it was constructed in 1997.
Situated opposite to the “Seva Dal” block. It was consecrated by Bhagawan Baba on 9th Oct 1998. The five faced Goddess Gayatri is the mother of the Vedas.
Sai Kulwant Hall:
This is the venue for the daily Darshan as well as many other festivities. Divine discourses are delivered here. it is contiguous to the Mandir. It has a seating capacity of about 20,000.
Built in 1973, it can comfortably seat around 15,000 people in the 60 x 40 metre area. With the, imposing appearance and column-less structure, it has inspiring murals of God-forms, Avatars, Saints, and Seers from all religions and times. It is the venue for conducting cultural programmes, conferences and yajna during Dasara.
Sarva Dharma Stupa: This pillar, 50 feet high, celebrating the unity of all religions, located on the South of the Poornachandra Auditorium was built in November 1975 on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the advent of the Avatar and the Second World Conference of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations held in Prasanthi Nilayam.
Outside the Ashram
Meditation Tree :
The Lord Who wrote a Divine Treatise on the Meditation, titled Dhyana Vahini, with His Divine Fore vision had planted a small sapling on the idyllic hillock, at the eastern side of Prasanthi Mandir, five decades ago, precisely on 29th June 1959. Located on the left of the road uphill to the spiritual Museum, it enhances the spiritual success of those who meditate under it. Visitors are allowed to meditate only during day time.
Prof. N. Kasturi in His book of commentary on ‘Sri Sathya Sai Ashtotharam’ writes thus on the great significance of the Vata Vriksha:
One Vaisakha Purnima day, years ago, Baba was on the sands of the River Chitravathi in the evening, with about a hundred Bhaktas. The talk inevitably moved towards Buddha whose birth, illumination and release happened on that day of the year. While speaking on the Bodhi Tree at Gaya to which Buddha proceeded for Thapas, someone asked, “why did he go so far and select that tree?” And Baba replied giving an account of mystic yanthras over which such trees grow, yanthras which keep out evil forces and stimulate spiritual impulses and help concentration. Even while He was describing these yanthras, He created from the sands a shining copper plate on which was drawn in squares the mystic symbols and numbers of which He spoke. He said that He would be depositing it in the Thapovana, (on the hills behind Prasanthi Nilayam) and plant a Vata Vriksha (Ficus Bengalensis) thereon. “It will act as the yanthra which I am describing. Yogis wherever they are, when they reach a certain stage of sadhana, will know of this congenial spot and hurry hither, to be benefited by this mystic potency”.
Chaitanya Jyothi Museum: Inaugurated on 18th November, 2000 to commemorate the 75th year of the advent of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, this architectural marvel houses an exhibition on the Life and Mission of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. With multimedia presentations and fascinating exhibits arranged in seven phases, the museum takes the visitor through the story of Bhagawan’s birth and childhood, the prophecies connected with His Advent, and major milestones in the grand Mission of the Avatar.
Constructed on a hill slope, the building is a mosaic of different architectural styles and a fusion of the ancient and the modern.
- The roof, built in typical oriental fashion, is the biggest Chinese roof outside mainland China.
- Flanking the roof on both sides are two Moorish domes made of titanium.
- The crowning semicircular ends of the roof are adorned with Gothic arches.
- The two lift shafts have Japanese style roofs.
Apart from these features, it has extensive stapathi (traditional Indian carving) work done on flat surfaces, which vastly enhances the aesthetics of the building. Fiber optic lights fixed under the Chinese roof add to the beauty of the reflected decorative ceiling. The flooring inside consists of ceramic tiles, polished granite tiles in grey and red colours, Jaisalmer marble tiles and white glazed tiles.
The museum is open from 0900hrs to 1200hrs and 1500hrs to 1700hrs on all days except Mondays.
Sanathana Samskruthi Museum:
It is located on top of the hillock on the Southern side of the Ashram. Centered around the experience of spirituality in man’s evolution, it displays fascinating artifacts to convey the eternal message of saints and sages of all the religions of the world. Legends of Bhagawan Baba’s early life and His declaration of Avatarhood are emphasised in the displays. Sprawling over 20,000 square feet on three levels, it is designed to evoke the common spiritual quest of man, regardless of chronology or country. The architecture of this building is in the Shikara style as also the administrative building of the University. The Museum is open between 10-00 A.M. and 12 Noon on all days of the week except Wednesdays.
The Samadhi of Bhagawan’s physical parents, Sri Pedda Venkappa Raju and Smt. Easwaramma,is located in the Samadhi Road, a few yards from the Ganesh Gate. Every year during Eswaramma Day i.e. 6th of May special Bhajans are conducted here and hundreds of poor people are fed.
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning: The Administrative block of the University is a magnificent structure, located adjacent the museum. It stands as the sentinel of the happy amalgam of the secular and the spiritual, which is the foundation of the education system established by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The Deemed University established in 1981 in the Vidya Giri conducts courses in undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Arts, Science and Professional subjects. Admission regulations, requests for application and prospectus are advertised in the Sanathana Sarathi, December and January every year. Devotees may however contact the Heads of these institutions while visiting Prasanthi Nilayam. Among the constituent colleges, are the Boys’ College in Whitefield and the Girls’ College in Anantapur. In consonance with Bhagawan Baba’s teachings, education in all these institutions is free.
Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Giri :
The buildings you see while approaching the Ashram as you come to Prasanthi Nilayam, on either side of the road are :
- Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Prasanthi Nilayam Campus).
- Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School.
- Sri Sathya Sai Primary School.
- Smt Easwaramma High School.
- The Old and New Hostels for boys.
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. Bhagawan Baba 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.
Among other events held here is the Annual Sports and Cultural meet for the Schools and Colleges on the 11th of January . The Stadium is not open to public except when in use. An International Cricket Match for. Sri Sathya Sai Unity Cup. was held in this lush green stadium on 30th December 1997.Top Cricketers from India as well as from other cricket playing nations played in this exhibition match.
Sri Sathya Sai International Centre for Sports: Sri Sathya Sai International Centre for Sports – A state of art Olympic standard multi discipline indoor stadium with facilities for Basket ball, Volley ball, Tennis, Squash, Table tennis, Badminton, Gymnastics and Yoga/Aerobics was inaugurated on November 22, 2006, by the President of India, Hon’ble Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
This stadium measuring 100 metres by 60 metres on a 4.8 acre site is amongst the largest open frame space domes in the country/ (Built to Olympic specifications it can host international tournaments. Revered Chancellor has always championed the pursuit for excellence and as created a facility that will prepare sportspersons from all over the country to achieve great heights at the Global Sports Events.
The stadium has all amenities such as state of the art training facilities, electronic score board and sports equipment. The electronic scoring and Projection systems are one of the best in the world. From flooring, lighting, seating, Tennis courts, every bit that makes a world-class facility have been purchased from different parts of the world. It also has a well-equipped accommodation facility, conference rooms and spectator stands to seat 4000 members. This is an unique gift to the lovers and participants in various sports to motivate and enable them to bring laurels for the nation.
Sri Sathya Sai Space Theatre (Planetarium):
The Sri Sathya Sai Space Theatre is situated at about 5 minutes walk from the Ashram along the Main road. This Space Theatre with a capacity of 200 is well suited for class room lectures. It is of immense educational value for Students and other visitors.
The SPITZ SPACE SYSTEMS-512 planetarium instrument employed in the theatre provides a star field of 4054 images including 88 recognized constellations and 57 navigational stars, besides globular clusters and open Clusters, Milky Way, Megallanic Clouds and Nebulae. With the Computer Control and over 30 special effect projectors, almost any celestial or meteorological observation can be reproduced on the sky indoors. The tilted dome (hyposphere), a new innovation in planetarium projection permits unidirectional viewing like any other theatre (e.g. cinema hall). The viewers observe events in the same direction as they are sitting and at their eye level. Thus they become participants in the programme.
The theatre has facilities which permit its use as a class room.
In this “space age”, the planetarium has assumed the position of a “Space Science” laboratory as vital to the understanding of the physical universe as the physics and chemistry laboratory.
The Sri Sathya Sai Institute is the first university in the country to employ the planetarium for educational purpose. The planetarium chamber is a well equipped automatable, multimedia facility that provides opportunities for multipurpose, interdisciplinary use beyond the realm of astronomy.
With primary, secondary, college and university education at one complex at the Sathya Sai University, the planetarium acts as a catalyst in not only creating interest but also increasing the understanding in the basic concepts of astronomy, mathematics, physics and other disciplines.
Among the programmes contemplated for the entire range of education are Night and Day, Solar System, Seasons, Constellations and Zodiacal Signs. Located in rural surroundings, this planetarium aims to educate rural masses on the latest developments in science and technology and help remove superstition and blind faith through appropriately designed programmes.
In 2002, the Planetarium control system was upgraded to a completely computerized system, with an automation system developed in-house. In 2011, a full-dome projection system has been incorporated using the mirror-dome technique. Regular shows are held on Thursdays and Sundays with two shows on each day. Free passes are distributed at the Canteen coupon counter on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 am. Shows in English, Hindi and Telugu are available.
Sai Gita Palace: Sai Gita was Bhagawan’s pet elephant. She reached The Lotus Feet in May 2007. A new elephant calf which was named as “Sathya Gita” arrived the same year. You are requested not to make any effort to go into the stable or feed her. It is best to see her, when she is taken out for a walk or a bath. She is richly decorated and heads the colourful processions of the various festivals in the ashram.
The Ashram dairy is about half a kilometer from the ashram along the same road in Vidya Giri. It has a beautiful image of Sri Krishna at the entrance, which Bhagawan Baba Himself painted. You are requested not to go around the cowsheds or disturb the animals.
Sri Sathya Sai International Airport:
This Airport near the Super Specialty Hospital was built in 1990.
Siva Mandir (Bhagawan’s Birth Place):
The birthplace of Bhagawan Baba is now adorned by a Siva Temple, opened by Bhagawan in 1979. Puja (worship) is performed here everyday at dawn and dusk. Legends of His birth and boyhood leelas can be visualised here.
Old Temples: As you go into the village, you can see the Gopalaswami Temple (Lord Krishna as cowherd), the Hanuman Temple and a small temple of Sathyabhama (Divine Consort of Lord Krishna). There is also an old Mandir which is now called Pedda Venkappa Raju Kalyana Mandapam and is used mainly as a Wedding Hall.
For the convenience of the local Muslim population, Bhagawan had a Mosque and a hall constructed and opened in 1978. Prayers are conducted regularly.
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences:
The building presents a beautiful and breath-taking spectacle. It is well designed with the very best of ancient and modern architecture. The dome-shaped central hall of the hospital is decorated with a magnificent chandelier. it was opened on the occasion of Bhagawan’s 66th Birthday in 1991.The hospital has currently five departments: Cardiology, CTVS, Urology, Nephrology and Ophthalmology. This unique Hospital, where the architecture is more like that of a ‘temple of healing’ is the grand design inspired by Bhagawan Baba. It caters to all sections of the population from any part of the world, medical priority being the sole consideration. All services are free. The construction of 15,000 square metres with facilities for 300 beds in less than a year is itself a miracle. All the supporting facilities and equipments of the most sophisticated kind have been provided. A very technically competent assembly of doctors and administrators manage the project combining a rigorous pragmatism with an inspiring philanthropy. Visitors are welcome usually between 10-30 A.M. to 12 Noon on week days. Cameras are not allowed beyond the imposing dome of the Prayer Hall. For visits, blood donations etc. please contact Public Relations Office of the Hospital http://psg.sssihms.org.in/pages/Contact-us.htm
On 18th November 1975, during the 50th Birthday celebrations, the imposing and inspiring `Gopuram. , built by devoted hands in the South Indian style of temple architecture, was inaugurated. Baba had the ancient temples of Puttaparthi, rebuilt including the Gopalkrishna temple, associated with its history through the ages. The Gopuram Gate has now been thrown open for devotees during the Darshan time in Sai Kulwant Hall in the mornings and evenings.