Major Attractions: Chaitanya Jyoti Museum, Prasanthi Nilayam
Best time to visit: 18th to 23rd November (Five day Birthday celebrations of Shri Satya Sai Baba)
How to reach Puttaparthi: While traveling from Bangalore, bus is the most convenient way to reach Puttaparthi. Apart from being cheap, the main advantage to traveling by bus is that the Puttaparthi bus stand is situated in front of the ashram. You can also reach Puttaparthi through train which takes around 3 hours to reach the Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam station from Bangalore.
Puttaparthi is a small town in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh and is the birthplace of Shri Satya Sai Baba which makes it a pilgrimage for the believers of Sai Baba. Apart from the ashram, Puttaparthi also has an education centre and a super specialty hospital.
I went to Puttaparthi along with three other friends. We started from Bangalore at 10:30 AM. We boarded the KSRTC bus to Puttaparthi from the APSRTC bus stand at Majestic, Bangalore. The Puttaparthi route is the same as one in which I went to Lepakshi. The bus stopped for 30 mins for lunch at 1 PM. We reached Puttaparthi around 2:15 PM. After reaching Puttaparthi we booked our return tickets to Bangalore for the same day from the KSRTC ticket counter. The last bus to Bangalore is at 6:45 PM.
Chaitanya Jyoti Museum:
At first, we went to the Chaitanya Jyoti Museum. Chaitanya Jyoti is a museum dedicated to the life of Shri Satya Sai Baba. It was inaugurated on 18th November, 2000 to commemorate the 75th year of the advent of Sathya Sai Baba. It houses many artifacts, paintings depicting the life of Satya Sai, his teachings and the miracles he performed. It has a unique exterior architecture and is located just by the side of Shri Sathya Sai Hill View stadium. It’s a huge museum and takes around 1 hour to visit if explored properly. In front of the museum, there is a pool which contains colourful crap fishes. The sight of hundreds of these fishes of different sizes swimming together is a delight to the eyes. Photography is not permitted inside the museum.
A video of a school of colourful crap fishes at Puttaparthi:
After the museum, we went to the Wish Fulfilling Tree or the Kalpataru. To reach here you have to go straight in a lane in front of the Prasanti Nilayam. Then after walking about 300 meters on the right, there are stairs which leads to the tree. As per the legends, Satya Sai Baba used to take his devotees and friends to this place and used to offer them the fruit of their liking by plucking it from this tree. Now devotees write their wishes on a paper and tie them to the grill surrounding this tree expecting that baba’s blessings would fulfill their wishes too.
From here you can also get a scenic view of river Chitravati (picture below).
Prasanti Nilayam is a huge lecture hall which also houses the samadhi of Shri Satya Sai Baba. It is about 100 meters from the bus stop. As we went in between the five day period of his birthday celebrations, special cultural music program and lecture was being conducted. Hundreds of Sai devotees around the globe arrive during these five days. The program starts at 4:30 PM. Before you enter this place you have to deposit your electronic items and bags at separate counters. There are separate cloakrooms for gents and ladies. No electronic gadgets or bags are allowed to this place. The hall has a lavish interior with intricate designs on the ceiling and the walls. There is a golden throne on which Baba used to sit while attending his devotees. After his death, the throne is still kept there and a photo of Satya Sai Baba is placed on it. There separate entrance gates and sitting places for gents and ladies, so make sure that you fix a meeting spot and time before, in case you are going as a mixed group as you won’t be able to communicate once you get in. We reached there around 5:30 PM and came out after 30 mins.
Apart from these three we also went to the Satya Sai Hillview Sports Stadium from where you can see a hill with and an idol of Lord Hanuman at the top. There are also smaller idols of Jesus, Prophet Mohammed, Shri Krishna, Lord Buddha and other Gods of different major religions.
After returning from Prasanti Nilayam, we had some food from a bakery and rushed to the bus stop to board the last bus to Bangalore at 6:45 PM. The bus stops for 30 mins in between for dinner. We reached Bangalore at 11:15 PM.
You can also include the Mediation tree, Sri Sathya Sai Space Theatre etc in your itinerary if you are planning an extended visit.
1. There is no entry fee for visiting any place at Puttaparthi.
2. All places at Puttaparthi has different entry timings and close days. So collect information from their website about the timings and plan properly before visiting.
3. Sai devotees wear white dresses at Puttaparthi. So its better if you too can visit in a white attire. Western clothes for ladies is strictly prohibited.
Thanks for reading. Hope you liked it. Please share your views in the comments section if you have been to this place. Will be back soon; till then Keep Travelling & spread Love.