Prashanti Nilayam and surrounding area
|Elevation||475 m (1,558 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||AP 02|
The town's main attraction is Baba's Prasanthi Nilayam ashram, the presence of which has given a huge boost to the local economy, in the form of hotels, lodges, restaurants and shops which are largely frequented by visitors to Prasanthi Nilayam. The common languages spoken in Puttaparthi are Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, English and Hindi.
The climate is generally hot and dry throughout the year, summer temperatures ranging from 34 °C-42 °C, (93F-108F) and winter 22 °C-27 °C (71F-80F). The hotter months are from March until July and the milder months are from November until January.
"The southwest monsoons play a major role in determining the climate. The northeast monsoons are responsible for about one-third of the total rainfall. Some rainfall may be expected during the months of July and August and again from October to December."
Puttaparthi is 475 meters (1558 feet) above sea level.
Puttaparthi is well connected by road to all parts of Anantapur district, the district headquarters Anantapur (84 kilometres (52 mi)), the state capital Hyderabad (441 kilometres (274 mi)), Bangalore (154 kilometres (96 mi)) and Chennai (375 kilometres (233 mi)), by state-run APSRTC buses. KSRTC buses also ply from Bangalore.
Puttaparthi has a railway station named as Sri Satya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam which started functioning from 23 November 2000, which was Baba's 75th birth anniversary. It is about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the ashram. This station falls under the Bangalore Division of the South Western Railway and lies on the Bangalore-Guntakal railway line. It is easy to reach the town from the railway station in 20-25 mins, through various modes of transport like cabs, autorickshaws and APSRTC buses. The town is connected directly by train to Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Kolkata.
Puttaparthi has an airport which is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the ashram. It is owned by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and is spread over 450 acres (1.8 km2) of land, housing a runway that is 2,230 metres long. The airport is closed to normal domestic flights, though until 2005, it was served by the erstwhile Indian Airlines with flights from Mumbai and Chennai.
Apart from the main Ashram, Puttaparthi has other places of interest like a Hanuman temple, a village mosque and Sathyabhama temple. Sathyabhama is well known locally as 'Sathyamma' and the temple was built by Late Kondama Raju, grandfather of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Initially on the outskirts, it is now in the heart of the much grown town of Puttaparthi. Incidentally, another Sathyamma temple was recently constructed by Baba's elder brother Seshama Raju's son on the Bangalore route (10 km from the Ashram) next to the Gantla Maremma temple.
Other major tourist attractions:
- The Shiva temple constructed on the site where Baba was born. This is further down into the village from the Sathyamma Temple.
- The 'Kalpa Vriksha' or the Wish Fulfilling Tree that has a prominent place in the childhood life of Baba. It is on the banks of the Chitravathi river.
- The meditation tree on the hillock on the way to the university
Other important places are the educational institutions such as Sri Sathya Sai University, Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital designed by the English architect Dr. Keith Critchlow, Chaitanya Jyothi Museum, Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri Music College, Sri Sathya Sai Space Theatre, and Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium. The then president of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, inaugurated a new indoor sports stadium – with international standards – in November 2006. Indian legend cricketer Kapil Dev was the special guest on the occasion. Visitors can get a good idea of Indian village life by hiring an auto-rickshaw and touring the lake and surrounding villages and by interacting with the villagers.
The main attraction at Puttaparthi remained Sathya Sai Baba who gave darshan to his devotees. The samadhi of the guru on 24 April 2011 led to decline of business. Prashanthi Nilayam, The abode of Bhagawan Sri SathyaSai Baba became Spiritual Capital of the Universe.
- "Sri Sathya Sai Prashanti Nilayam/SSPN to Kolkata Howrah/HWH". India Rail Info. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- Ramanathan, S. Kalyana (31 October 2007). "Sri Sathya Sai Baba's airport up for sale". Business Standard. Retrieved 28 November 2007.[dead link]
- Ramanathan, S. Kalyana (31 October 2007). "Sai Baba's airport up for sale". Rediff. Retrieved 28 November 2007.
- Travel to Sai Baba Ashram at Prashanti Nilayam - Puttaparthi
- A God Is Dead, but It’s Business That May Suffer Most by Jim Yardley for The New York Times, 24 May 2011, retrieved 8 January 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Puttaparthi.|