Sai Baba Ashram
The Sai baba ashram itself is a huge complex with room for thousands, with canteens, shops, a museum and library, and a vast assembly hall where Sai Baba gives darshan twice daily (6.45-7.00 AM and 3.45-4.00 PM). Queues start more than an hour before the appointed time, and a lottery decides who gets to sit near the front.
One of the oft-visited locations in the ashram is the museum, perched on a nearby hillock. The museum contains models of various temple structures including the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the Mecca mosque, etc. The story of Satya Sai Baba, right from his birth to the time he attained Nirvana, are also depicted in the form of pictures. The museum is open daily from 10 AM to 12 noon. It contains a detailed, fascinating display on the major faiths with illustrations and quotations from their sacred texts, punctuated by Sai Baba's comments. Within the campus of the ashram, there is a sophisticated planetarium as well.
Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences
The Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences became operational in November 1991. Within a period of four years, it had performed 4,250 heart surgeries. The interesting part of the institute is that it runs its services free of charge, irrespective of caste, creed, nationality, and status. This institute is fast becoming a leading center for cardiac surgery, interventional cardiology and sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic methodologies for diseases of the heart, and is ably supported by a team of dedicated cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, anesthetists and technical staff. The support facilities include a central sterilization department, blood bank, clinical laboratories, diet kitchen, laundry and central stores among others. In order to ensure a constant supply of skilled personnel and to provide worthy vocational training, a nursing school was also established in September 1992. The institute has an uro-nephrology department, ophthalmology department, x-ray unit, blood bank, total body-scanning unit, and vitreoretinal services cell.
Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Sai Baba founded the Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning on November 22, 1981. An autonomous body, it has been recognized by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) as a deemed university. To effectively mold a student's personality, hostel living has been made compulsory and patterned in the ancient gurukula style.
On the way between Bangalore and Puttaparthi, one can find the Veerbhadra temple at Lepakshi. At the entrance of the town, there is a huge, monolithic Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva. The temple is about 500 meters away.
Events and Festivals
On November 23, the birthday of Sai Baba is celebrated in the ashram. On this day Sai Baba delivers a message to his devotees. The devotees of Sai Baba regard this day as a holy day.