Probably no other village in the world is as famous and has so many facilities all in one place like Puttaparthi. It may have metamorphosed into a self-containing town over the years and finds a place on the international map as well, but Puttaparthi essentially remains a village – more precisely the abode of Sathya Sai Baba.
It was the Baba who earned his native village such an international acclaim after he declared himself the reincarnation of the godly-saint Shirdi Sai Baba. Peace and tranquillity are the salient features of this bustling place which is thronged by thousands of people, not only from the region, but also other states in the country, as well as abroad, everyday for the darshan of Baba.
Beginning with the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, which has now transformed into a university, Puttaparthi boasts of an exclusive airport, a 220-bedded super-speciality hospital, a railway station, a planetarium, a hill-view stadium, an indoor stadium and Chaitanya Jyoti, a museum of world religions.
It is also home for an institute of Indian classical music called the Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music.
Puttaparthi was where the Baba was born as Sathyanarayana Raju Ratnakaram on November 23, 1926. It was a sleepy village then, 85-km from the district headquarters town of Anantapur.
Above all, Prasanthi Nilayam – the abode of Sathya Sai Baba - is the pinnacle of Puttaparthi's glory.
A temple of Lord Siva stands where the Baba was born, while many other famous temples like Hanuman and Sathyabhama (built by the Baba's grandfather Kondama Raju) and the village mosque adorn the village. Many special festivals and fairs are conducted on different occasions with the Baba's birthday celebrations standing as the highlight.
The Sathya Sai University's annual convocation is also a major event celebrated with fanfare in Puttaparthi.
With Baba's demise, a pall of gloom has descended on Puttaparthi. Will it retain its glory in future is a question mark now.