Deep in the southwest of the state, amid the arid rocky hills bordering Karnataka, a thriving community has grown up around the once insignificant village of PUTTAPARTHY, birthplace of spiritual leader Sai Baba. Centring on Prasanthi Nilayam (Abode of Peace), the ashram where Sai Baba used to reside most of the year, the town has schools, a university, hospital and sports centre that offer up-to-date and free services to all. The ashram itself is a huge complex, with canteens, shops, a museum and library, and a vast assembly hall. The museum (daily 10am–noon) contains detailed displays on the world’s major faiths and presents a positive unitarian message.

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