The Telegraph
Saturday , October 27 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999

Mini Shirdi in Jamshedpur
- New Sai Baba centre promises healing touch for all

If natural beauty seems to be skin deep, that is, if scenic spots don’t bust urban angst, fret not. Spirituality will.

Jamshedpur, which so far offered picturesque Jubilee Park and Dimna Lake as stress-busters, will from October 28 boast a mini Shirdi at Circuit House Area.

The Sri Sai Centre, built on 0.75 acre at a cost of around Rs 3 crore, is meant for all devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba, the legendary saint held as the incarnation of Krishna by some and a pir by others.

A multi-religion 13-member managing committee — Shirdi Sai Baba has always attracted devotees of all affiliations — is looking after the centre. Daisy Irani, the better half of former Tata Steel managing director and metallurgy legend J.J. Irani, is its patron.

On Friday, the 41-day purification rituals were still underway. The two-day pran pratishtha ceremony will start from Saturday at 8am in the presence of Chandra Bhanu Satpathy, an ardent devotee of Sai Baba, instrumental in creating more than 200 temples in India and abroad.

“True to the spirit of Sai Baba, the centre is open to all. This is not only a temple but also spiritual retreat, essential for cosmopolitan Jamshedpur,” said Vijay Mehta, working president of Sri Sai Centre managing committee.

Architecturally, the centre is soothing to the eyes. Designed by acclaimed New Delhi architect Chandrashekhar for free and built by Tarapore & Co for three years, it uses space and natural light effectively.

The design of the main building has 60ft arches. The roof above Sai Baba’s idol is of glass to let in sunlight. There is a meditating hub, lecture halls, administrative blocks, landscaped garden and parking area. “We hope this centre gives the devout a feel of Shirdi, the temple town of Maharashtra,” said B.N. Pandey, vice-president of the managing committee.

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