Puttaparthi: Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who reached his heavenly abode on Sunday, would be laid to rest in the specially built Samadhi in the imposing confines of Sai Kulwant Hall after the funeral rites between 9 am and 10.30 am on Wednesday.
A nine-feet trench was dug in the sprawling hall for the burial of the coffin containing the mortal remains of Baba after the last rites. A fitting memorial is planned at the Samadhi site later.
Though earlier it was decided to close the darshan timing at 6 pm on Tuesday for the devotees in order to make arrangements for the funeral the next day, the district authorities have extended the timing till 12 midnight in view of the serpentine queue of devotees who have been reaching Puttaparthi from different parts of the country and also abroad.
The Prime Minister, Dr Man Mohan Singh, and the AICC president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, were among the host of VVIPs, who arrived here today to pay their respects to the mortal remain of the spiritual guru. Accompanied by the Union minister, Ms Ambika Soni, Ms Panabaka Lakshmi, Mr Muniappa and others, the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson arrived in the evening and paid homage to the mortal remains of Sai Baba. They sat near the body for some time and left for New Delhi. The Governor, Mr E S L Narasimhan, and the Chief Minister, Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy, escorted them to the Prashanthi Nilayam Kulwant Hall.
With the arrival of the Prime Minister and the Congress president, the darshan for the devotees in the serpentine queue was stopped for an hour. (NSS)