Many witnessed the consecration of newly constructed Sri Sai Baba temple at the Sri Sai Ram Engineering College, Tambaram, which took place recently.

The temple is constructed as homage to the patron deity of the Sai Ram Group of Educational Institutes. Priests from Kumbakonam led the ceremonies that covered the four kala special pujas culminating in the kumbabishekam. The golden gopuram (dome) of the main structure stands tall at 40 ft. The 5.5 ft tall statue of Sai Baba, in a sitting posture, made of white marble, weighs three tonnes.

Separate niches

The temple complex has four main structures. The large Sai Baba temple structure is surrounded by smaller shrines for three deities such as Siddhi Vinayaka, Gurusthan and Hanuman.

The abishekam for all the four temple structures were conducted simultaneously. The 11 principles of Sai Baba have been engraved on a pillar near the temple gates.

“It took over two months to collect holy water for the ceremonies. The water was collected from every river located between Kasi and Kanyakumari,” explained Shanmugathaei, Professor of English at the Sri Ram Engineering College.

The construction of the temple, which is the brainchild of Leo Muthu, founder and chairman of the Sai Ram Group, took two years.

The interiors of the temple are reminiscent of those at the Sai Baba temple in Shirdi. According to Dr. M.S. Berma, Professor of Bio-Chemistry at the Engineering College, on the announcement of his intention to build the temple, the chairman received an anonymous file containing the design for the proposed temple.

The person responsible for the design, however, was not known.

The saga of Sai Ram Group of Educational Institutions (1981) began with the establishment of the Sai Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Madipakkam. Today the group has expanded to 24 educational institutes in and around Tamil Nadu.