The 85th birth anniversary celebrations of late Satya Sai Baba will commence on November 18 followed by a week of spiritual activities.

The birthday of Sai Baba, which falls on November 23, would be preceded by five days of cultural and spiritual activities. The celebrations will come to a close on November 25.

The Satya Sai Trust Board informed that the celebrations would start off with the traditional Rathotsavam on November 18 followed by a musical exposition in Marathi abhang in the evening by well known Marathi singer Makarand Kalyani.

November 19 would be observed as ladies day. A range of programmes will be organised by women’s organisations devoted to Satya Sai Baba.

November 21 and 22 will feature cultural programmes by devotees from the Dominican Republic and Thailand and a sitar and cello concert by Subhendra and Saskia Rao.

The 31st convocation of the Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSIHL), a deemed university, would be held on November 22. Dr Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, will be the chief guest.

The following day, which is the birthday of Satya Sai Baba, would feature talks by D.Y. Patil, Governor of Tripura besides T.K.K. Bhagwat, former chairman of the Indian Overseas Bank. Thousands of devotees of Satya Sai Baba are expected to descend on Puttaparthi to have a darshan of the Maha Samadhi of Sai baba.

Devotees from Japan and Malaysia are also slated to perform cultural and spiritual events.