World renowned Indian spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba's departure was an intense and an emotional one for thousands of devotees cutting across borders and other barriers.
The guru was laid to rest with state honours at his ashram in Puttaparthi, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, on Wednesday. The ceremony, which was preceded by chanting of verses by religious leaders of Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity and Baha'i, culminated with the final rites being performed by Sai Baba's nephew RJ Ratnakar, who was guided by nine priests, as per the traditional rituals amid vedic chants at Sai Kulwanth Hall.
Among the thousands who desended on Puttaparti to catch a glimpse of Sathya Sai Baba, who at the age of 14 declared himself the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, were the high and mighty of India. High profile guests included Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; chairperson of the ruling coalition UPA, Sonia Gandhi and the cricket ace Sachin Tendulkar.
The final burial ritual was closed to public.
The spot, where the mortal remains of the 85-year-old religious leader were buried, will turn into an eternal memorial for Sai Baba.
Scroll down to see photos of Sathya Sai Baba's funeral: