Just steps from Chaska’s western border, a mysterious turn lane leads to a newly paved road that ends in a farm field. An amazing building emerges from a sea of green grass (or snow): a mandir designed to worship the Indian saint Saibaba of Shirdi.
Mandir means a temple that is used for prayers and worship services, is a word used in Indian languages by people following Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism, and is a sacred place with divine energies. Since Saibaba of Shirdi originated from India with a predominantly Hindu population, a place of worship of Saibaba is commonly known as “Sri Saibaba Mandir.” Sri means “holy” or “revered.”
Sri Saibaba Mandir, originally incorporated as Shirdi Saibaba Prayer Center, is non-denominational in nature and is open to all. The activities at the Sri Saibaba Mandir include daily prayer services, weekly congregations and celebration of other occasions of importance for Saibaba of Shirdi followers.
The mandir looked for suitable locations within the Twin Cities area, and although there were other locations available, the present site in Chaska was found to be the most suitable for the construction of the temple.
Wells’s phase of construction included the precast outer two-level building that houses Sri Sai’s sanctum on the main hall, and the dining area and kitchen in the lower level. Outside of Wells, this phase also included the construction of the parking area, stormwater management, drainage, well construction, and electrical.
The exterior walls were constructed with custom architectural precast concrete insulated wall panels with a form-liner texture and projecting features around the upper windows. The design intent is to resemble a mid-20th century Hindu temple in the Maharashtra state of India. Precast concrete floor planks were used to support the second level worship area. The floor planks provided long open spans and the concrete mass helps to minimize floor vibrations.