- Government holiday tomorrow
- Public darshan at Siddaganga Mutt till 3 pm tomorrow
- Last rites at 4.30 pm; funeral with full State honours
Mysuru/Tumakuru: Dr. Sri Shivakumara Swamiji, revered by devotees as Nadedaduva Devaru (Walking God), passed away at Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru this morning. He was 111. Born on April 1, 1907, he was the head pontiff of five-centuries-old Siddaganga Mutt. The Seer died at 11.44 am, said Mutt sources.
The last rites of the Seer will be performed at the Mutt premises tomorrow at 4.30 pm and a government holiday has been declared in the State on Jan. 22.
The official announcement was made by Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy at 2 pm, after receiving confirmation from doctors.
The mortal remains will be kept at the Mutt premises till 3 pm tomorrow. A three-day State mourning has been declared and cinema halls will be shut tomorrow as a mark of respect.
The Swamiji is a recipient of Karnataka Ratna Award, the highest Civilian Honour of the State. The Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan. He became a super centenarian on April 1, 2017 and was the only Indian in top 100 of list of the oldest living people.
Shivakumara Swamiji was battling lung infection and had been put on ventilator, according to the doctors treating him at the Mutt. The Swamiji, who showed signs of recovery on Sunday, witnessed complications in the wee hours of today prompting doctors to put him on ventilator support.
Shivakumara Swamiji was an ardent practitioner of Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith and was a highly revered religious leader. He also founded the Sri Siddaganga Education Society. Karnataka government has sought for Bharat Ratna for his social service.
The who’s who of State politics including Cabinet Ministers, Opposition Leader B.S. Yeddyurappa and host of other leaders have cancelled their official engagements and have landed at Siddaganga Mutt at Kyathasandra.
Both Yeddyurappa and Dy.CM Dr. G. Parameshwara have been camping at the Mutt and held several rounds of meeting with junior pontiff of the mutt Siddalinga Swami, DC, SP and other district officials.
Police took over the Tumakuru-Bengaluru traffic and the Tumakuru district administration, in consultation with the Mutt authorities, have already banned the entry of devotees and cordoned off the two-kilometre area around the Mutt regulating the movement of vehicles and people around Mutt.
Inspector General of Police, Central Range B. Dayananda is supervising the security measures at the Mutt.
Seven senior Police officers have been deputed in and around Tumakuru to maintain law and order. State Reserve Police force has also been sent to assist the local administration.