Karnataka seer Shivakumara Swami dies at 111; 3-day state mourning declared
Karnataka’s 111-year-old revered seer, Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga Mutt at Tumakuru, who had been in a critical condition for the last 15 days, has died.
He died at 11.44am on Monday. His cremation will be done at 430pm on Tuesday, January 22.
Three days of state mourning has been announced in the state by Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara. Holiday declared in Karnataka tomorrow as part of the state mourning.
Known among his followers as a “walking god” and an incarnation of the 12th century social reformer Basava, the Lingayat seer also heads the Sree Siddaganga Education Society, which runs about 125 educational institutions in the state - from engineering colleges to business schools.
Watch: Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swami dies at the age of 111
Many of the institutions offer free education and boarding facilities to poor students.
The Swami, who is said to be one of the oldest persons living in India, has been suffering from lung infection for the past few weeks. He has been in and out of hospitals over the last few years due to his advanced age.
Security has been tightened at the Mutt as hundreds of followers gathered, praying for the holy man’s recovery.
Born on April 1, 1907 in Veerapura village of Ramanagara district in Karnataka, the Swami is also involved in several philanthropic activities and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2015.
Last week, Kumaraswamy demanded the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, for the seer as recognition of his service to the society.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted last week: “His Holiness Shivakumara Swami is a remarkable personality and has positively impacted crores of lives through his outstanding service. The entire nation is praying for his speedy recovery and good health.”