Shivakumara Swamiji, prominent Lingayat seer of Tumakuru-based Siddaganga Math, who was known as the ‘Walking God’, passed away at the age of 111 today after a prolonged illness.
His death brought Karnataka together in grief, to the point of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and his archrival BS Yeddyurappa to appear together to announce his death.The Karnataka State Government has declared a one day holiday for all schools, colleges and Government offices as well as a three-day state mourning.
Popular for providing food, shelter and education to lakhs of students across society, the pontiff was popularly known as ‘the walking god’ and was active in spite of his advanced age. His cremation will be held on Tuesday at 4.30 PM at the Mutt premises.
The secretary of the Mutt T K Nanjundappa made an official press statement and declared two days of holiday for the schools and colleges run by the Mutt. The final rites will be held at the Mutt where the mortal remains will be placed inside the building constructed exclusively for the burial as per the Swamiji’s wish.
On Monday morning, several political leaders including Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Deputy CM G Parameshwara and state BJP Chief BS Yeddyurappa rushed to Tumakuru as news of the pontiff’s health deteriorating spread.
Shivakumar Swami passed away at 11.44 AM at his room in the old Mutt where he was undergoing treatment. He is said to have died of age-related ailments including a depression in the bone marrow coupled with effusion developed in the lungs. Shivakumara Swami’s cremation is set to take place at 4:30 pm on Tuesday.