Tumakuru: Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru, Karnataka, breathed his last on the auspicious Monday. He was 111 years old.

Also known as the Walking God, he was currently being treated at the Siddaganga Hospital in Tumakuru. Recently, the seer underwent a liver bypass and gall bladder removal surgery at the Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre in Chennai in December 2018.

Heavy security has been deployed in and around the Mutt. 10 LED vehicles arrived at the Mutt premises, arrangements has been made to put up LED screens across the Mutt.

Born on April 1, 1907 in Veerapura near Magadi Taluk, Shivakumara Swamiji was the head of Sree Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru district, Karnataka. He was the founder of the Sri Siddaganga Education Society.

The spiritual leader was initiated into viraktashram order in 1930. He studied English in college and is proficient in Kannada and Sanskrit. He has established educational institutions that offer courses in traditional learning of Sanskrit as well as modern science and technology. He is respected by people from all communities for his philanthropic work.

He was providing food, shelter and education to  thousands of poor students for decades together.

In 1965, Karnataka University conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature to the seer. He is known as Nadedaduva Devaru  meaning Walking God in Kannada.

Seer's Guru Kula (traditional residential school) shelters more than 8500 children between the age group of 5 and 16 years. Children from all castes, religions and creeds are welcome to join the school.

The seer also started annual agricultural fair to benefit the farmers and residents of Tumakuru. Karnataka state government has been imparting Shivakumara Swamiji Prashasti from the year 2007, as a mark of respect to the seer, who completed 100 years.

In fact, former President of India, APJ Kalam had also visited the seer in Tumakuru.

On the completion of 100 years, the government of Karnataka awarded Swamiji the Karnataka Ratna award, the highest civilian award of the state in 2007. In 2015, the government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan.

The state administration has announced state holiday tomorrrow for schools and colleges. State has also declared three-day mourning.