Tumakuru: Shivakumara Swamiji of the Siddaganga Mutt died at 11.44am, on Monday in Tumakuru. The state has declared a three-day mourning.

The state administration has also announced a holiday for schools and colleges and government offices in Karnataka on January 22.

Known as the walking God (Nadedaduva Devaru in Kannada), Shivakumara Swamiji was 111.

He was being treated at Siddaganga Hospital in Tumakuru since a week, as he was suffering from age-related issues.

In December last year, he underwent a liver bypass and gall bladder removal surgery at the Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre in Chennai.

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Tight security has been deployed outside the Siddaganga Mutt. BJP and Congress leaders, especially Lingayat leaders including BS Yeddyurappa, MB Patil and even Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy are in the Mutt premises.

People have observed an undeclared bandh in Tumakuru. Shops have been closed as a mark of respect to the Siddaganga seer.

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 of all communities for his philanthropic work.

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