Karnataka’s 111-year-old pontiff healthy, returns from Chennai hospital

Bengaluru: Karnataka’s 111-year-old revered pontiff Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga mutt at Tumakuru returned to the mutt from Chennai hospital, where he recently underwent a liver operation, an official said on Wednesday.

“The pontiff has recovered from the surgery and is in good health,” the mutt’s administrative officer S. Vishwanath told IANS from Tumakuru, about 70km northwest from the state capital.

The pontiff was flown to Chennai from Bengaluru on December 7 in an air ambulance for the operation to treat his liver and bile duct infection and was flown back after his recovery to Bengaluru on Wednesday.

“The swami was able to travel by road to Tumakuru after he was airlifted to Bengaluru from Chennai,” the official said.

Known among his followers as a walking god and an incarnation of 12th century renowned social reformer Basava, the Lingayat seer is also the head of the Sree Siddaganga Education Society, which runs about 125 educational institutions in the state — from engineering colleges to business schools.

The over century-old Swamiji has been in and out of hospitals of late for treatment of symptoms related to his advanced age.