BENGALURU: Hundreds and thousands of devotees on Tuesday poured into Sree Siddaganga Matha in Tumakuru, about 70km from Bengaluru, to pay their respects to Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swami, the 111-year-old seer, who passed away on Monday.

Politicians, civil servants and the public thronged the Matha to pay their respects to the pontiff, a humanitarian and philanthropist whose sphere of influence was not limited to being the spiritual head of the dominant Lingayat community.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his respects to the saint in his inaugural address at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Modi said the pontiff’s contribution to humanitarian welfare will always be remembered. Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and D.V. Sadananda Gowda placed a wreath on behalf of the Prime Minister.

The seer was laid to rest with full state honours on Tuesday. The state, which had declared a holiday on Tuesday, announced three days of mourning.

The British Indian/Kannada community also held a prayer for the seer next to the statue of the 12th century reformer Basaveshwara in London.

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