Art of Living International Centre

3.0 / 5 30 votes


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Ideal Time: 2 - 3 hrs

Timings:

9:00 AM - 8:00 PM

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No Entry Fee
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Art of Living International Centre, Bangalore Overview

Located 21 kms southwest of Bangalore on Kanakpura Road atop Panchagiri Hills, Art of Living Centre is the headquarter of the spiritual, cultural organization Art of Living Foundation, established by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Constructed in 1986, the ashram focuses at creating a stress-free society through its multitudinous programmes which include yoga, meditation, Ayurveda treatments etc. The magnanimous campus housing several mini gardens, tiny water lake and abundance of trees is popularly called the ?Bangalore Ashram? and draws over 1.2 million people from across the world annually. The centre is considered a retreat from the stress and din of the city and provides the much needed therapy and solace from city blues.

Set in a tranquil backdrop with pretty winding paths to walk on, amidst flowering gardens and a sparkling lake, this ashram provides the much needed respite from the strain and monotony of the regular routine. Art of Living Centre aims to unite people and help them reflect on their lives and privileges through meditative programmes, satsangs and spiritual talks while keeping them in between nature. It also has to option of Seva which is just voluntary work you can do to attain the satisfaction of the mind. The daily routine involves yoga, chanting and meditation to calm the mind, satsangs to light up your spirits and numerous customized courses that you can take up for your peace. The ashram is an ideal location not just for followers but also for nature lovers and all you people seeking seclusion, solitude and spiritual bliss.

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Vishalakshi Mantap- Designed by Sri Sri Ravishankar himself, Vishalakshi Mantap is the cardinal point of the ashram. The five-tiered meditation hall is a remarkable example of impeccable architecture, which is a fusion of ancient Vedic style and modern technology. Surrounded by a lotus-shaped edifice to signify peace, the interiors have been done in pure white marble. The Mantap, built with relentless efforts of around 7000 efficient craftsmen, speaks of religious iconography and a discerning décor. The 'kalash' on top of the glass dome of the building is the biggest in all of Asia with a height of 15 ft. 3 inches. This chief hall is believed to be the one of the most peaceful spots of the ashram and is used for all major yoga and meditation programmes.

Annapoorna Kitchen and Dining Hall- Established in October 2004, this new dining and kitchen facility largely contributes to the growth of the organization. The old kitchen served 500 people per day, whereas the new 3-floored building can cater to around 60,000 people on a daily basis. The ground floor is converted into a dining hall. Just like the rest of the ashram, the kitchen is also run by full time volunteers. Food is prepared and served to around 20,000 people every day which include the employees as well as the visitors. The kitchen works on the principles of self service; the visitors are even expected to clean their plates once they're done. Other than inculcating morals of self-efficiency and respect for others, this policy helps in managing the enormous kitchen. The food cooked is Satvik, with the help of environment friendly boilers.

1. Spread across 1 lakh sq. ft., the Ayurveda hospital called the Krishna Kutir is furnished with 172 beds and offers more than 100 Ayurveda treatments for diseases including cancer and diabetes.
2. Sri Sri Gurukul is divided into two sections. The first section called Agama offers a well versed course in temple worship and the second section Veda, as the name suggests, is a study of the vedas.
3. The Goshala section of the centre was set-up in 2006 with the aim of inbreeding and preserving indigenous cow breeds. The cow dung, in turn, is used for biogas and in the production of various Ayurveda medicines.
4. Radha Kunj is an enchantingly beautiful garden looking over the sparkling lake to let the visitors soak in the serenity and tranquillity of the environment.  
5. Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma Centre has been built with the idea to facilitate massages, organic spas and customized dietary programmes for rejuvenating and cleansing the body.
6. The open-air amphitheatre called Sumeru Mantap was built with the idea to accommodate crowds during cultural functions.

1. The ashram provides the facility of a Bus Tour that can take you around the entire campus for sightseeing. The timings for this tour are 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM every day.
2. The Registration Desk is located in the reception area and can be reached through Entry gates 4 and 5. The receptionist can help you with any queries and to proceed with your reservations. It is preferable to make reservations in advance to avoid inconvenience.
3. Vishala Canteen located on the premises offers snacks and hand-picked fruits from the orchards of the ashram itself. Timings are 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
4. The ashram also has Laundry Service available for everyone who has booked a reservation and is staying put in the centre. They also offer iron clothes at a minimal cost.

Navratri
Navratri is the most celebrated festival at the centre. As per Hindu mythology, Navratri (nine nights) should be set aside to worship the Mother Nature and observe peace, quiet and to rejuvenate. It is believed that Mother Nature should be thanked by meditation as she is the ulterior power or Shakti. Since Art of Living is the acclaimed centre for calming the mind, relaxing and reducing stress, thousands of tourists flock here every year owing to the several meditation programmes organized at the ashram. The nine-day festival is followed by a grand pooja and a sumptuous feast.

Mahashivratri
Mahashivratri is celebrated on the 14th day of the new moon. It means 'night of Lord Shiva' who was the embodiment of peace. Therefore, it is a common belief that on this auspicious night peace and calmness descends down from the heaven above to this world. The festival is celebrated at the ashram with a lot of zeal. There are poojas organized, mantras are chanted all night, Shivalinga is bathed with milk, curd and rose water etc. It is believed that the event brings positive vibes to the environment. People gather in thousands to witness this occasion.

The ashram has a residential block with different rooms to suit the nature and requirements of the visitors based on the course they choose. The charges of which, vary depending on the type of rooms. Basic amenities such as bed, sheets, pillows etc. are provided to all regardless. Each room has an attached bathroom which hot water facility, every day for two hours in the morning.

For those, visiting for a day, entry is free of cost. You can take part in the general yoga and other meditative programs. Also, you can visit the kitchen and enjoy a Satvik meal, without any additional cost.

The ashram is located in 21 kms southwest of Bangalore in Udaypura. You can reach the centre by hiring a private taxi cab from your accommodation to the destination. Alternatively, you can also take a public bus from Banashankari to Udaypura, which was also be fairly economical.

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