Welcome to The Art of Living International Centre! Situated on the top of the Panchagiri Hills, 36km southwest of Bangalore, near Udipalya village, the campus is an ideal location for reflection and rejuvenation.
Started in 1986 and spread over 65 acres, the campus has an abundance of flowering foliage spread along winding footpaths, a peaceful lake and the exquisitely beautiful Vishalakshi Mantap, the central meditation hall.
Satsangs, held every evening, are gatherings where different minds unite through music, meditation, and wisdom to experience an elevated state of consciousness.
Through Seva (voluntary service) one can experience the humble satisfaction of doing selfless work here, from serving food in the kitchen to keeping the premises clean to working in the various departments that focus on various projects and the ashram’s upkeep.
The Vishalakshi Mantap, named after ‘Amma’, Sri Sri’s mother, is the main Meditation Hall in the form of a fully blossomed 1000 petal lotus. Its reflective dome that mirrors the sun during the day is lit up at night to a synchronized change of colored lights. The dome and golden spire that can be viewed from all parts of the sprawling campus grounds play the role of a compass – lending a sense of navigation to the spiritual seeker.
Courses are held in various rooms at different levels of the mantap and satsangs are held on the main level. Each level opens onto a gallery. Following a circular design, the levels provide an excellent view of the campus grounds and the open grounds and hills in the distance.
Built on a smaller scale, is the Sumeru Mantap in the more secluded, old ashram campus. When the campus was newly set up, and there was a much smaller gathering of people, satsangs were held here. It is a circular 3 tiered gallery with a garden in the center and the sky for a roof, dominated by a large densely foliaged banyan tree in the center.
The Radha Kund gardens recapture the mystical garden of Vrindavan, replete with a pair of elephants, a pair of geese, a deer, some rabbits and a number of exotic birds! This is an excellent place to observe various birds as they sweep over the lake - and a good place to unwind, reflect and take stock of one’s life. From the gardens one can hear the Sanskrit chantings of the boys at the Gurukul nearby. The seven year training program at the Gurukul teaches students how to conduct temple rituals. The course syllabus also includes study of the Veda, Agama, Sanskrit, Astrology, Yoga, music, Sculpture, Epics and scriptures.
The Goshala, home to over 250 cows, is an important project undertaken to preserve the native breed of Indian cows. The cows enjoy human company and visitors receive great pleasure brushing and petting the cows.
For those who wish to simply relax, The Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma (Wellness Spa) offers the ideal retreat for body and mind. Apart from the super ambience and food, one can select from a number of rejuvenating therapy packages the spa offers.
On campus is a very popular, vibrant eatery, The Vishala Café that serves Indian and Continental fast food. It is here that youngsters like to meet, relax, exchange ideas, play the piano or eat a filling meal while reading from the selection of books displayed at the café.
An array of shops are also present on campus – two Divine shops (selling music and books), The Divine Services (a provision store), Madhurya (traditional artefacts, gifts), Sri Kriti (a boutique that sells hand made products by rural women and traditional craftmen) and Sri Sri Agriculture with its fresh produce of fruits and vegetables grown on campus.
The Bangalore Campus makes for a truly self-contained retreat - your home away from home!
Places of Interest around the Campus:
Historic places to see in Bangalore include the Vidhan Sabha(the official building that houses the Government Legisilative chambers - the lighting up of the building every Sunday evening holds a special charm among its visitors), Lal Bagh - famous for its breathtaking rows of red roses, Tipu's Palace and Bangalore Palace. Among the religious places, the ISKCON Temple, Shiva Statue, and the Bull Temple are worth visiting. If you have some extra time then a 140 km drive from Bangalore will take you to the beautiful Mysore City Palace. Camp eXtreme Zone is an outdoor recreational center in the city and one that provides an authentic camping experience. For those who enjoy the thrill of rides, Wonderla Water Park is where you should head.
How to Get There:
Bengaluru city is served by all domestic airlines as well as a number of international airlines. Please check with your travel agent or contact Sumeru Travel Solutions (the ashram travel service) at +91 80 32923423 for further details.
We also have a well-developed railway system and many direct express trains from other cities in India. We advise first time travelers to India to either choose First Class or Second Class AC rail service. For further information:http://www.indianrail.gov.in/ and http://www.southernrailway.org/srail/