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“Beats Taj Mahal !”

Art of Living International Center
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Full Day Private Tour of Temples of Bengaluru
Ranked #5 of 323 things to do in Bengaluru
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 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 Cafe 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 cafe. 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!
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Beats Taj Mahal !”
Reviewed January 12, 2012

An amazing place to come and relax, meditate and rejuvinate ! The main structure: Vishalaksha Mandap Beats Taj Mahal Anyday !!!

23 Thank The Art of Livi... I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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861 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2012

that is to say the least whwn we are away we just love to visit these places so much to see and the culture is second to none would never miss out on aanything to see it tires me out but what am i there for

Visited November 2011
7 Thank dogtyson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Its just unbelievable...no one can beat this..”
Reviewed December 13, 2011

This is the place which is for everyone...strating from prasadam to evening bhajan..everything was just out of the world experience...and If you will get a chance to meet Sri Sri Ravishankar..i am just speechless to share a single word..which you can just sence, can feel for that you have to be there...Botanical garden...Bhajan palace..I don't know how heaven looks like..but for me it is heaven on the earth....

Visited January 2011
7 Thank brajesh_upes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Welcome home :)”
Reviewed December 13, 2011

"Welcome Home"- that's what a hoarding outside the main gate of the ashram says. Whether you're a believer or not, come here for peace, wholesome food, a fresh flood of faith and an overall wonderful experience. There are dorms for budget travellers and hotel rooms for those looking for luxury. "Service" is not a word restricted to butlers and waiters. It's a way of life at the ashram. Lend a helping hand in the cafeterias, help clean the kitchen or just have an open mind and make the most of what the foundation has to offer to you. Take your friends/family along or just go solo. Relax and soothe your senses, give your faith a chance to grow.

PS- Check with the ashram authorities if you wish to stay at night. Chances are, if you haven't done a course with the foundation, you may not be permitted to stay the night. But you're welcome to visit and enjoy the drive back :)

Visited October 2011
6 Thank Snigdha R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Modern Sainthood”
Reviewed November 13, 2011

Good serene place for meditation and relaxation. A home away from home, situated about 25 Kms from the city.
Provides with great rejuvenation for the mind, body and the soul.
The people and the volunteers are corporatised and tailored for the needs of all the walks of life.
A visit is a must for all those who are hasseled in their lifes and even for those who are yet to be hasseled so that could be armoured before hand.

Visited September 2011
5 Thank Raj651411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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