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Adichunchanagiri swami's favourite painter was a muslim

Adichunchanagiri (Mandya dist), Jan 14, 2013, DHNS: 14:21 IST
Siddaganga Mutt Sri Shivakumar Swami paying homage to Sri Balgangadharnath Swamiji who died from kidney failure at Adi Chunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Mutt Vijayanagar in Bangalore on Monday. -Photo
The entire ceremony of the burial of Adichunchanagiri seer Balagangadharanatha Swami was held according to Hindu traditions. However, it would not have been complete without the efforts of a Muslim artist.

Assadullah Khan, a resident of neighbouring Bellur, has been the mutt artist for the past 26 years. He decorated the place designated for the samadhi with omkara, swastik, trishul, BGS and other symbols and rangoli using turmeric, vermilion and other colours — as per the instructions of the purohits.

Khan said: “Even though I am a Muslim by faith, the swamiji recognised my art and utilised my services. I have been painting pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses in the mutt for the past few decades. I have also been decorating the Bhairava raths (cars) bound for branch mutts.”

Recalling that he had also compered the all-faith conferences held under the aegis of the mutt, Khan became emotional narrating the incident when the then President A P J Abdul Kalam visited the mutt. He said the swami had introduced Khan to the first citizen of the nation and praised his art.

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