Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Art Of Living International Center - Relax, Refresh and Rejuvenate

Art Of Living International Center (AOL), Bengaluru - founded by Shri Shri Ravishankar Guruji is known for courses and sessions on Satsanga, meditations spirituality and Yoga, Ayurveda treatments etc. It is situated on Kanakapura Main Road. We have bought a new house on Kanakapura main Road. Art Of Living Campus can be reached by 15-20 minutes drive from our house. Neither me nor my husband are much into spirituality and meditations. We have never seen or heard Satsang sessions conducted by Shri Guruji. But we wanted to see the Art Of Living Campus/Ashram. Last Sunday around 5 PM in the evening we reached the AOL campus.
Campus has a big parking place. A fee of Rs 20/- is collected towards parking. Parking place is surrounded by many mango trees giving a green look to the place.
From the entrance gate a path (a concrete road) leads to the "Vishalakshi Mantap" which is the focal point of AOL Ashram. On both sides of this path we can see many attractions. As we moved further on this path we saw a big "Reception " building, and "Vishala Canteen" which serves fast foods, chats, fresh fruit juices, fruit salads and more.All over the campus we can see many information boards on various programs of the Ashram and information centers to answer all your queries.
The Path which leads to Vishalakshi Mantap and information boards
Amphitheater :
We further walked down on the path to see the beautiful and big amphitheater. This amphitheater is lotus shaped, fully covered with green lawns and has seating capacity for more than twenty thousand people. In  the middle it has a stage made out of marble, beautiful pond and attractive fountains. On the border of amphitheater there are many mantap like structures adding more beauty to the amphitheater. Vishalakshi Mantap in the background makes it an enchanting site. This is the good venue for Ashram's Satsang and other cultural events. My son, Siddhant was very happy seeing this and started running all over the amphitheater. Enjoying with him we spent some time here.
View Of Amphitheater

As we moved further we saw some shops that sell Ayurveda products, arts n handicrafts, paintings, organic food items etc. One can also see Annapoorna Dining hall, Ashram Clinic, Krishna Kutir - Ayurvedic Panchakarma Center, Naadi Pariksha Centre,Goshala, the Divine shop which sells Ashram Publications, Bhajan CDs, Guruji's talks in Audio and Video Formats. AOL campus also has educational institutions like  Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth (VVMVP), Samskruta Paathashala, Shri Shri Ayurveda College and Shri Shri College for Media and Journalism. 
Vishalakshi Mantap :
The main attraction of the AOL campus is Vishalakshi Mantap, named after Guruji's mother Vishalakshi. This is a very big lotus shaped building and beautifully crafted architectural marvel. Lotus petals like structure add sheer beauty to the building. I was mesmerized after entering this building. Inside the Mantap one feels like all positive and spiritual energies come together. This wonderful edifice has an entirely white marble floor and pink colored lotus designs all over the roof. Mantap has elegant decoration and beautiful chandeliers. In the center of the mantap there is a big stage where a photo of Shri Guruji has been kept. A big photo of Guruji's mother Vishalakshi is also kept inside the mantap.

Inside view of Vishalakshi Mantap

Photo Of Guruji's mother Vishalakshi
We can also go to the other floors of Mantap and enjoy the beauty of craftsmanship. Inside 
the Mantap it was very peaceful and calm. Pillows, mats etc were kept inside the mantap for those who meditate and do yogasanas. Few people were meditating, few were relaxing,few were reading and few were sleeping. During Satsang this mantap will be crowded.

We went to the upper balcony of the Vishalakshi Mantap. This is an open air auditorium and the highest point in the Ashram. From here we can enjoy breathtaking view of the Ashram campus and surrounding areas. A glass dome tops this building with a magnificent Kalash. One will really fall in love with Vishalakshi Mantap.
View from the balcony
Vishalakshi Mantap - Illuminated With Light
Beautiful Statues:
Inside the Ashram there are many attractive and eye catching statues. These statues add beauty to the surrounding environment.
 >> Statue of Nandi at the entrance of the Vishalakshi Mantap overlooking the Guruji's photo
>> Two beautiful swan statues infront of Vishalakshi Mantap
>> Statue which resembles a dragon
>> Statue of meditating Buddha sitting on the lotus petals

As a visitor, I liked the AOL Center for following reasons -
>> Campus is clean and green. Greenery is well maintained everywhere and we can see all kinds of trees like Mango, Jackfruit, Coconut, Guava etc. Campus is filled with herbs, shrubs, lawns and flowering plants. 
>>Except parking fees we need not have to pay any other fees (like camera fees, entry fees etc..)to see the campus. 
>> No security checks anywhere and no irritating whistles of security guards.
>> We can click photos anywhere and can roam around the campus freely.
>> Campus is peaceful and one can meditate peacefully leaving all his/her tensions behind.
>> Children can happily play in the ground.
>> All the big and small buildings in the campus have lotus petals like structures giving an unique look to the campus. 
>> Urgent and important necessities like laundry, travel desk, an emergency clinic etc are running efficiently inside the campus. 
>> In the evening when entire campus is illuminated with colorful lights, campus looks like heaven and it takes you to the different world. 
People say AOL courses and sessions are costly but we have not enquired about those. AOL conducts free Ayurveda camps, health checkups, naadi pariksha (pulse testing) etc all over Karnataka and other places. Shri Shri Ravishankar Guruji has received many national and international awards and honors for his social work through Art Of Living.  
AOL is the must see tourist place in Bangalore and the perfect place for Relaxing, Refreshing and Rejuvenating.

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