Bellur is a small town located in the south of India in the state of Karnataka, 60 km from Bangalore.
Bellur had an important role in the Indian mythology. In the Mahābhārata epic poem, Kunti (Pandavas mother) spent some time in this town. It is also said that Sir Shiva appeared here. Remains from old temples, more than one thousand years old and with wood carved sculptures, are still conserved in the small town.
Over the centuries, the town approached a dilapidated state from a social and economic point of view. To improve the well-being of its residents, Guruji has created Bellur Krishnamachar Sesham Smaraka Niddhi Trust. The goal of this foundation is to improve the social and economic status of the town and its surrounding villages. The first work to be carried out by the foundation was to supply Bellur with drinking water by building a storage tank.
The primary education school was built by Guruji in 1967, and still now, it is the only one in the town. It began with 80 students. Currently, it has courses from year 1 to year 7. With the passing of the years, Guruji proposed and set up the construction of a great room in the school where students have the opportunity to practice yoga under the guidance of an Iyengar teacher. Nowadays, there are regular classes twice per week.
Thanks to the Bellur foundation a secondary education school has been built. Initially, the school was meant to be only for girls, but later they decided to change to a mixed institution. Bellur Trust defrays school equipment expenses, uniforms and free food at noon for every student; it also pays the teachers.
Since 2004, Bellur hosts the first temple dedicated to sage Patañjali, who codified and immortalized yoga about 2,500 years ago. To us, yoga practitioners, it is a really important event. Nowadays, many yoga sādhakas have in their houses or sādhanas a statue of the sage. However, oddly enough, there was no temple dedicated to him until a few years ago. The project, the construction and the maintenance of the temple has been defrayed by the person who has rekindled the art of yoga in our time, our loved Guruji. And the place chosen to build the temple could not be other than the one where he planted the seed of yoga, his birthplace: Bellur.
During the month of December 2006, the new hospital was opened, not only looking after Bellur people but also those from the surroundings.
But Bellur Trust projects are even wider:
It is intended to build and equip a technical school and a nursery school. This last project has a special significance because of the high demand of nurses in India, and the women from this area barely have career opportunities.
The foundation has bought a 3-hectare land, where they are setting a small industry of local craftworks. Some of the land will be used to plant several flowers such as roses which will then be commercialized.
Bellur Trust currently has the economic support from many IYENGAR® Yoga practitioners from all over the world to carry out these projects. The estimation for these projects to be finished is between two to four years.
In summary, this is the marvelous and progressive transformation of a small town which will probably become an important pilgrimage destination for all yoga practitioners worldwide.
Our Master has sent a personal letter to the Association where he expresses his gratitude for our contribution to these projects.
ES13 2100 3450 25 2200061710 – LA CAIXA
BIC (SWIFT Code): CAIXESBBXXX
Beneficiary: ASOCIACIÓN ESPAÑOLA DE YOGA IYENGAR
Concept: PROYECTO BELLUR