Shravanabelagola (Hassan District, Karnataka), 8th February 2018: President Ram Nath Kovind launched the festivities to mark the 88th Mahamasthakabhisheka (grand bath) celebrations of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola in Hassan district on Wednesday.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah and other dignitaries too took part in the inaugural celebrations. The mahamasthakabhisheka or the anointing ceremony of the 57-foot-high granite statute of Lord Gommateshwara takes place once in 12 years.
In his remarks, the president said: “Samyak Darshan, Samyak Gyan and Samyak Charitra are known as the three gems of Jain philosophy. These are relevant for the entire world. The path of universal welfare can be paved by peace, non-violence, fraternity, morality and sacrifice.”
The actual Mahamasthakabhisheka or the religious festivities will begin on Februrary 17 and end on February 26. The government has made elaborate arrangements as it expects about 35 to 40 lakh devotees to visit the place, considered one of the holiest by members of the Jain community across the world.
“The president is satisfied with the arrangements we have made. The place is wearing a festive look,“ Rakesh Singh, Special Officer for the celebrations, told ET. “The government has created infrastructure by spending about ₹200 crore, and built 12 temporary townships to provide accommodation for about 16,000 people. The work on infrastructure is almost complete,“ he said. Food is provided by the Jain mutt in Shravanabelagola.
The place looks extremely clean, Singh, who is also the BDA commissioner said. The Mahamasthakabhisheka celebrations is being overseen by a state-level committee headed by Hassan district incharge minister A Manju and MLA K Abhayachandra.
The government has shipped about 2,500 kg of sandalwood powder to Shravanabelagola for the rituals associated with the religious events. The event organisers have bought 2,000 kg of sandalwood powder from Karnataka State Forest Industries Corporation (KSFIC) and the rest from the Karnataka Soaps & Detergents (KS&DL).
About 2,000 kg of sandalwood powder is from the outer girth of the tree and hence has cost ₹240 a kg. This will be mixed with 500 kg of powder which is sourced from the kernel of the sandalwood, and costs about ₹5,000 kg. “We have already facilitated transportation of sandalwood powder for the grand event,“ said, N Ravindra Kumar, Assistant Conservator of Forests. – News & Image Courtesy: Times of India