President inaugurates Mahamastabhisheka
Shravanabelagola, Karnataka: President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 'Mahamastabhisheka' (grand consecration) celebrations of the Bahubali Gomateshwara statue, held once in 12 years and an important Jain festival here on Wednesday.
The historic event in hassan district reverberated with festival mood as tens of thousands of the community thronged the hillock. All roads lead to the atonement the Gomateshwara statue.
Governor Vajubhai R Vala, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, were among others who attended the ceremony.
Acharya Vardhamana Sagarji Maharaj, saint Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami of Jain Mutt here and Veerendra Heggade of Dharmasthala were present on the occasion.
The head-anointing ceremony of the Bahubali Gomateshwara statue atop Vindhyagiri here began with religious programmes with President inaugurating the mega that is expected to attract four million faithfuls till it ends on February 26.
The rituals, which began with the Pancha Kalyana Mahotsava, in five stages signifies the five phases in the life of Bahubali, who renounced his kingdom and attained nirvana for World peace and ended wars among the kings of the Hindu Kingdom. Hundreds of tyagis,who have come from different parts of the country, will hold the
From February 12 to 15, Pancha Parameshthi Aradhana will be held. A grand procession has been scheduled for February 16. The next day, the anointing ceremony begins atop Vindhyagiri. The ceremony includes holy bath of the 58.8 feet monolithic Gomateshwara statue with water, coconut water, turmeric paste, vermilion powder,
sugarcane juice, milk, sandal paste and flowers.
On the first day, 108 kalashas (holy vessels) will be used, while on the remaining days, abhisheka includes 1,008 kalashas each.
Lakhs of people from across the country are expected to visit Shravanabelagola to take part in the fest, to anoint the 17-metre high mighty statue of Bahubali, a Jain spiritual leader. The ancient town is also home to about 500 rock inscriptions, protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made with thousands of pilgrims visiting the town.
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