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Hundreds witness ‘Mastakabhisheka’ at Gomatagiri

Hundreds of pilgrims witnessed the colourful of 16-foot statue Gommateswara at Gomatagiri, 20 kms from Mysore, on October 23.

While preparations are going on for the famous Maha Mastakabhisheka of the 57-foot Gommateswara at the well-known Jain pilgrim centre, Sravanabelagola in Hassan district due in February 2006, the small Jain centre at Gomatagiri turned active bristling with pilgrims for the annual anointing ceremony.

The 56th annual Mastakabhiseka of the 600-year-old monolith statue atop the 100-foot hillock took place in the holy presence of Hombuja Jain Mutt head, Devendrakeerthi Bhattaraka Pattacharya Swamiji.

Holy water kept in 108 ‘kalashas’ or vessels and milk, sandal paste, honey and other items were poured on the statue as the pilgrims shouted in reverence, “Bahubali ki Jai.”

The chief guests, including Mysore MP Vijaya Shankar assured to help set up a cow shelter, police sub-station and hospital at the small township.

The organizing committee leaders said, if the 100-acre barren land around the hillock was handed over to the committee, the pilgrim centre could be developed as a big Jain centre, as Jain personalities and NRIs are ready to fund the projects.

The granite statue stands on the hillock having about 80 rock cut steps. It is visible from a distance. From atop the hillock, the backwaters of Krishnarajasagar reservoir provide an enchanting view. At the bottom, near the foothill, are located the ‘Padakoota’ of Neminatha, the 24th Jain Theerthankara, Kailasagiri and Jina Mandira. There are a few Jain Basadis near the hillock.

The 57-foot monolith statue at Sravanabelagola is the tallest statute of Bahubali, said to be the second tallest monolith statue in the world. There are smaller statues of Gommateswara at a few other Jain pilgrim centres in Karnataka, including Gommatagiri.

The Sravanabelagola Gommateswara stands on 470 feet Vindhyagiri hillock. It was carved in 981 A.D. by Chamundaraya, Minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla. A flight of about 500 steps carved out of the hillock rocks leads to the statue. The hillock has a number of historic temples.

Priests pour 1,008 pots of holy water and 15 other offerings like coconut water, almonds, dates, milk curds, vermilon mixed water, ghee, sandal, flowers and coins, standing on a specially erected wooden scaffolding from behind the statue. Tourists and Jain pilgrims come from all over the world come to witness the grand event, conducted generally once in 12 years. This time it is being celebrated in February 2006, lasting for a couple of days.

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