Maha Mastakabhisheka, Shravanabelagola
A ritual and a celebration that has no parallel anywhere in the world is the grand Mahamastakabhisheka that takes place in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka. It happens once in 12 years and is a grand spectacle that people wait for with bated breath.Mahamastakabhisheka is the abhisheka or anointment of the massive statue of Gomateshwara also known as Bahubali that stands atop the Vindhyagiri Hill in....
A ritual and a celebration that has no parallel anywhere in the world is the grand Mahamastakabhisheka that takes place in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka. It happens once in 12 years and is a grand spectacle that people wait for with bated breath.Mahamastakabhisheka is the abhisheka or anointment of the massive statue of Gomateshwara also known as Bahubali that stands atop the Vindhyagiri Hill in the town of Shravanabelagola of Hassan District, Karnataka. The last Mahamastakabhishekha, which was the 88th, took place in the year 2018, and the next one is to happen in the year 2030.There are many stories as to why the Mahamastakabhisheka happens every 12 years, however, the most plausible one suggests that this is because the Gomateshwara statue took 12 years to be completed.
All roads seem to lead to Shravanabelagola during the Mahamastakabhisheka, about a million visitors propelled by faith and reverence swarm up the steep path that leads to the top of the Vindhyagiri hills, where stands the humongous statue of Bahubali that towers to a height of 57 feet. The monolithic statue is believed to be one of its kind in the world and dates back to the year 981 AD.The Mahasmatakabhishekha celebrations are a fitting tribute to the legendary Bahubali. It is a ritual that has been mounted on a magnificent and massive scale every 12 years since 981 AD. Massive scaffoldings are mounted on the mammoth statue of Gomateshwara in preparation for the anointment. The Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations are spread over a week and culminate with the grand Mahamastakabhisheka.
1008 Kalashas, pots of holy water, are placed at the feet of the Gomateshwara statue and then carried by devotees up the scaffolding. The water is then poured on the idol to the accompaniment of sacred chants. The statue is then anointed sequentially with coconut water, sugarcane juice, sandalwood paste, Vermilion and different types of flowers, gold, silver, and precious stones are also offered to Lord Bahubali by ardent devotees.
The Mahamastakabhisheka is one of the important celebrations of Jains, it attracts people from across the globe. Some are drawn by faith, some by curiosity, and many flock to Shravanabelagola just to have a glimpse of the grand spectacle.
The Mahamastakabhisheka in Shravanabelagola is indeed one of the grandest and most surreal spectacles on the planet. It makes for a once in a lifetime experience that leaves visitors with a bagful of memories to relive again and again.
What You Should Not Miss At The Mahamastakabhisheka
1. Abhisheka of water that is poured over the 57 feet tall Gomateshwara
2. Anointment of the statue with sandalwood paste, vermilion, milk, curds, etc.
3. Distribution of holy water of the 1008 Kalashas to devotees
4. Showering of the statue of Gomateshwara with flower petals
How to reach
The nearest airport is Bengaluru International Airport,
which is 165 KMs away.
The nearest convenient railway station is Shravanabelagola Railway Station (SBGA),
which is 5 KMs away.
The nearest major city is Shravanabelagola Bus Station,
which is 5KMs away.