Shravanabelagola, November 8, 2005: The Mahamasthakabhisheka National Committee reviewed the progress of the various preparations undertaken for the Mahamasthakabhisheka Mahotsava – 2006 of Lord Bahubali at its second two day meeting. Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji the pontiff of the Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt spoke in detail about the various projects undertaken. He informed that the works related to providing basic infrastructural facilities for the pilgrims and tourists would be completed by Jan 15th, 2006. He further informed that the mahotsava would be inaugurated on Jan 22nd, 2006 and hoped that the president of India would be present on the occasion. He also informed the members of the national committee about the interest generated in India and abroad about the event. He said that a request has been sent to the Government of Karnataka to declare Feb 8th, 2006 the first day of the Mahamasthakabhisheka as a general holiday so as to enable more people to participate in the event. Further he informed the gathering that more than two Digambar Jain tyagis would be present on the occasion.
Special Stamp: As released during the 1981 edition of the event, the Swamiji hoped that the postal department of the government of India would release a special stamp to commemorate the event during 2006.
Cultural Programmes: Speaking on the cultural programmes planned for the event he informed that programmes focusing the Jaina and Bharatiya Sanskriti would be organised.
Accommodation: He informed that work for providing permanent accommodation to the pilgrims is under progress and informed that the work of the guest house with more than 400 rooms is under progress. He further informed that the work is under progress at five satellite towns for providing temporary accommodation. The various satellite towns (Nagars) planned on the occasion are Kalasha Nagar (For the Kalasha holders), Yatri Nagar (For the pilgrims), Tyagi Nagar (for the Jain ascetics), Services Colony – Government (For Government Officials) and Services colony – Volunteers (for 1500 volunteers).
Scaffolding Work: Detailing out the scaffolding behind erected behind the statue of Lord Bahubali he said that work is under progress and said that a lift would be incorporated as a part of the scaffolding so as to enable the aged and disabled people in performing the abhisheka.
Library: He informed the members that construction work of the library undertaken by the Government of Karnataka at a cost of Rs. 1.5 Crores is under progress and said that library would be literary of all forms.
Sub Committees: Sri Charukeerthiji informed the members of the National Committee that 31 sub committees have been constituted so as to enable the smooth functioning of various works. The presidents and conveners of various sub committees presented their reports to the members and a detailed deliberation was held on the reports.
Dr.D.Veeerendra Hegde of Dharmasthala, the chief patron of the Mahotsava; Sri Naresh Kumar Sethi the Honorary president; Sri Nirmal Kumar Sethi the Reception President; Sri A.R.Nirmal Kumar Working President spoke ont he occasion. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)