Shravanabelagola, January 29, 2006: Digambara Jain Mutt Pontiff Swasthi Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji has convened a meeting of Government officials on Monday to review the preparedness in Shravanabelagola, especially in the areas of sanitation and medical emergency, with only Nine days left for the biggest draw of the celebrations, the Mahamastakabhisheka of Bhagwan Bahubali beginning February 8. Lakhs of devotees and tourists are expected to converge on this pilgrim township by them.
Addressing media persons on Sunday, the Swamiji said the meeting would review preparedness on various fronts and added that while nearly 90 percent of the sanitation works were complete; there was a need to review the medical emergency preparedness inclusive of air and water pollution. Further, the organizers have not been able to meet the demand for accommodation with the demand exceeding expectations even after provisions have been made for the stay of as many as 30, 000 persons.
This apart, the Swamiji said everything was going on smooth as planned with the co-operation of the authorities plugging all the loopholes noticed, since the inauguration of the celebrations on January 22 by President APJ Abdul Kalam. The Mutt has been able to provide free food to all the visitors since January 22 and has been successful in
meeting the burgeoning demand.
Expressing happiness at the resounding success of the two-day Mathru Vandana Programme, which concluded on Sunday, the Swamiji said it was an experimental programme held for the first time during Mahamastakabhisheka and organized solely by the Jain Mahila Sanghas of Karnataka with the assistance of the Mutt. The programme was a homage paid to Kalaladevi, the mother of Chavundaraya, who got the huge Bahubali monolith atop Vindhyagiri sculpted.
The Swamiji said Acharya Shantisagar Memorial Hall would be inaugurated by Acharya Vardhamana Sagar on February One and on the same day a sliver chariot will be offered to Bhagawan Bahubali. A grand Mahamastakabhisheka procession would circle the Vindhyagiri hills and the Shravanabelagola town on February 5 as a part of the celebrations. The Vice President Mr.Bhaireon Singh Shekhawat will participate in the Panchakalyana celebrations on February 6. However, the visit of Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh and Congress President Ms.Sonia Gandhi were yet to be confirmed. The Mutt was yet to receive information regarding the visit of Railway Minister Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav either.
On President APJ Abdul Kalam’s suggestion that Shravanabelagola should develop as a research centre, the Swamiji said the Mutt was acting on it and working toward elevating the Prakruth Research Institute into a deemed university.
The Swamiji said Vindhyagiri makes a beautiful spectacle after sunset owing to the illumination of the hills which is underway and with the illumination of the steps up the hill and some of the structures on top already complete. – Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)