Bengaluru (Karnataka), June 29, 2016: The Government of Karnataka has agreed to release an amount of Rs. 570 crores (about USD 8.4 Mn) for the Mahamasthakabhisheka Mahotsava celebrations of Lord Bahubali at Shravanabelagola to be held in February 2018. This was finalised at a high level preperatory meeting convened at the conference hall in Vidhana Soudha under the chairmanship of Sri Siddaramaiah the chief minister of Karnataka.
Over 30 Lakhs (3 million) devotees and tourists are estimated to attend the event. The meeting reivewed the preperations for the event in detail. The Government officials presented the detailed project report. It is estimated that an amount of Rs. 570 crores will be needed to improve the infrastructure, roads, bus stands, provide temporary accommodation, construction of scafolding behind the Bahubali idol and social welfare schemes in and around Shravanabelagola. About 700 acres of land will be acquired temporarily to provide accommodation facilities to about 18 thousand people. Crop loss & damage to land compensation will also have to be given to farmers whose lands will be acquired for the event. The public works department (PWD) will be spending an amount of Rs. 400 Crores for accommodation facilities, VVIP guest houses & repair of roads. Rs. 20 crores has been earmarked for improvement of rural roads, Rs. 2 Crores for construction & maintenance of public toilets, Rs. 3 Crores for maintaining cleanliness. It is planned to deploy around 1,200 Government busses for the event. The government bus stand at Shravanabelagola will be upgraded and transformed to be a hi-tech bus stand.
Constructing the Scafolding – President of the state Government’s committee for the event and Hassan district incharge minister Sri A.Manju mentioned that they will need about an year to build the scafolding needed for anointing the 58.8 feet high Bahubali idol. Since the idol is located on a hillock all the required building material will have to be transported manually and cannot use any equipments.
Ministers from the Government of Karnataka – Sri Ramesh Kumar, Kagodu Thimmappa, Priyank Kharge, Umashri, Tanvir Seth, Roshan Baig, H.C.Mahadevappa and D.K.Shivakumar attended the meeting.
Representatives from Jain Community – The national president of the event Smt Sarita Mahendra Jain, working president Sri S.Jitendra Kumar, general secretary Sri Satish Jain (SCJ plastic), member of the Karnataka legislative assembly Sri Sanjay Patil, former minister and member of the Karnataka legislative council Sri Veerakumar Patil, Vinod Bakliwal and president of Shravanabelagola Jain samaj represented Jain community at the meeting.
Photo of Nehru & Indira Gandhi’s visit to Shravanabelagola were presented to the Siddaramaiah by the Jain community during the meeting.
The state government will also be requesting the union government of India to grant funds to Archeological Survey of India (ASI) for renovation of the monuments at Shravanabelagola and surrounding places of Archeological importance.
Jitendra Kumar Thanks Govt. of Karnataka – Speaking to Nitin H.P., executive director of www.jainheritagecentres.com (JHC) Sri S.Jitendrakumar executive president of the event explained the proceedings of the meeting and thanked the Government of Karnataka and chief minister Siddaramaiah for granting funds towards the mahamastakabhisheka celebrations.
About Mahamasthakabhisheka – Mahamasthakabhisheka is the head anointing ceremony that is performed to the idol of Lord Bahubali at Shravanabelagola once in 12 years and devotees from world over flock to witness the event. The event will be held under the guidance of His Holiness Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji, the pontiff of Shravanaelagola Jain Mutt. The revered Jain ascetic 108 Sri Vardhaman Sagarji Maharaj and hundreds of other Jain ascetics will grace the event. It can be recalled here that the previous edition of the event was held in 2006, the then president of India Sri A.P.J.Abdul Kalam had inaugurated the event. In 1981, the 1000th year of Lord Bahubali’s installation the then prime minister of India Smt Indira Gandhi had witnessed the mahamasthakabhisheka. – Inputs from Nitin H.P. & Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)