Karkala decks up for 'Mahamastakabhisheka'

Karkala decks up for 'Mahamastakabhisheka'

Karkala decks up for 'Mahamastakabhisheka'

Karkala town is gearing up for Mahamastakabhisheka - the head anointment ceremony of the 42-foot Bahubali statue from January 21 to 31. Preparations are on in full swing at the foothills of the Bahubali Betta.

The ritual, held once in 12 years for every Gomateshwara statue, is now taking place in Karkala for the monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali on the hilltop. The statue was installed in 1432. Arrangements have been made to accommodate lakhs of devotees and guests expected for the ceremony.

The Mahamastakabhisheka will begin with 108 ‘kalashas’ and 1008 ‘kalashas’ would be kept for poojas on the 10th day.

The ceremonial anointing is done from the top of the specially constructed scaffolding, wherein water from 1008 kalashas’ (pots) are poured over the statue as a purification rite. Following this, the ceremonial bathing begins with ‘jalabhisheka’ (pouring of water) and ‘ksheerabhisheka’ (milk from kalashas and large containers). This is followed by pouring of a large amount of rice powder. Next, the statue is anointed with coconut water and sugarcane juice (ikshu rasa). The monolith is then bathed with a liquid mixture of turmeric, Red Sanders and sandalwood.

Later, the statue is bathed with ‘kashaya,’ a concoction of ashtagandha (eight fragrant substances). This is followed lastly by a shower of flower petals. The ceremony ends with the washing of the Gomateshwara with the clear waters of the ‘poorna kumbhas’ and an arti of lamps.

Except for ‘ksheerabhisheka,’ all other abhishekas will be in the capacity of 300-500 litres, so as to wet the entire statue. Around 750 litres of milk is used for ‘ksheerabhisheka’.  

Speaking to mediapersons, Mahamastakabhisheka committee working president M N Rajendra Kumar said that a full-fledged transport system has been provided, including good roads. There will be special parking zones. The stretch of road connecting the hilltop to the foot of the hills has been made motorable. Facilities like drinking water and toilets have also been provided to the devotees.

As many as 35 acres of land is earmarked for parking. The space around the Bahubali statue has been kept open for the devotees to have an obstruction-free view of the rituals.

The rectangular shaped arena can accommodate 1,500 to 2,000 devotees at a time.
 Kumar said that healthcare arrangements had been made with mobile hospitals on the top and foot of the hill. He said hygiene and security were utmost priorities.