ASI's new line of steps to help devotees ascend Vindhyagiri hill easily

ASI's new line of steps to help devotees ascend Vindhyagiri hill easily

Stairs for palanquin-bearers to be ready before Mahamastakabhisheka

The Archaeological Survey of India is building a new line of steps for devotees opting for ‘doli’ or palanquin service to climb Vindhyagiri at Shravanabelagola during Bahubali Mahamastakabhisheka in February 2018.

The steps are being built at a cost of Rs 42 lakh. The works got a boost after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched various development works at Shravanabelagola for the Mahamastakabhisheka. Works have since been expedited so as to complete it on time.

Jain Mutt Seer Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji said that with the number of devotees increasing every year, more than three lakh people are expected to visit the shrine everyday during Mahamastakabhisheka.

The huge rush hinders movement of those who carry devotees on doli. As permission for setting up a rope car was denied due to various reasons, a new line of steps are being built, he said.

The Muzrai department has since been executing the plan of constructing a separate pathway comprising 400 steps for those who prefer palanquin service to climb the hill and have already completed sculpting 242 steps in the last three months.

The monolith statue of Bahubali atop Vindhyagiri at Shravanabelagola attracts hordes of tourists every year. More than one crore people are expected to visit the shrine during the Mahamastakabhisheka and arrangements are being made to ensure that devotees are not inconvenienced.

The hill already has steps at three places for those who climb it on foot and the ongoing construction will be the fourth one. There are two separate line of steps for devotees to climb and get down on the north side of the hill. The new line of steps are close to the existing line and workmen from Tamil Nadu are working to complete it. Another line of steps are located on the Western-end which is used once in 12 years during the Mahamastakabhisheka.

Labourers Velu and Pandu said a team of 10 people work from 6 am to 6 pm every day and 242 steps have been constructed and the remaining works will be completed within two months.

The first line of steps at Vindhyagiri was built in the year 1910 during the first Mahamastakabhisheka of the 20th century while the second row of steps was built in 1967 on the West side and used only during the Mahamastakabhisheka time and the third line was constructed in 1981 during Sahasrabidha Mahamastakabhisheka.
DH News Service