The chanting of ‘Bahubali ki jai’ by thousands of devotees rent the air as the 64th Mastakabhisheka was performed to the 18-foot statue of Gomateshwara at Gomatagiri in Bilikere hobli in Hunsur taluk today.

Large number of devotees and tourists had gathered to offer puja at the annual religious event which is organised by Gomatagiri Srikshethra Seva Samithi, whose office is on Sriharsha Road in city.

The rituals began at around 9.30 am with jalabhisheka (bathing with water). It was followed by mastakabhisheka (anointing) in the noon, which included various rituals using water, tender coconut water, turmeric, vermilion, sandalwood paste, kashaya, ashtagandha and ksheerabhisheka (milk). Paddy, sugar and flowers were also offered to the statue at the masthakabhisheka by senior priest Parshwanath, who was assisted by 10 other priests.

Jain seer Sri Devendrakeerthi Bhattaraka Pattacharya Varya graced the occasion in which the chathuskona kalasha and poornakumbha were auctioned. The family which purchased the kalashas by bidding the highest amount, offered them at the feet of Gommateshwara.

A large screen was erected at the Jain Mutt opposite the idol to facilitate the devotees to view the puja rituals. Also, Dr. Prabha Mandal, President of Sri Kshethra Seva Samithi, delivered a lecture on adolescent problems in children.

Apart from the annual event, a large number of tourists also visit Gommatagiri as the 18-foot statue made of granite resembles the mega monolithic structure in Shravanabelagola in Hassan district. Small domes built near the statue known as ‘Theerthankara Paadagalu’ attract many devotees as they are found only in Kolkata apart from here.

Samithi office-bearers Dr. M.V. Shantha Kumar, S.N. Padma Prasad, Nagamala Shripal and others were present.

Vendors selling eatables, soft drinks, toys and knick-knacks had a field day at the venue which very much resembled a big and colourful fair with many makeshift stalls erected.

The KSRTC had introduced several special buses from Mysore and from Hunsur for the occasion. The Bilikere Police had provided tight security.

There is anxiety among the locals about the safety of the statue which is erected on a boulder because of quarrying in the neighbouring areas.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore