Karnataka government has sought Rs 500 crore grant from the union government for the Mahamastakabhisheka, the once in 12-year head anointing ceremony of monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali, to be held in February 2018 at Shravanabelagola in the state. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has made this request to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley through a letter that also invites him for the event. “…We request for a grant of Rs 500 crore to the Government of Karnataka, for organising the upcoming Mahamasthakabhisheka at Shravanabelagola during February 2018,” Siddaramaiah has said in his letter.
He said “This grant shall be used judiciously tocreate temporary and permanent infrastructure like roads,water supply, shelters temporary accommodation, which could be used by the devotees, dignitaries and tourists thronging the place during and after the Mahamasthakabhisheka.”
Pointing out that in the last edition of Mahamasthabhisheka, the Central Government (through the then Planning Commission) granted Rs 90 crores, he said successive union governments had accorded top priority to this site of cultural heritage and unconditionally supported the state government to preserve and promote Shravanabelagola.
The 58-feet tall monolithic statue of Gomrnateshwara Bahubali, located on Vindyagiri Hills at Shravanabelagola, is one of the most important tirthas (pilgrimage destinations) in Jainism.
Mahamasthakabhisheka or the head anointing ceremony of Gommateshwara is performed once in every twelve years in Jain dharmic cycle as per the traditions.
The ceremony last held in Shravanabelagola in February 2006, was the 87th of the series that commenced in the year 981 AD.
Siddaramaiah also said the funds shall also be used to take up various projects like preserving the hills, setting up a higher seat of education for Prakrit languages, creating a library and research center for historians.
Noting that various activities for increasing awareness on Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri hills and the spreading the story of Bahubali shall be undertaken as a part of the event, he said “We also propose a modern light and Sound show which could narrate these stories to the younger generation very effectively and better.
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