Mahamastakabhisheka, an extravagant religious celebration hosted at Shravanabelagola, is a Jain event conducted to venerate Bahubali and other Jain deities. During the event, devotees from across the world pour milk on the giant monolithic statue of Gomateshwara on the second day of the 88th Mahamastakabhisheka. The ceremony organized every 12 years, now enjoys an important space in Karnataka tourism with its mass participation. It is believed that the sculptor of the statue Chaundaraya performed this holy bathing of the deity on March 13, in 981 AD, Hence the same is followed for centuries. The last time the Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsava took place in 2018, and the next would be in the year 2030.
In Mahamastakabhisheka, 108 different kalashas are poured over the statue on an opening day, with an additional 100 being added in the coming days. On the main day of the festival, holy water is sprinkled upon the devotees who carry 1008 pots of various items like tender coconut, milk, sugarcane juice, turmeric paste, jaggery, sandalwood, saffron, vermilion, holy water, and a variety of fresh flowers. The devotees are then asked to carry the pots to the top of the statue climbing 650 steps, in order to shower the idol and chant mantras. At times, silver and gold coins also make offerings to the deity. The whole ceremony is completed in a time period of around 10 hours.
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