It is a once in 12 year event where in the head of the statue of Gomateshwara will be anointed. Preparations are well underway and approximately 20 lakhs or 2 million devotees are expected to witness this ceremony that begins on January 22nd and goes on till February 19th, 2006.
The town of Shravanabelagola is located 110 kms from Bangalore and one can certainly make a day trip as I did. The statue of Gomateshwara Bhagwaan Bahubali is located atop Vindhyagiri mountain and is 57 feet and the tallest monolithic statue in the world. There are 650 steps to the top and is certainly not for the weak hearted. Fortunately there are people who will carry you on a cane chair for a nominal fee of Rs130. Even that is an experience because at certain places the incline is so steep, it could unnerve you.
Once I was on top of the mountain, view was simply breathtaking as you will see from the pictures. Also it was very evident that preparations were going on for the upcoming Mahothsava.
The statue of Gomateshwara is 1026 years old and is worshipped by The Jain community.
Author: Dr. K. B. Mallya- Canada