The anointment of the Nandi at Chamundi Hills took place here on Sunday.
Witnessed by nearly 3,000 people including tourists and devotees, this was the seventh annual anointment to the statue performed by a group of volunteers called Bettada Balaga.
The anointment ceremony entailed bathing Nandi from head to toe with milk, tender coconut water, ashtagandha, chandana, kumkum, coins, flowers and fruits .
The pre-event rituals were performed by priests who chanted hymns in the presence of Suttur Seer Shivaratri Deshikendra Swami and other seers who blessed the proceedings which commenced at 10.30 a.m. and culminated around noon.
Describing the genesis of the new tradition in the making, Naveen, a member of Bettada Balga, told The Hindu that the group members wished to do something for the Chamundi Hills from which they reap so much benefit and hence decided to initiate anointment of the statue of Nandi.
The anointment ritual entails usage of ghee and other ingredients as advised by traditional sculptures and helps lend lustre and sheen to the statue which is otherwise neglected, according to the Bettada Balaga group.
The monolithic statue of Nandi is reckoned to be around 350 years old and measures about 15 feet in height.
“We drew inspiration from the Suttur seer who urged us to do something for the Chamundi Hills and the Nandi,” said Mr. Naveen who pointed out that they spent around Rs. 1 lakh.
The money spent on the anointment was entirely through contributions from volunteers and devotees, he added.
The Bettada Balaga group — comprising a few citizens who regularly go up the Chamundi Hills for jogging or morning walk and came together for the purpose — intends to carry forward the tradition in a bid to make it an annual event.
The 15-foot monolithic statue of Nandi is 350 years gold Money for the event raised through contributions
The 15-foot monolithic statue of Nandi is 350 years gold
Money for the event raised through contributions