KARNATAKA

'Mahamastakabhisheka' of Sri Bahubali from Feb. 16

KARKALA, (UDUPI DT.), DEC. 30. Preparations are being made for the ``Mahamastakabhisheka'' of Bhagwan Sri Bahubali, to be held at Karkala from February 16 to 26, 2002, Prof. Gunapal Kadamba of the Sri Bhagwan Sri Bahubali Swami Mahamastakabhisheka Committee, has said.

He told presspersons here on Sunday that religious and cultural programmes would be held during the 11-day Mahastakabhisheka, and nearly 30,000 persons were expected to visit Karkala every day. A temporary shelter to accommodate about 2,000 persons would be constructed at the Gommata Betta grounds, he said.

Prof. Kadamba said an exhibition with 100 stalls would be held on the grounds in front of the Jain Math. The stalls would display items connected with agriculture, culture, and tradition.

The Chief Minister, Mr. S.M. Krishna, would participate in the Mahamastakabhisheka on February 16, he added.

A ``Pravachana Mandira'', which could accommodate 1,000 persons at a time, was being constructed in Karkala at a cost of Rs. 80 lakh, he said. A dining hall would come up on the first floor of the mandira. The compound around the Bahubali idol would be removed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for the Mahamastakabhisheka. Closed-circuit T.V. would be installed to beam the ceremony, as only a limited number of people could be accommodated at the venue on the Gommata Betta, Prof. Kadamba added.

He said a wooden stage around Bhagwan Bahubali, to conduct the Mahamastakabhisheka, had been constructed at a cost of Rs. 7.5 lakh.

A website on Bahubali at Karkala would be launched shortly. It had been decided to make use of the Internet to contact more than 1.5 lakh members of the Jain community living in other countries, and give them details of the Mahamastakabhisheka. The website would contain details of the 1,000-pillar Basadi at Moodbidri, the Venkataramana Temple, the Anantashayana Temple, and the Ramasamudra Lake at Karkala, he added.

Prof. Kadamba said the Mahamastakabhisheka Committee would raise Rs. 30 lakh by selling ``kalashas'' to devotees. The money would be used for meeting the expenses of the Mahamastakabhisheka. The Government had released Rs. 20 lakh for the development of infrastructure in Karkala town, and it was expected to release an additional Rs. 30 lakh. The ASI was expected to take up the work of putting granite stones on the Gommata Betta shortly, he added.

Mr. S.A. Hegde, Dr. T.S. Kambli, Dr. B.J. Ballal, Mr. N.V. Bannu, and Mr. M.K. Vijaykumar, office-bearers of the committee, were present.

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