Mahamasthaka abhisheka – Bahubali statue Shravanabelagola

The first among the seven wonders in India, the largest monolithic statue in the world, attracting thousands of tourists every day is the statue of Gommateswara or Bahubali installed in the place called Shravanabelagola. You can reach this place which is at 51 km to the south of the state center Hassan in Karnataka. The place is at a distance of 83 kms from Mysore and 158 kms from Bangalore.

statue

The statue stands as the testimony for the religion Jainism which was predominantly followed before 10th century AD in Karnataka as a Digambara Monastic Tradition. The place has seen many dynasties right from Ganga Kings, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara Empire and finally the Royal Mysore House Wodaiyars. Sharavanabelagola is actually on two hills called Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. The Mourya King Chandragupta Mourya is believed to have spent his last days here leading an ascetic life. There are eight temples in these two hills built by different Kings during different centuries. This place finds mentions in various Historic records with its more than 800 inscriptions illustrating the growth of Kannada Language and Literature.

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The 58 feet tall Gommateswarar statue, installed in the 981 AD by the then King Chavundaraya to honor his mother, stands on the hill Vindhyagiri with lot of inscriptions in the Devanagari script on its base. The Lord is called as “Bahubali” by Jains. There has been a wonderful tradition of anointing this huge statue every twelve years. From the inscriptions, we come to know that the anointing festival called “Mahamasthaka Abhisheka” took place for the first time in 1398 AD and recently it was in 2006. So , the entire Karnataka and people living abroad following Jainism are eagerly looking forward the next anointing ceremony in 2018. The next Maha Masthaka Abhisheka (Maha – Big, Masthaka – Head, Abhisheka – Anointing) falls on February 21st 2018. The events related to this have  already started and the next event is between August 11th and August 13th, 2017, titled as All India Jain Women Conference.

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The anointing festival is formally inaugurated on February 7th , 2018 with the religious rituals performed by the Pontiffs in Jainism. The actual celebration falls on February 21st, 2018. Lakhs of devotees from across the world will be attending this festival and the Prime Minister of the country with the other VVIPs from the state and central will be witnessing the ceremonies. The huge statue will be anointed with water, turmeric, rice flower, sugar cane juice, sandalwood paste, saffron, gold and Silver flowers.

Come and join us in witnessing the world’s largest free-standing statue being anointed and get the blessings of Lord Bahubali.

The Best Places to Visit in memorable South India

South India comprises Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Each state has its own unique traditions, culture, history and art, and for a traveller, the region is a repository of unique, memorable and enriching experiences. Here we touch upon some of the best places to visit.
South India

Kerala

We couldn’t possibly choose just one place in Kerala to visit, given that each and every place that make this south Indian state hold their own beautiful and unique appeal, worthy of a visit. The state is a beautiful natural marvel, fit with blissful backwaters; tea, spice and coffee plantations, gorgeous beaches, diverse wildlife, and memorable golden sunsets. It also has a well-preserved cultural, art and historical heritage, which beckons art aficionados and history buffs. Plus, it’s also a gem for outdoor sports, with wildlife safari, backwater cruising, trekking, bamboo rafting and water sports as the most popular ventures. The must-visit places in Kerala include Munnar, Wayanad, Fort Kochi, Varkala, and Alleppey.

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Coorg (Kodagu)

Dubbed the ‘Scotland of India’, Coorg is a popular hill station among locals and travelers, and with good reason. The picturesque landscape encompassing acres of spice and coffee plantations, scenic waterfalls, mountains, lakes and enthralling trekking trails make it a haven for nature lovers and trekkers, while the lush forests harbor diverse flora and fauna, which beckons wildlife explorers from across the country.

Hampi

UNESCO designated Hampi a World Heritage Site owing to its magnificent architectural and historical significance. It is the place where the visitors can explore the remnants of one of the greatest empires of the past, the Vijaynagara empire. There are ancient temples, dilapidated forts, huge boulders and monoliths that continue to enthrall wandering visitors.

Gandikota

Gandikota is one of the beautiful villages in Andhra Pradesh and is arguably the one that has a unique appeal. Sure, each place in South India has something special to offer, but how many of them have a Grand Canyon? Labelled as ‘India’s Hidden Grand Canyon’, Gandikota is carved by the Penna River that flows through the Erramala hills in Andhra. The best way to explore this scenic spot is via a hike, which isn’t an easy one, but the unbeatable views and scenery that await top are worth the effort. It is surely one place that you’ll never forget.

Mysore (Mysuru)

Nestled at the foothills of Chamundi hills in Karnataka, Mysore is famous for its majestic Mysore Palace, which is among the grandest palaces in the country. It is a beautiful compendium that opens up the pages of Mysore’s grand history. Be there until the evening time as the entire palace is illuminated with nearly 100,000 lamps – truly a sight to behold! You can also check out the stunning Jagmohan Palace, where you can see South India’s exquisite artwork and artifacts. For nature lovers, a visit to Brindavan Gardens (botanical garden) and Karanaji Lake (largest lake in the state) is a must.

Madurai

Known as the hub of Tamil culture and learning, Madurai is an ancient city that is over 4,000 years old. It is worth visiting this place for one reason, and one reason alone – the Meenakshi temple that is as old as the city. Dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi (an incarnation of Parvati), the temple stands out with its stunning Dravidian architecture, complete with intricately designed 14 gopurams (gateway towers), sculpted pillared halls and colorful sculptures depicting the mythological tales and scenes from Hindu texts. The 17th-century Tirumalai Nayak Palace, the 19th-century Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Velachery Pottery Village and Gandhi Memorial Museum are other highlights.

Kodaikanal

Brimming with tea plantations, scenic lakes, gushing waterfalls and lush forests, Kodaikanal is a delight for photographers and nature lovers alike. Throw in a plenty of recreational activities, such as forest walks, rock climbing, trekking and boating, and Kodaikanal is a perfect place for adventure enthusiasts, as well. The Kodai lake, Guna Caves, Berijam lake, the Silver Cascades Waterfall and Kodaikanal Solar Observatory are particular highlights.

Gokarna

A tiny coastal town in Karnataka, Gokarna is often overshadowed by its neighbor Goa but has plenty to offer in its own right. There are pristine beaches, such as Gokarna beach, Om beach, Paradise Beach and Half Moon beach, where visitors can relax and stroll in peace and quiet, or get active with water sports, such as snorkeling, parasailing and banana boat rides. The town will appeal to spiritual seekers to boot; it is home to many ancient temples, such as the Mahabaleshwar temple and the Maha Ganpati temple.

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Bangalore

The Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore (Bengaluru) is booming with life, complete with cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, gardens, amusement parks, shops, museums and temples. Sights worth visiting include the Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, ISKCON temple, Bannerghatta National Park, Lal Bagh (botanical garden), the Bangalore Palace, Wonderla (amusement park), Cubbon Park, Government Museum and Commercial street (shopping).