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Shravanbelgola Gomateshvara head and torso.jpg
Anointing of Gommateshwara
Also called Translation: Head Anointing of Gommateshwara
Observed by Jains
Type Religious
Significance Completion of the statue of Gommateshwara
Celebrations Anointing the statue of Gommateshwara with milk, saffron, flowers, etc.
Observances Prayers, Religious rituals
Date Decided by the luni-solar Jain calendar
close up of the head of Gommateshvara, the 17.8 m monolith of Bahubali, ca 978–993 AD, at Shravanabelagola, India, being anointed with saffron every 12 years by thousands of devotees as part of the Mahamastakabhisheka festival, 2002.

The Mahamastakabhisheka is an important Jain festival held once every twelve years in the town of Shravanabelagola in Karnataka, India. The festival is held in veneration of a 17.3736 metres (57.000 ft) high statue of the siddha Bahubali. The anointing last took place in 2006, and the next ceremony is going to take place in 2018.[1]


As the Mahamasthakabhisheka begins, consecrated water is sprinkled onto the participants by devotees carrying 1,008 specially prepared vessels. The statue is then bathed and anointed with libations such as milk, sugarcane juice, and saffron paste, and sprinkled with powders of sandalwood, turmeric, and vermilion. Offerings are made of petals, gold and silver coins, and precious stones. Most recently, the ceremony's finale has included an enormous shower of flowers from a waiting helicopter. This event was covered live by Aastha TV.

Other Mahamastakabhishekas

Apart from the Gommateshwara statue at Shravana Belgola, all the other Gommateshwara statues in Karnataka are also honoured with a Mahamastakabhisheka festival every 12 years.

  • Dharmasthala Mahamastakabhisheka
  • Karkala Mahamastakabhisheka - The last Mahamastakabhisheka was held in February 2002, and the next will be in 2015. [2]
  • Venur Mahamastakabhisheka - The last one was from 28 January 2012 to 5 February 2012. The next one will be in 2024.[3]
  • Kumbhoj Mahamastakabhisheka - The last Mahamastakabhisheka was held in 2015, and the next will be in 2027.

Photo Gallery

See also


  1. Correspondent, TNN (8 February 2006). "Mahamastakabhisheka of Bahubali begins today". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Karkala Mahamastakabhisheka 2014".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Venur Mahamastakabhisheka 2012". Retrieved 27 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links