Extra preparatory steps as devotees flock for Karkala Jain Festival2 min read
Karkala: This year, organizers and the Government of Karnataka took extra preparations in advance to deal with the increasing number of devotees flocking for the eleven day long Jain festival of Mahamasthakabhisheka of Lord Bahubali. The festival was held during the last week of January under the auspicious statue of Lord Bahubali which is 41.5 feet tall.
The large influx of devotees from the country is due to the fact that the festival is only held once in 12 years. Organisers and the government arranged for a steel five storey scaffold that could withstand 100 people. There were also seating arrangements for around 3000 people and LED screens were put up to help spectators watch the Mahamasthakabhisheka. Drinking water facilities, network coverage, safety and sanitary facilities were also taken care off.
One of the chief priests, Mr. Naga Kumar said, “The committee found no difficulty with organizing the event because of the preparatory steps taken.” He further continued by saying that it was interesting to see people from different backgrounds come all the way here for this festival.
The ceremony was inaugurated by Governor Vajubhai Vala on the January 21. Approximately 300-500 liters each of tender coconut water, milk, sugarcane juice, sandalwood paste, pastes made from different medicinal herbs and holy water were the items used for everyday rituals. The ceremony came to an end on January 31.
Paudhan, a volunteer for the festival was content with the turn up, especially from the youth. When asked on why he volunteered for the festival, he answered, “To attain salvation, this is the only way I can afford to do so.”
Alongside the festival, a fair was put up by the people of the town. The fair consisted of stalls that sold food, clothes, accessories and artifacts along with amusement park rides that were enjoyed by the visitors and the local people.
Ashalata Shivelle, a teacher from Pune spoke on how similar the Jain festival is to the Ganesha festival celebrated with such vigor in Maharashtra. She commended the organizers for the success of the festival.