close up of the head of Gommateshvara, the 17.8 m monolith
, ca 978–993 AD, at Shravanabelagola
, being anointed with saffron every 12 years by thousands of devotees as part of the Mahamastakabhisheka festival, 2006.
The Mahamasthakabhisheka 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 an immense 18 meter high statue of the siddha Bahubali. The anointing last took place in February 2006, and the next ceremony will occur in 2018.
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 2014.
- Venur Mahamastakabhisheka - The last one was from 28th January 2012 to 5th February 2012. The next one will be in 2024.
Photo Gallery 
See also 
External links