Gommatagiri, a famous Jain pilgrimage centre at Bilikere hobli of Hunsur taluk in Mysore district, is a neglected tourist destination. Neither the local administration nor the Tourism Department have given any attention to this holy centre where thousands throng to witness the annual ‘Maha Masthakabhisheka’.
The Bhagwan Bahubali statue is 16 ft high and erected atop a 200 ft hillock. It has much potential for tourism and is said to be the most magnificent statue after Gommateshwara of Shravanabelagola.
In Gommatagiri, a black marble statue of Gomateshwara wears a serene expression. This was installed by the Ganga rulers four centuries ago. It was visited by many statesman and litterateurs. During the second Maha Masthakabhisheka held on September 9, 1951, Rashtrakavi Kuvempu and poet G P Rajarathnam visited the statue.
Following this, erstwhile ruler of Mysore Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar visited with his family, besides former Central minister H C Dasappa, Babu Jagjivan Ram and poet Da Ra Bendre.
The Jain community had pinned hopes on the implementation of a master plan prepared for the development of this centre when Devraj Urs was CM. It was proposed to build a bus stand, Ayurveda hospital, old age home and hostel. But this plan did not see fruition after Devraj Urs stepped down.
On Sunday, during the 63rd Maha Masthakabhisheka, Jains from Mumbai, Bangalore and other parts of the country visited. The religious fervour attracted the people from local villages and Mysore.
It is difficult to get drinking water here. During the Maha Masthakabhisheka, Sri Gommatagiri Kshetra Seva Samiti makes arrangements to serve the Jain community. There is no proper transport facility. Gommatagiri is 25 km from Mysore.
Expressing concern over the rampant mining around the statue, the Jains urged the district administration to ban mining in a 2 km radius of the centre.
Recently, Dr R Gopal of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, visited the spot and took measures to provide basic facilities, including realignment of steps, steel railing on either side and establishment of a Yatri Nivas.
Dr Gopal said that they will take up the work at a cost of `10 lakh next year, after inviting a tender.