KARKALA: Prior to the 10-day Mahamastakabhisheka festivities, which will begin on Wednesday, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has agreed to open a second door to the Bahubali statue and the shrine on the hill top.
The ASI is the custodian of the statue as well as the shrine inside the walled area.
Express had on January 9 reported about the dangers of having just one door for the entry and exit to the shrine.
The platform built for Mahamastakabhisheka can accommodate about 500 people, while the compound can hold about 1,500 people. The ancient town of Karkala, which is also a Jain pilgrimage centre, is getting a copious flow of pilgrims prior to the festival, which is held once in 12 years.
Among the pilgrims are scholars and religious leaders of the Jain community. The various Jain sects include Svetambar and Digambar, both predominant in South India, and Terapanth in North India.
Jain scholar Amrut Malla said, “One of the highlights of Mahamastakabhisheka is the confluence of all the sects of Jainism and the scholars of the community.
The district administration and the police have made elaborate arrangements for the security of the pilgrims and various leaders who will be visiting the town. While Governor Vajubhai Vala will inaugurate the celebrations on Wednesday, BJP’s national president Amit Shah is expected to visit on January 27.
Leaders from across the country are also expected to take part in the festivities too. Deputy Commissioner
A B Ibrahim told Express it has been ensured that the roads from Mangaluru to Karkala are in good condition.
He added that the roads within the town have been given a fresh coat of bitumen. So far, 18 spots have been identified for parking and security arrangements have been taken up in a big way, Ibrahim said. While arrangements have been made for mass feeding in various sections of the Bahubali hills, several points have been earmarked in the town for drinking water facilities.
After Mahamastakabhisheka, the Jain pilgrims are likely to head towards the pilgrimage centre of Shravanabelagola, where the 81st Akhila Bharata Kannada Sahitya Sammelana will be held from February 1.
However, since the Shiradi ghats have been closed for at least the next six months, the traffic from Karkala will have to move via Charmady ghats to reach Hassan.
Better BSNL Service
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has erected a tower to boost its mobile signal at the venue. A BSNL official said the mobile tower will be stationed till the festivities are over.