We got published in the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) South Asia blog! The article below is an account of the Mahamasthakabhisheka of the Gomateshvara bahubali idol at Shravanabelagola that took place this year.

At Sharavanabelagola, a giant monolith of a man standing in meditation is bathed in sacred substances once every 12 years. The statue is of Bahubali, one of the most popular characters in Jain mythology. Locally, this monolith is also known as the Gomateshvara. Coconut water, sugarcane juice, milk, turmeric, perfumes, medicinal herbs, sandalwood, vermillion, etc. are poured on the head of the idol from pots carried by devotees up a scaffolding set up behind the idol which is more than 57 feet high. These substances are typically poured from 1008 kalashas or pots on each day for about two weeks. This ceremony is known as the Mahamastakabhisheka, or the Great Head Anointment.

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