There is a belief that the holy bath of the Gomateshwara statue, using sugarcane juice, sandalwood paste, and milk during the Mahamastakabhishekha is essential to preserve the 58.8-ft monolithic statue at Shravanabelagola.
Expert panel says:
- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), however, does chemical wash and chemical treatment regularly as part of its conservation efforts.
- Experts from the Science Branch of the ASIheaded by D. Ambethkar, Deputy Superintending Archaeological Chemist did chemical treatment of the statue a few days before the scaffolding for the Mahamastakabhishekha was erected.
- Experts will repeat the treatment once the anointing ceremony is over.”
- Alkaline cleaning liquids are used to clean the statue. Once the event is over, experts will wash the statue again and treat it with water repellents.
“Water repellents are used to avoid moisture penetration
Know about Mahamastakabhisheka:
- The Mahamastakabhisheka refers to the abhiṣheka (anointment) of the Jain images when held on a large scale. The most famous of such consecrations is the anointment of the Bahubali Gommateshwara Statue located at Shravanabelagola in Karnataka, India.
- It is an important Jain festival held once in every 12 years.
- It is an integral part of the ancient and composite Jain tradition.
- The festival is held in veneration of a 17.3736 metres (57.000 ft) high monolithic statue of the Siddha Bahubali.
- The anointing last took place in 2006
- The ceremony in 2018 is said to be the 88th in the series that commenced in the year 981 A.D. and second Mahamastakabhisheka of the 21st Century.
- The event is being be held under the leadership of Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji of Shravanabelagola from 17-25 February 2018.
- The statue was installed in 981 and since then the anointing ceremony has been conducted once in 12 years.
The Archaeological Survey of India, founded in 1861 in the British Indian Empire, is a Government of India Ministry of Cultureorganisation responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country.