Hassan: A day before the anointing of the Bahubali statue begins on Saturday, as many as 20,000 devotees will take out a procession around the Vindhyagiri Hill in Shravanabelagola on Friday, accompanied by cultural bands, artistes, and tableaux.
The devotees will begin to gather around the hill between 2 pm and 6 in a mark of respect for the statue of Bahubali atop it and later take part in a massive procession that is customary here on the eve of the Mahamastakabhisheka, according to Mr Rajendra Kumar, head of its publicity sub-committee.
"Devotees, both male and female, will fill every inch of space around the hill before they move around it to the accompaniment of musical bands," he explains.
"The pilgrims will walk in rows of one or two. Accompanying them will be gold and silver chariots of the Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt, a palanquin procession of the idols of the 24 Jain theertankaras and statues of Bharata and Bahubali, as well as a hundred or more cultural troupes, Yakshagana artistes, tableaux, hundreds of flags and the footwear of Jain acharyas," he reveals.
Expecting huge crowds on the occasion, Hassan Superintendent of Police Rahul Kumar, Shahapurwad has restricted the movement of vehicles in Shravanabelagola town from Friday until February 26 when the event formally end.
Also, parking lots have been identified about 2-kms from Shravanabelagola town, requiring devotees to travel in KSRTC buses to their destinations. Meanwhile, a Jain tyagi, Shreyasagar Maharaj (74) passed away at Tyagi Nagar, a satellite town created especially for the event, on Thursday. Shreyasagar Maharaj, who had stayed in Shravanabelagola for about a year, stopped accepting food about a week ago and his condition rapidly deteriorated thereafter.
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