Jain Temples in India Religious Festival

Mahamastakabhisheka: The Grand Festival of Shravana Belgola – A Prominent Jain Pilgrimage

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage


Nestled in the serene landscape of Karnataka, India, lies a town steeped in spirituality and history – Shravana Belgola. This charming town is a prominent Jain pilgrimage site and is renowned for its magnificent Mahamastakabhisheka festival, a celebration that takes place once every 12 years. The festival is a grand spectacle that draws devotees and tourists from across the world to witness a profound ritual – the anointment of a colossal monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali, also known as Gommateshwara.

The Significance of Mahamastakabhisheka

Shravana Belgola is already a place of deep reverence for Jains due to its association with the Digambara sect of Jainism and its historical importance. However, what elevates the town to an even higher spiritual plane is the Mahamastakabhisheka festival. The term “Mahamastakabhisheka” translates to “the great head anointing,” and it is an elaborate ceremony where the 57-foot tall monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali is bathed and anointed with a concoction of auspicious substances.

The ceremony holds profound symbolism. It signifies the shedding of one’s ego and desires, just as Lord Bahubali renounced worldly possessions in his pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. The anointing process involves pouring milk, ghee, saffron paste, and sandalwood over the statue, creating a mesmerizing visual spectacle that captures the essence of devotion and humility.

The Grandeur of Mahamastakabhisheka

The grandeur of Mahamastakabhisheka is unparalleled. It is not merely a religious event but a cultural extravaganza that showcases the rich heritage of Jainism. The festival typically spans several days, during which devotees participate in various rituals, processions, cultural programs, and exhibitions.

One of the most captivating moments of the festival is the anointment ceremony itself. Priests and volunteers work tirelessly to pour the sacred substances over Lord Bahubali’s statue, and the scene is a breathtaking display of devotion and precision.

The Last Mahamastakabhisheka and the Upcoming Event

The last Mahamastakabhisheka took place in 2018, marking a significant milestone in the town’s history. Devotees and tourists gathered to witness this rare event, and the memories of that day still resonate with those who were fortunate enough to attend.

The upcoming Mahamastakabhisheka is scheduled for 2030, and anticipation is already building. Preparations for this grand festival will be nothing short of spectacular, with devotees eagerly waiting to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime spiritual experience.


Shravana Belgola’s Mahamastakabhisheka is not just a festival; it’s a spiritual journey, a cultural celebration, and a testament to the enduring faith of millions. The grandeur, symbolism, and devotion associated with this event make it a must-visit for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Jainism and Indian spirituality. So, mark your calendars for 2030 and prepare to be awestruck by the divine spectacle of Mahamastakabhisheka in the picturesque town of Shravana Belgola.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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