Mahamastakabhisheka of Udupi

In Udupi, Mahamastakabhisheka is an anointing function; a ceremony which purifies one’s soul. The occasion is full of devotion and activities of sacrifices. The three elevated idols which are worshiped are that of Bhagavan Adinatha, Bharatha Muni and Bahubali. The ceremony is performed to spread the message of peace and love all around. The prayer is offered with water, coconut, sugarcane juice and milk.

Stages in Mahamastakabhisheka


Mahamastakabhisheka of Udupi

A ritual called ‘Jalabhisheka’ is also performed at same time. The statues are endowed with rice flour, turmeric paste, kashaya, srigandha, chandana, astagandha, saffron, gold, silver and other precious stones followed with a shower of flowers by the devotees. You can also see that the color of the statue changes due to the things applied on it. The prayer ends with ‘Poorna Kumbha and Mahamangalarati'.

The entire Siddhagiri Kshetra covers an area of 16 acres of land. Height of statue is 11 feet tall. 108 Kalashas are offered by the devotees as prayers. There is huge scaffolding behind the statue which has capacity to hold numerous deepas which are lit everyday. It gives the statue an additional beauty. People come from different places to catch a glimpse of this spectacle.

Prayers are chanted by enthusiast devotes in the highest of octaves and the whole temple echos with devotional songs and hymns. Fire-crackers are also burnt to give a more dramatic effect to the proceedings and add fun to the festival celebrations. People enjoy this festival to the fullest and you can spot people of every age in the crowd who come to worship the god.

The Mahamastakabhisheka festival is performed in the Basadi premises. This place has a history which is 400 years old. Other than that S Ratnavarma Pooyani and Vinanthi is also performed here. The whole process is guided by Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Pattacharyayarya Swami and Lalithakeerth Bhattaraka.

We have already discussed that the color of statue changes after performing the cleaning process because of the things offered to them. Each thing has its own importance. Their significance is:
  • Water- it is used to bath and clean the statue; a sign of purity
  • Sandalwood- so that the statue exudes a sweet scent.
  • Milk- it is also used for cleaning signifying purity.
  • Flowers, to make the statues look beautiful and ornate.
The festival is enriched with the traditional rituals. Priests perform the main prayer proceedings and followers follow the guidelines given by them. The priests normally wear white color dhoti (traditional dress) to perform the prayer. They also apply a tilak of sandalwood paste on their forehead as a mark of them being ‘shudh’ or pure.

Significance of Mahamastakabhisheka in Udupi

The ritual is a true representation of Incredible India and its culture. You must visit the place and attend this occasion to feel more close to Indian tradition. This tradition is being followed since ages and will hopefully continue like this with full enthusiasm as the villagers do not leave any opportunity to train their younger generation about the significance and importance of the ritual.

They want this festival to never fade away and that it should continue in years to come with the same spirit and enthusiasm. The people also have a strong belief that if the pooja is performed with full devotion then the God too will fulfill their desires and wishes. All you need is a heart full of devotion and a pure mind. You will feel more than blessed once you witness the pooja with your own eyes.

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