Hassan: The stress of climbing the Vindhyagiri Hill for a darshan of the towering Bahubali statue atop it is taking its toll on devotees and even policemen providing security for ‘Mahamastakbhisheka Mahotsav 2018’ at Shravanabelagola.
As many as 20 people, including four policemen, have complained of chest pain, fatigue, sweating and other symptoms of a heart attack during climbing up and down the hill. A personal assistant of Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt pontiff, Charukeerthy Bhattaraka Swamiji, Brahmesh Jain, suffered a heart attack and was treated by doctors on duty at the event.
Administrative Medical Officer Yuvaraj, supervising medical arrangements at Shravanabelagola, says stress is to blame. “We have saved 20 lives so far and it was possible only because of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) set up at Shravanabelagola, especially for Mahamastakbhisheka,” he said, adding that the patients had been referred for further evaluation to the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research in Bengaluru and Mysuru. Yuvaraj, who was medical officer during 2006 Mahamastakbhisheka, recalled seeing people suffering heart attacks even then. “At that time, I had advised the then Chief Minister to establish an ICU unit at Shravanabelagola and luckily it has been set up. We do have ICUs in the district. But the one at Shravanabelagola has come as a blessing as it has saved many lives,” he said. It takes anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes to reach the hill top, climbing the steep 650 steps. The exercise is a test of endurance for the devotees determind to have a darshan of the Bahubali statue.
Scion Yaduveer in Shravanabelagola
Dressed in traditional attire, Mysuru scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamarajendra Wadiyar climbed the Vindhyagiri Hill from its west side to reach the statue of Bahubali on Friday, where he performed rituals associated with Mahamastakabhisheka. Yaduveer was welcomed by pontiff Charukeerthy Bhattaraka Swamiji. Yaduveer poured water and showered petals on the statue of Bahubali. He watched the devotees perform various abhishekas for some time....