SHRAVANABELAGOLA:With just a day to go for the Mahamastakabhisheka, the world media has arrived in the temple town of Shravanabelagola to cover the anointing ceremony which is held once in 12 years. The event will be telecast/streamed live on various channels and websites from February 17 afternoon.
The advent of the media in the recent decades has been a plus in attracting people from all over the world for the veneration and as well as to visit Shravanabelagola as tourists. But before internet was invented and telephones were a rare thing, covering the Mahamastakabhisheka was a challenge for news agencies.
But the reporting team from Madras Mail Eveninger from Chennai took this as a challenge. The reporter G M Edward got trained pigeons to Shravanabelagola six months ahead of veneration ceremony in 1910, and got the pigeons to fly back to his office in Chennai. This was repeated on the day of Mahamastakabhisheka in 1910, and the pigeons left carrying a ‘report’ on the ceremony tied to their legs. The pigeons landed in the office of Chennai Mail and the same evening the news of the Mahamastakabhisheka was published on the front page of the Eveninger.
Historical records preserved in the Jain Mutt of Shravanabelagola throw more light on the incident. “The story of Madras Mail is considered as rare feat in the modern history of the Mahamastakabhisheka,” said Ashok Kumar, a senior writer and head of the cultural committee for the event in Shravanabelagola.
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