Submitted by Editor on Thu, 2015-12-24 23:26 Mangaluru: The monolithic statue of Bahubali at Dharmastala will complete 40 years on Friday. The sculpting of the 39-foot high statue, carved from a single rock and installed on a pedestal of 13 feet was completed in 1970 at Mangalapade Jodukatte of Karkala. It was installed at Dharmasthala on 25 December 1975. The famed sculptor, Renjala Gopal Shenoy, began work on the statue of in 1967 under the direction of Ratnavarma Heggade at Karkala and completed the work in 1970. It is believed that Shenoy’s commitment to his mission was such that he vowed to abjure salt until the statue was completed. Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala, who took over the responsibility of Heggade after his father Ratnavarma Heggade passed away, conceived the plan to transport thegigantic monolith, weighing 170 tonnes from Karkala to Dharmasthala – a distance of 64 kilometers, which was a logistical challenge. The statue was transported on a trolley with 64 wheels, driven by three tractors of 250 HP owned by Mangatram Transport Company, over treacherously winding roads. Locals who noticed that the truck was strugglin to carry the load of monolith, had prayed to local gods and offered a feast to St Lawrence, the saint of Attur church in Karkala. It is also said that after offering the feast at the church, the statue had reached Dharmasthala without taking any hurdles. On arrival at Dharmasthala, the delicate and difficult task of erecting the statue was taken up with great care, so as not to risk any damage to the statue. The task was made doubly difficult because of the religious sentiments attached to the state. The installation was completed on December 25, 1975. The stone sculpture of Lord Bahubali symbolises renunciation, self-control and subjugation of ego as the first step towards salvation. The naked (digambara) form of Bahubali represents the complete victory over earthly desires and needs that hamper spiritual ascent towards divinity. The Mahaprathisthapana was conducted on February 3, 1982 in the guidance of 108 Shri Acharya Vidyanandaji Maharaj, and the Mahamasthakabhisheka the next day.