Going spiritual in 3D

The collective spiritual conscience is agreeably the most wondrous gift humankind has ever embarked upon itself. Ever since we’ve known a higher power, it has brought us together and inspired us to create things that would otherwise never have been envisioned. No matter how far ahead we’d go in time, the spiritual conscience remains the core of our existence and endeavours, pushing us further and further ahead to integrate, create and savor.

The thought flashed the mind as the like-never-before spectacle named the 3D Projection Mapping show unfolded over the 39 feet Bahubali colossus at Dharmasthala. After 12 years since 2007, the monolith is being anointed with religious, social and celebrative fervour at the temple town, and this time it is larger than life on a number of levels. The Pancha Maha Vaibhava and the anointment ceremonies remain the central attractions, but the 3D sound and light show shines on its own glory atop Rathnagiri every evening after its inauguration on 9th of February.

The show is extremely appealing to all age groups owing to the fact that it provides an illusion of our best imagination coming to reality. We all envisioned the legend of Bahubali since childhood – how he was coronated by his father, how his brother posed him a fued and he won it all, how the thought of renunciation came to him and how we celebrate his legacy with the unmatched Mastakabhisheka ceremonies – and here, all those visions occur in front of our eyes rather than within them.

The specially designed sound and light show projects the story of Bahubali on the statue itself, providing an enthrallingly beautiful illusion that the statue is coming alive. Bahubali himself presents to the world the story of his difficult yet accomplished journey to salvation. It is as eye catching as it is information oriented, and believe us when we say that the sight shall remain etched in your mind for as long as a memory can.

The show has been designed by over 100 creative people who have worked over the project for more than 2 months. The only other 3D projection mapping that has been popular is the arm-crossing action projected over Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, and this initiative here is the very first in India. 3D projection mapping involves creation of a virtual 3D model of the characters first and then their animation to suit the script. The elaborate process has been skillfully envisoned and accomplished by Shreyes Jain and his team, Ivory Edge Private Ltd. The idea of executing this came to him as he witnessed similar shows happening across Europe, although none of them were projected over statues. The notion of creating something absolutely novel and facilitating integration of communities through celebration of religious roots are the inspirations behind this initative. We must say, both reasons have been accomplished to the best possible extent.

This enchanting show is just another testimony to the popular belief that Dharmasthala remains true to its ethos of paced progress rooted in spirituality. The temple town fountainheads all sorts of cultural and religious celebrations, as it has incepted this one. The very idea of celebrating the spiritual core of the town, the Jain community and the individuals looking up to Bahubali in this scale is an ideal to commend in itself. Projecting the legend of Bahubali in 3D through an elaborate technological system also conveyed the notion that spirituality, religious orientation and social integration are in pace with the modern day advancements.

Photos by: Abhinandan M Jain