Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said Indians should “never feel shy of Dharma” and be proud of their cultural heritage.

Addressing the ‘Mahamasthakabhisheka’ ceremony in Shravanabelogola, Karnataka, Naidu said India is capital for spirituality with an ancient culture that has sustained over the centuries.

“Ours is the ancient culture which sustained over the centuries. We should never feel shy of dharma… India is capital for spirituality, we should feel proud of our cultural heritage,” Naidu said.

“Munis (sages) travel across the country to spread the light of Gyan (knowledge). It is our culture to respect, follow and take inspiration from our gurus. In entire world India is capital for the spirituality,” he added.

The 88th Mahamasthakabhisheka, the head anointing ceremony is performed once in 12 years to the 57 feet tall monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali at Shravanabelagola.

The event is being held under the leadership of Swasti Sri Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of Shravanabelagola from February 17 to 25, 2018.’

The government has made elaborate arrangements as it expects about 35 to 40 lakh devotees to visit the place, considered one of the holiest by members of the Jain community across the world.

About 2,500 kg of sandalwood powder has arrived in Shravanabelagola for the rituals associated with the religious events.

President Ram Nath Kovind had on February 8, launched the festivities to mark the celebrations.