Art & Culture

Ten member team to inspect Jagannath Temple Ratna Bhandar

Puri: A total of 10 persons, including Puri King, an Orissa High Court judge and ASI experts, will enter Ratna Bhandar in Jagannath Temple for inspection of its structural stability.

Date of inspection will be decided shortly, informed Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Pradeep Jena after the meeting of the Chhatisa Nijog (apex body of temple servitors).

The ten member team will include five persons authorised by the 12th century shrine under its Satwalipi (Record of Rights) comprising a representative of Puri Gajapati, Pattajoshi Mohapatra, Bhandar Mekap, Tadau Karan and Deula Karan apart from two ASI engineers and two ASI technical core committee members- GC Mitra and NC Pal – and representative of Orissa High Court Justice NK Mohanty.

Meanwhile, sources said the Ratna Bhandar is likely to be inspected on April 4.

On Wednesday the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee held under the chairmanship of Gajapati Maharaj discussed about the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be adopted at the time of opening of Ratna Bhandar after 34 years following an order of the Orissa High Court.

However, the date on which Ratna Bhandar will be opened and the modalities to be adopted will be decided at the meeting of the Chhatisa Nijog today evening.

It was decided at the Managing Committee meeting that inspection of Ratna Bhandar in will be video-graphed. Inspectors can’t wear ornaments. Snake helpline members will accompany inspectors to the two secret chambers, where invaluable ornaments of deities have been stashed.

Precious jewellery and ornaments of the sibling deities are stashed in the Ratna Bhandar which was last inspected in 1984 and only three of its reported seven secret chambers had been opened then.

However, no one knows exactly what was stored in the closed chambers.

On Tuesday, the Law Department granted conditional permission to open the Ratna Bhandar for inspection by the ASI experts to assess its structural stability and safety following an Orissa High Court order.

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