Inspection Of Outer Portion Of Jagannath Temple’s Ratna Bhandar Commences

Puri: The inspection process of the outer portion of Puri Jagannath temple’s Ratna Bhandar (store house of ornaments) began on Monday.

A team comprising experts from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) examined the status of the outer part of the Ratna Bhandar from the Navikata Mandap of the temple.

A decision regarding opening of the Ratna Bhandar’s inner chambers will be taken in the sub-committee meeting scheduled to be convened by Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) this evening. The meeting chaired by SJTA chief administrator Pradeep Kumar Jena will review the Srimandir guidelines for opening of Ratna Bhandar.

The SJTA has written letters to the temple servitors asking them to remain present at the crucial meeting.

On March 22, the Orissa High Court had directed the ASI to carry out an inspection of Ratna Bhandar on March 26 and 27. A bench comprising Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Justice B R Sarangi had directed the ASI to inspect the condition of the Ratna Bhandar and report whether it requires any repair work, by March 29.

The Orissa High Court is monitoring the repair work being undertaken by the ASI in response to a PIL seeking judicial intervention for repair and renovation of the temple. The ASI has completed the repair work of the Jagamohan (prayer hall), the hall facing sanctum sanctorum of shrine, which has remained closed for the last two years and had appealed that devotees be allowed to enter the temple through the route. However, the temple’s chief administrator Pradeep Jena filed an affidavit in theCourt for inspection of the Ratna Bhandar before reopening of the Jagamohan as it is adjacent to it.

Meanwhile, several servitors and activists have been opposing the move and citing it as an attempt to peep into the deity’s treasure.

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