Mismanagement, Devotees’ Plight Must End At Puri Jagannath Temple: Chhattisgarh Guv Biswabhusan Harichandan

Bhubaneswar: Voicing concern over the situation at the Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri, Chhattisgarh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan on Monday said it is painful to see the plight of devotees visiting the 12th century shrine.

Harichandan, a former Law Minister of Odisha, told reporters that the devotees visiting the Jagannath Temple in the pilgrim town are forced to stand in long queues for hours in order to have a disciplined darshan.

“It is very painful to see their condition and the hardship they have to face in order to pay obeisance to the Lords,” he said, adding that he saw a long queue from Market Square to the Temple during his visit to the seaside town.

Stating that old people, women and children have to stand for hours for darshan, the Chhattiagarh Governor said that devotees come from different parts of the country and abroad to offer prayers before the Lord. Therefore, steps should be taken to understand their feelings, devotion and emotions.

There should be proper arrangements and facilities for the devotees as they have to wait in queues for long hours, he said, adding that the focus should be on ensuring convenience of the devotees.
Stating that he had served as the Law Minister, Harichandan said several reform measures were undertaken during his tenure.

Regarding rituals in the temple, he said some of the issues of the servitors are not handles properly and they keep the Lords hungry for hours and sometimes for days.

On the long-standing demand of reopening of all four gates of Jagannath Temple, he said the heritage corridor project keeps one door of the shrine closed and the devotees should be allowed to use other three gates. There should be no barrier between the devotees and the Lord.

Meanwhile, several devotees including a woman devotee from Ganjam district fell ill after standing in a long queue for hours on Monday. The woman was admitted to hospital for treatment. Some devotees reportedly fainted after standing for hours in queues.

Notably, a stampede like situation had taken place recently when lakhs of devotees including habishyalis visited the temple for darshan of the Lord, in the holy month of Kartik.

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