Ratna Bhandar Of Puri Jagannath Temple To Be Opened On July 8

Bhubaneswar: Ratna Bhandar (treasury) of Shree Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s pilgrim town of Puri is all set to be opened soon for thorough inspection after a long wait.

According to sources, necessary arrangements are being made for opening Ratna Bhandar of the 12th century shrine on July 8, a day after the Lords embark on their annual sojourn, Rath Yatra.

ASI’s Superintending Archaeologist, Puri circle, D B Garnayak said that a thorough inspection of Ratna Bhandar will be conducted after it is opened on July 8 in the presence of the core committee and technical committee members. “Cracks were observed in the structure, some stones had fallen and some iron rods were found missing during an earlier inspection,” he said, citing the 2018 report.

He further said that cracks were detected in the outer wall and joints during laser scanning taken up at 49 points on its northern side in November last year to ascertain structural stability. “Rainwater might be seeping inside through these cracks,” he said, adding that condition inside the Ratna Bhandar was not good.

The report, which was submitted to the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee by ASI in February, stated that the point of conjunction at the northern wall, that connects Ratna Bhandar with the main temple’s Jagamohan, just below the first Pidha needs to be strengthened and properly water-tightened. It also called for de-plastering of its three outer walls since it was not sure if the cracks were on walls or the thick plaster on them.

The inner chamber of Ratna Bhandar, which is divided into two parts, was last opened in 1985 but the inventory of the valuables was last made between May 13 and July 23, 1978. The outer chamber is regularly opened and ornaments are taken out by the priests on festivals.

On April 4, 2018, a 16-member team that had entered Ratna Bhandar for a scrutiny of its physical conditions had to inspect its inner chamber from outside an iron grill with search lights after the keys were found missing. The Puri district administration later claimed that a duplicate key was available, leading to confusion and allegations.

Following a Orissa High Court order, the previous BJD government on February 29 constituted a 12-member committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat for supervision of inventorisation of the valuables including jewelleries stored in the treasury. It had also confirmed that Ratna Bhandar will be opened during Rath Yatra in July.


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