Rats, Cockroach Menace At Puri Srimandir

Puri: The structures of the sibling deities’ idols inside the sanctum sanctorum of Shree Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri are allegedly facing danger from rats and cockroaches.

The servitors who dress up the deities with clothes and flowers alleged that rats and cockroaches are all around the ‘Ratna Singhasan’ and creating an obstacle to their service.

“When we dress up the deities, we often encounter a large number of cockroaches hovering over our heads. Besides, rats were also found near the deities, terrifying us to the core,” a sevak told media.

Notably, Jagannath Temple will remain out of bounds for devotees from 5 pm to 9 pm on Wednesday for ‘Banaka Lagi’ or ‘Srimukha Sringara’ ritual of the deities.

The sevak added that recently this ritual is being held very frequently as the rat droppings smear the deities and pose a potential threat to the idols.

Another sevak said that the rats’ menace has been persisting for years now inside the temple.

“There is no threat to the deities seated on the Ratna Singhasan. Preventive measures are being taken to get rid of rats and cockroaches. Chandan (sandal) and Karpura (Camphor) are applied on the idols,” SJTA administrator (ritual) Jitendra Kumar Sahu told media.

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