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Puri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee Advises Odisha Govt to Reopen Ratna Bhandar for Inspection

The Jagannath temple managing committee on Friday decided to recommend the Odisha government for reopening of the Ratna Bhandar during next Rath Yatra in 2024 for its structural inspection.

Speaking to reporters after attending the meeting of the managing committee, Puri collector Samarth Verma said the ASI had written twice to the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) for inspection of the Ratna Bhandar and sought support for this purpose.

All the members of the temple managing committee have been intimated about the request made by the ASI. As the inspection may hamper smooth darshan of devotees during normal time, it was decided to allow the ASI to conduct the inspection during Rath Yatra so that the rituals will not be affected, he said.

“The managing committee will give a recommendation to the state government that it is agreed to inspect the inner chamber of Ratna Bhandar during next Rath Yatra,” Verma said.

The collector further informed that the managing committee has also given the opinion that a technical team comprises representatives from the ASI, managing committee, Sevayats, temple administration engineers.

The team will conduct an outer survey adopting laser scanning and other modern methodology and submit its report in the next meeting of the committee, he added.

Verma said the temple managing committee has also decided to recommend the government to form a panel headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Orissa High Court to supervise the Ratna Bhandar reopening and its inspection.

The committee has decided to close the other two gates of the Jagannath temple till completion of heritage corridor work, which is going on around the temple.

Further, it was decided to conduct the Banaklagi ritual on Wednesdays. If the rituals would not be conducted on any Wednesday for some rituals or other works, it should be performed on Thursday.

The Ratna Bhandar, was last opened in 1985, but the latest inventories of the valuables were made in 1978. However, no decision was taken to make an inventory of the valuables stored inside the Ratna Bhandar during the proposed inspection works.

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