Sri Jagannath Temple: Langoors to drive away monkeys

Last Updated: Sunday, February 6, 2011 - 15:42

Bhubaneswar: Expecting a turnout of some
50 lakh devotees to Puri during Lord Jagannath`s
"Navakalebara" festival in 2015, the Orissa government has
decided to deploy two langoors to drive away monkeys from the
temple complex.

"The state government has decided to bring at least
two langoors to keep monkeys away from the temple premises
much before the fesival in 2015," said P K Mohapatra, Chief
Administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri.

Stating that monkey menace had turned out be a major
problem for the administration, Mohapatra admitted that
several attempts to drive away monkeys from the premises of
the 12th century temple had failed to yield any result.

The monkey menace had, in fact, taken a serious turn
in the temple as most of the pilgrims have a tough time. It is
estimated that more than 1000 monkeys have made Jagannath
Temple and its surroundings their home.

The monkey population mostly depend on `prasad"
being sold in the temple premises. They sit atop small
temples and pillars waiting for a devotee who is not alert.

They often snatch purses and bags considering
them as food packets, said a security man at the temple.

A section of devotees however, offer food, mostly
fruits, considering them as a symbol of Lord Hanuman.

Though the administration had earlier caught them and
set them free at a distant place, monkeys return to the temple
premises after some days, pointed out Bhaskar Mishra, another
officer at the temple.

A 12-member monkey catcher team of Mankadias and
Pahadias, primitive tribes from Mayurbhanj district, were
recently pressed to drive them away. But the situation
did not improve much.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, February 6, 2011 - 15:42

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