Odisha: After 34 years, panel to inspect Lord Jagannath Temple's 'Ratna Bhandar' today

The panel members will only inspect Lord Jagannath temple's 'Ratna Bhandar' to examine its structural stability and its safety.

Odisha: After 34 years, panel to inspect Lord Jagannath Temple's 'Ratna Bhandar' today

PURI: The treasury of the 12th century Lord Jagannath Temple will be opened for inspection on Wednesday after a gap of 34 years, said reports.

According to PK Jena, the Chief Administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), a 10-member team will inspect the physical condition of the floor, roof and wall of the 'Ratna Bhandar' (treasury) on Wednesday.

The team also includes two experts from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Jena said.

The inspection team will comprise Puri 'King' Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb or his representative and Pattajoshi Mohapatra.

Two ASI engineers along with two ASI's core committee members GC Mitra and NC Pal and advocate NK Mohanty, who has been appointed as Amicus Curiae by the Orissa High Court to inspect the on-going repair works in the temple, would be among the other team members.

The panel members will only inspect the temple's 'Ratna Bhandar' to examine its structural stability and its safety, he added.

However, no one will be allowed to touch the jewellery kept in the 'Ratna Bhandar'.

Precious jewellery and ornaments of the deities are kept in the 'Ratna Bhandar' which was last inspected in 1984, when only three of its seven chambers had been opened.

Jena said arrangements are being made to open the 'Ratna Bhandar' in the afternoon and no devotee will remain in the temple premises during the inspection. All members of the team will go through a three-tier check before entering the treasure trove.

He said the team members would be frisked by police officials to bar them from carrying any metal item or electronic gadget.

In the second stage, they would be required to wear the gamuchha' (traditional towel) provided by the temple administration.

In the final step, the inspectors would be scanned thoroughly by the servitors of the temple, authorised to check the 'Ratna Bhandar' entrants as per the temple tradition.The temple administration has not yet taken any decision whether to video-graph the important event.

The 'Ratna Bhandar' was last opened in 1984. It was earlier opened in 1978, 1926 and 1905, the temple administration sources said.

The key of the 'Ratna Bhandar' would be procured by the temple authorities on the day itself from the government treasury in Puri.

The Shree Jagannath Temple is located in Puri, one of the four 'dhams' the Hindus considered holy. The other three 'dhams' are Badrinath, Dwarka and Rameswaram.

(With PTI inputs)

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