Lord Jagannath Temple’s treasury will be open for inspection tomorrow

The treasury of the 12th century Lord Jagannath Temple will be opened for inspection tomorrow after a gap of 34 years, a top temple official said.

A 10-member team will inspect the physical condition of the floor, roof and wall of the ‘Ratna Bhandar’ (treasury) on April 4, Chief Administrator P K Jena of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) told reporters yesterday.

The team, including two experts from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), will only inspect the temple’s ‘Ratna Bhandar’ to examine its structural stability and its safety, Jena said.

No one will be allowed to touch the jewellery kept in the ‘Ratna Bhandar’, he said.

Precious jewelleries 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.

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 G C Mitra and N C Pal and advocate N K 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.

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 videograph 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.

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