A 17-member team will on Wednesday inspect the ‘Ratna Bhandar’ (treasury) of the 12th century Jagannath Temple in Puri at 2 PM today after a gap of 34 years, an official said on Tuesday.
As per reports, the team will include representative of Puri Gajapati, Orissa High Court representative Justice NK Mohanty, Puri Collector and SP, three engineers of ASI, two officials of ASI’s technical core committee – GC Mitra and NC Pal, two members of Ratna Bhandar sub-committee, SJTA Chief Pradeep Jena and Chief Administrator (Rituals) Pradeep Kumar Das.
“Those entering the treasury will wear gamchhas (towels) given by the temple administration. They would be subjected to frisking both during entry and exit,” Jena added.
The entry of devotees during the time will be restricted.
Precious jewellery and ornaments of the deities are kept in the temple treasury, which was last inspected in 1984, when only three of its seven chambers were opened.
The Odisha High Court had ordered the ASI on March 22 to assess the structural condition of the treasury and submit a status report.
The temple servitors on Tuesday appealed to Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb — permanent Chairman of the temple management committee and scion of the erstwhile Puri royalty — to be on the inspection team instead of sending in his representative.
“Gajapati is the first servitor of the three deities. Hence, he must be present during the inspection or else it would be a violation of the age-long tradition,” said Kashinath Khuntia, General Secretary of Shri Jagannath Sebayat Sammilani. (IANS)