Puri: Cracks were detected in inner walls and roof of the Garbha Gruha (sanctum sanctorum) of the 12th century Jagannath temple in Puri during an examination by experts from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)and IIT-Kharagpur.
An expert team comprising structural engineers, ASI officials and members of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Monday inspected the ventilation system in the Garbha Gruha. The team led by AP Gupta, former head of Civil Engineering department of IIT-Kharagpur, found a thick layer of moss on the inner walls and the roof. They said this was the result of high moisture content in the hot steaming food that is offered to the Trinity a number of times in a day and the respiration of thousands of devotees who enter the sanctum sanctorum to offer obeisance to the deities.
They also found cracks on walls of the sanctum sanctorum, which would be cleaned and repaired within a week’s time through grouting. Experts explored ways for installing cooling system inside the Garbha Gruha to solve the humidity problem. Engineers of MECON, a subsidiary company of SAIL, had earlier chalked out a design to infuse cool air and exhaust humid air from the sanctum sanctorum at an estimated cost of `25 lakh. The company has now assured the temple administration of doing it free of cost.
The experts also inspected the functioning of heavy duty exhaust fans in the Jagamohan and said the false ceiling there needs to be dismantled to ascertain the exact condition of the roof.
Apart from this, they suggested for changing the Kalahat and Jai-Vijay doors as those have been damaged. Earlier, Chief Administrator of the temple, Suresh Chandra Mohapatra had informed that SJTA is considering changing these two doors with steel ones.
Every year, after the three deities of the temple leave for their annual sojourn to the Gundicha temple, ASI officials and other experts undertake the conservation activities inside the sanctum sanctorum.