PURI: The Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has initiated the process to open the Bhitar Ratna Bhandar (treasury) of Sri Jagannath Temple to make an inventory of the ornaments there and file a report in Supreme Court.
A meeting of the temple managing body is expected to be convened soon as the approval of the temple body and the State Government is required for opening the Bhitar Ratna Bhandar.
The apex court, in its interim judgement on management of the 12th century shrine, had directed SJTA to furnish details of property (both movable and immovable) along with wealth of Lord Jagannath before January 8, 2020.
Earlier, SJTA had attempted to open the Bhitar Ratna Bhandar on the direction of Orissa High Court to enable Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to examine its stability. ASI has been conducting repair and conservation of the temple since 1974.
However, the attempt to open the treasury failed as the contingent entrusted with the task had to return after the key to the lock on the door could not be found. Later, a duplicate bunch of keys, in a sealed envelope marked ‘Duplicate keys of Bhitar Ratna Bhandar’ was recovered from the files of district record room.
After much hue and cry, a judicial commission of inquiry was announced.However, it could not fine any conclusive evidence regarding the missing key. The Bhitar Ratna Bhandar was opened twice earlier in 1974 and 1985 after the State Government took over the temple management in 1952.
Devotees and servitors have been demanding to open the treasury to ascertain if any valuable is missing.
The last inventory of the ornaments in the Bhitar Ratna Bhandar was made in 1978.
As per the Supreme Court order, the temple managing committee is required to prepare an inventory of immovable properties of the shrine within and outside the State with details on how they are being utilised and how much income is generated from them.
Directions were further issued to the Amicus Curiae to prepare a Record of Rights for other properties of the temple within six months.
- Treasury trivia
- SJTA’s attempts to open the Bhitar Ratna Bhandar had failed as the keys could not be traced
- The treasury was opened twice earlier in 1974 and 1985
- The last inventory of the ornaments in Bhitar Ratna Bhandar was made in 1978
- Devotees and servitors have been demanding to open the treasury
New clothes for the Trinity
PURI: Hundreds of devotees, led by servitors of Madhab temple at Niali in Cuttack district, arrived in Puri on Tuesday carrying new clothes for Lord Jagannath, his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra and consort Mahalaxmi.
As per tradition, the deity of Madhab temple at Niali is considered as the maternal uncle of the Trinity. Religious traditions prescribe the maternal uncle to present new clothes to his nephews on ‘Prathamastami’ every year.
Madhab temple servitors brought ‘Khandua’ and ‘Patta’ clothes for the deities. They came in a huge procession from Niali and on arrival at Singhadwar, were accorded a warm welcome by Sri Jagannath temple servitors and the temple administration. The clothes were kept in the guard room called ‘Garad’. Priests would use these clothes to dress the deities on ‘Prathamastami’, which falls on Wednesday.