PURI: The demand for opening the Bhitar Ratna Bhandar or inner treasury of the Jagannath Temple is gathering steam with many religious institutions making repeated appeals. While Bahar Bhandar (outer treasury) contains daily use gold and silver items of the Trinity, Bhitar Bhandar is rarely opened and was last opened over four decades back.
In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday, convenor of Sri Jagannath Bhakt Parishad Suryanarayan Rath has demanded that the inner treasury be opened and the items compared to the inventory list made 44 years back in order to ascertain the exact location of ornaments and precious stones stored in it.
Convenor of Jagannath Sena Priyadarshan Pattnaik, who made a similar demand in front of the Srimandir on September 18, also met Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal in this connection on the day. The demand to open the inner Ratna Bhandar has been gaining momentum as neither the district nor temple administration has been able to provide or locate the original keys to the treasury door.
Opening of Bhitar Ratna Bhandar was necessitated following a High Court direction to examine stability of the structure by the Archaeological Survey of India in 2018.