Dharmendra Pradhan reiterates demand for reopening of Ratna Bhandar
The demand for reopening of the treasure trove for inventorisation of jewellery and other valuables of the shrine’s presiding deities is a long-pending one.
BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday reiterated his demand for reopening of Ratna Mandir of Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri. Pradhan reached Puri on Friday and stayed the night before having a darshan of the Trinity in the early hours of Saturday. He inspected the repair of Natamandap being carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Responding to media queries on reopening of Ratna Bhandar, Pradhan said it is an emotional issue for crores of devotees of Lord Jagannath and the people who have faith in the Hindu Sanatani system. The demand for reopening of the treasure trove for inventorisation of jewellery and other valuables of the shrine’s presiding deities is a long-pending one.
The Union minister also demanded to include the demolished mutts, ancient temple and other architectural structures in the heritage corridor project.The sooner the Parikrama project is completed the better. Both the state government and the Centre need to pay attention to the project.
Commending the restoration of Garva Griha (sanctum sanctorum) by ASI, Pradhan said the national agency is competent enough to undertake all repairs and with Lord Jagannath’s blessings everything will soon be in order. He said the devotees want opening of all four doors of the temple for smooth darshan of the Trinity and their sentiments should be respected.
Later inaugurating a three-day international seminar at Laxmi Puran on the campus of Sadashiv Sanskrit University, he said social harmony, cleanliness, women empowerment and their rights are the main characters of the sacred writings in the ancient text.
Paying tributes to Acharya Harihar Das, the founder of the Sanskrit university, Pradhan said the teachings of Laxmi Puran are reflected in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign, social justice and welfare of the poor and women empowerment programmes.
The minister unveiled the Sanskrit version of Laxmi Puran written by saint poet Balaram Das and laid the foundation of various development projects at the campus worth around Rs 100 crore. He later visited the family members of former Speaker Maheswar Mohanty who passed away recently.