Srimandir’s Ratna Bhandar to open soon: Law Minister Harichandan

The Ratna Bhandar inventory committee is being headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat.
Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan.
Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan.Photo | Express

BHUBANESWAR: The Ratna Bhandar of Shree Jagannath temple at Puri will be opened soon, said Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan on Monday.

The government has started working on the modalities for opening both the chambers - Bhitara (inner) Bhandar and Bahara (outer) Bhandar - of the 12th century temple’s treasury for the purpose of inventory and conservation, he told mediapersons after taking charge at the Lok Seva Bhawan. “The department will announce the date and modalities soon,” he said.

Harichandan further informed that archaeologists will thoroughly examine the structural condition of both the chambers of the temple treasury and at the same time, inventory of the ornaments and jewels inside the Bahara and Bhitara Bhandars will be done. The Ratna Bhandar inventory committee is being headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat.

Earlier, following the ASI gaffe on Ratna Bhandar reopening, the minister had clarified that it has not received any proposal in this regard from the Chhatisha Nijog. Of the 21 key promises made by the Odisha BJP in its election manifesto, the party had assured to restore the auditing process of Ratna Bhandar’s inventory and publish the report. The audit of the temple treasury was last done in 1978 when a committee led by then Odisha governor BD Sharma did the inventory from May 13 to July 23. It had counted 454 gold and 293 silver articles in both the chambers of the treasury. Also called Bhandar Ghara, the treasury isn’t a dated structure and is considered to have been added to the temple in the 13th or 14th century.

The minister also said steps will be taken to complete the Bhubaneswar court complex work and inaugurate it in the first week of August.

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