Countdown for opening of Puri Jagannath Temple Ratna Bhandar begins

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Puri: Millions of devotees across the world are eagerly waiting for the quest of Ratna Bhandar of Puri Jagannath Temple which is scheduled to be opened at 2 pm today for inspection.

Meanwhile, the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in consultation with the Srimandir Managing Committee and the Chhatisha Nijog has revised the team that would go inside the Ratna Bhandar.

As per the latest decision, a team comprising of 17 members will be allowed to enter the Ratna Bhandar (treasure trove).

The 17-member team includes Tadhau Karana (servitor), Deula Karana (servitor), Bhandar Mekap (temple treasurer), Mahanayaka of Chhatisha Nijog (president of the confederation of several servitors’ bodies), representative of the Gajapati Maharaja, an amicus curiae appointed by the Orissa High Court, Puri Collector and SP, three engineers of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), two member of the ASI Core Committee and two members of the Ratna Bhandar Sub-Committee, chief administrator of SJTA and Niti Prasasak of the temple.

The team will inspect the roof and wall of the Ratna Bhandar with the help of the LED lights and will not touch any other object inside it. As per the Records of Rights (Satwalipi) of the temple, each member would be thoroughly searched before and after the inspection of the Ratna Bhandar. Each member would be searched twice by the police and once by the Bhandara Mekap. The search and the frisking of each member would be videographed. The members will not be allowed to carrying any object other than the spectacles used by them.

The members, before entering into the Ratna Bhandar, will worship Lord Loknath (Lord Siva) and take a pledge that whatever they witness inside the Ratna Bhandara would not disclose outside.

The Ratna Bhandar would be locked after the members complete the inspection work. After the Bhitara (inner) Bhandar is locked, the key would be handed over to the Puri District Treasury Office which will keep it under its custody. Later, other chambers of the Ratna Bhandar would be locked in the presence of the Puri Gajapati Maharaja and the SJTA officials.

As per the procedures finalized by the SJTA, there will be no temple repair work and other rituals after the Madhyanna Dhupa.

The temple would remain closed for the devotees an hour before the opening of the Ratna Bhandar. The Ratna Bhandara would be opened after the servitors sanitise the entire temple premises.

Two platoons of armed police force would be deployed at the four entrance gates of the temple which will be closed during the inspection. Besides, inside the temple premises, two platoons of armed police force would guard the four sides of the main temple.

The Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA) and Fire Brigade personnel would also remain inside the temple premises in case of any emergency while two members of the Snake Helpline would also remain present inside the temple.

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