Lord Jagannath does everything, we are facilitators: SJTA Chief


Bhubaneswar: Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra has said world famous Rath Yatra will be observed immaculately with the grace of Lord Jagannath.

In an interview to Executive Editor of Pragativadi, Birupakshya Tripathy on Tuesday, Mohapatra exuded confidence that ‘everything is done by the Lord Jagannath and we are just facilitators’. ‘Ego and conceit never work. One has to surrender himself and do things as directed by the lord. He does everything. Our work and efforts will come to fruition if done with sublimity’, Mohapatra said.


Mohapatra said: The very severe cyclonic storm Fani had devastated the pilgrim town, Puri. The town has now limped back to normalcy with the grace of Lord Jagannath. The administration has taken all the measures to provide facilities to scores of devotees who are landing at Srikhetra regularly. All the high-end hotels have been refurbished to cater to the demands of tourists. All the budget hotels and lodges are also equally spruced up to provide comfortable living facilities to the devotees.

The SJTA chief administrator lamented that cyclone Fani has destroyed the green cover of Puri, but said the administration has taken all the measures to make Puri vibrant again in the past two months.


Giving details on the preparation of the world famous Rath Yatra, Mohapatra said the clothes and ropes to be used in the festival have been arranged. The state coir board has provided ropes for the purpose, he said and added the ropes used in the last car festivals will also be procured.

He informed that while the state cooperative bank bears the expenses of ropes and handles the transportation, one devotee from Gujarat provides clothes required for the Holy Trinity on his own. A devotee from Delhi has expressed his desire to adorn the Jagannath Temple, Singhadwar and wall with flowers. The floral decoration of chariots will be allowed keeping in mind that their originality is not blurred. Similarly, a devotee from Phulbani has provided resin for the rituals. The aromatic musk (Kasturi) is being supplied by the member of the royal family.


The chief temple administrator has said the schedules of Rath Yatra has been prepared with the concurrence of all the concerned Nijogs. He said the servitors have informed the Gajapati at Sri Nahar that the lords have recuperated. They have informed the Gajapati that after Naba Jaubana Besha on Tuesday, the Ratha Yatra will be performed on Thursday.

According to the schedule, Mangal Arati will be performed at 6 am and the Pahandi will be done at 9 am. Mohapatra said the servitors are cooperating with the administration for completion of the Ratha Yatra effectively.


It has been decided that 19 donation boxes will be set up around the Sri Gundicha temple and three cars. While four donation boxes will be installed around each car, seven numbers of the same will be set up inside the temple. Mohapatra said this arrangement has been done in accordance with the ruling of Supreme Court. He said eighty per cent of income from the donation boxes will be given to servitors and added that the remaining twenty per cent will go to the temple funds. The devotees are free to donate whatever amount they like in the donation boxes, Mohapatra said and informed that the prices of tickets have been decided by the temple administration.


The Jindal Steel has given financial assistance of Rs 11 crore to the temple administration for a merry go round all along the grand Meghanada Pacheri. The corridor with a width of 22 feet will be decorated along with 200 chairs for the comforts of devotees. The holy corridor will be fitted with sound systems for devotional songs. The temple administrator said the Jagannath Ballav Mutt will be beautified with the financial assistance from Nalco. The public sector industry has given Rs 60 crore to set up a replica of Jagannath Temple inside the Interpretation Centre at Jagannath Ballav Mutt.


The chief temple administrator said there is no dearth of coconut and Tulsi despite the fact that cyclone Fani had devastated these plants in Puri. He said the artisans were given financial assistance of Rs 90 lakh to supply earthen pots and plantain leaves. The artisans were given Rs 9000 each for such purpose, he said.


The chief temple administrator has said nearly 12 lakh devotees will throng the car festival. The Suna Besha will attract 15 lakh devotees, he added. In Bahuda yatra, the pilgrim town is expected to witness eight lakh devotees drawn from all over the globe. He made it clear that the devastating impact of the very severe cyclonic storm Fani will not deter the devotees across the globe to throng the holy town this year.

Mohapatra said the devotees will be allowed to touch the chariots, but they are debarred from climbing onto the cars. Iron barricades will be fixed around the chariots to discourage the devotees to climb onto the chariots, he added.

Jay-Vijay statues replaced; all repair works complete:

The repair works of damages in Srimandir caused by Cyclone FANI has been completed with the deadline, informed the Chief Administrator of SJTA Pradipta Mohapatra.

The SJTA chief said: “Among the two statues of Jay-Vijay at Singhadwar one was damaged and it has been replaced with two new statues made of Khondalite stone. Similarly, all other damages inside the Srimandir have been repaired by the ASI and the damaged Kalash of Bhoga Mandap has been repaired by the Temple administration.

Mohapatra also said that the Chief Minister, during his visit to Srimandir, had directed to complete all the repairs before Debasnana Purnima. And, the task was completed timely in compliance with the direction. Besides, the extensive damages in Sri Gundicha temple caused by the cyclone have been fully completed. Moreover, a toilet has also been made outside the Sri Gundicha temple by Sulabh International.

Further informing about the steps taken to avert damages to Nilachakra atop Srimandir, Mohapatra said that the Nilachakra suffered no damages in the near super cyclone as the length of the ‘Patitapaba Bana’ was reduced to one foot after discussions with ASI on April 30, before Cyclone FANI hit Puri on May 3.

The damage caused by Cyclone FANI in Srimandir and Sri Gundicha temple is estimated to be around Rs 12 crore, the SJTA chief further informed.

Answering a question on the management of different rituals of the deities, Mohapatra said these are handed down from traditions and added that it is very important to maintain cohesion with the servitors for the smooth performance of the rituals.

He stressed that once you surrender to the almighty, everything will be automatically accomplished. The servitors are engaged in different work and it is the job of the temple administration is to keep close coordination with them for their optimum performance, Mohapatra said.

Dwelling upon the important decision relating to darshan of the deities in the sanctum sanctorum (Gharva gruha), the chief temple administrator said on June 21, 2012, he had taken the decision that the devotees can offer prayers at the sanctum sanctorum. But, the decision has been scrapped. All have welcomed the decision, he added. During his tenure as Puri district collector in 1999, he had introduced pulley system with the chariots for the convenience of Bhoi servitors. He said he discussed with Gajapati Maharaj to shift Sarathi to the chariot before he performs Chhera Pahanra. This has avoided the delay for pulling of chariots.

The chief temple administrator admitted that he has come across devotional as well as miraculous feelings while dedicating himself to the service of Lord Jagannath.

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