Pradeep Pattanayak

With Puri king Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb expressing concern over the physical condition of the treasury, popularly known as Ratna Bhandar, and demanding for opening of it, servitors as well as devotees have come out in support of the king. 

In an exclusive interview to OTV, the first servitor of Lord Jagannath at Srimandir expressed his desire to see the Ratna Bhandar to be opened as soon as possible. 

Apart from demanding for making an inventory of ornaments housed in the Ratna Bhandar, the Puri king has also demanded for early repair of the Ratna Bhandar as its condition is not good. 

The king has also wanted know why the government is dragging its feet on opening the Ratna Bhandar despite the fact that there has been demand from all sections for its opening. 

Seconding the King, Lord Jagannath’s Badagrahi Jagannath Swain Mohapatra also expressed his concern. 

“The Ratna Bhandar should be opened to take a stock of the ornaments stored there. With these ornaments, new ornaments for the deities could be made for their decoration,” said Mohaptara. 

Former deputy administrator of Srimandir Rabindra Narayan Mishra also expressed his doubts about the wooden chest being in good condition. 

“Last time, the Ratna Bhandar was opened in 1978 and 1982. It was opened for some silvers to repair the Kalahat Dwar. There are some wooden chests containing 39 crowns and other ornaments in the Ratna Bhandar. For not being opened for a long period, chances are high that the chests may have been destroyed,” said Mishra. 

Mishra has also suggested that the Ratna Bhandar should be opened. 

It is worth mentioning that after many a controversy and discussions, a team was formed to carry out an inspection of the Ratna Bhandar in the year 2018. 

Then the team had carried out an inspection from outside and reported that the physical condition of Ratna Bhandar was weak. 

Thereafter, the Ratna Bhandar issue had once again hugged the limelight when its key was told to have gone missing and subsequently its duplicate key was found out.