Ramakanta Biswas

A stone weighing around 2-3 kg fell from the roof area of Lord Jagannath temple in Puri, raising questions on the safety of the 12th century shrine and thousands of devotees visiting the temple. 

As per sources, the stone dislodged from the third layer above the statue of Sakhi near the joining point of Nata Mandap and Jagmohan last night. It is located in front of Charcha Ghara where Jagannath Temple Police (JTP) personnel seat. However, no one was injured in the incident.

This is the second such incident of stone falling at the world famous dham in past one week. A huge piece of stone had reportedly fallen from the same place last Sunday (October 23). Similarly, the JTP and servitors of Srimandir confirmed the falling of stone last night. 

Also Read: Srimandir unsafe, amicus curie tells Orissa HC

“It is unfortunate that the abode of Lord Jagannath temple which is regarded as the safest place in the universe is turning unsafe. We request the administration to look into the matter and take measures,” said a servitor.

Speaking about the incident, administrator (development) of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Ajay Jena said, “On October 23 (Sunday), a stone had fallen from the south-east corner of the temple near Majana Mandap. The temple supervisor has handed over the stone to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official.”

“The SJTA chief administration has asked the ASI officials to take measures in this regard. The ASI will examine the matter and take measures,” Jena added.   

It can be mentioned here that the Orissa High Court appointed amicus curie NK Mohanty on October 18 had submitted an affidavit to the court highlighting cracks in the Jagmohan of Srimandir and expressed dissatisfaction with the repair and restoration works.

“Many distressed location on first and second pidha layers of Jagamohan (outside slopping corbelled zones) and on Amalakas/Kalasa of buttressing pilli temples were observed on the date of inspection September 17, 2022. The distress are mostly in the form of wide structural cracks, localized dislodgement of stone blocks and detached weak lime plasters including extensive corrosion of existing wrought iron clamps,” Mohanty mentioned in his affidavit.

(Reported by Madhusudan Mishra)