Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have less than 45 days to complete all the required repair works for the Gundicha temple. While they are on overdrive, servitors and devotees have pinned their hopes on the authorities for the smooth conduct of Rath Yatra this year.

The Gundicha Temple in Puri is on a repair spree after cracks were spotted on the columns of the temple by Puri Srimandir Technical Core Committee during an inspection in October 2022.

The repair works involve the replacement of old column capitals with newer steel ones. Even the beams have developed cracks which are being repaired.

SJTA Chief Administrator, Ranjan Kumar Das, who visited the temple to inspect the progress of work, said, “The old pillars are being replaced with steel ones. Four of them have already been replaced and work on two more replacements is going on. Our Chief Engineer is regularly visiting the temple and I am sure the repairs will be completed before the stipulated time.”

The Servitors are optimistic about the completion of work. Speaking about the repairs, Srimandir Managing Committee member, Durga Dasmohapatra said, “We are happy about the progress of the repair work. Looking at the speed of the work, I believe, it will be completed by Rath Yatra.”

Meanwhile, the Daitapati Nijog has demanded the replacement of the floor of Nakachana Gate with polished khondalite stones. As per reports, the roughness of the current flooring, which is made of cement and mantle, damages the idols of the holy trinity during Pahandi to and from the Gundicha temple.

“The floor of the Nakachana gate is rough which damages the idol of Lord Jagannath. We had requested the authorities to replace it with polished stones so that the Pahandi can be conducted smoothly. We visited the temple yesterday. The work on it has not been started yet. But they have assured us to finish it on time,” said, Ganapati Dasmohapatra, spokesperson of Daitapati Nijog.

The Rath Yatra this year will begin on June 20.

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