Mrunal Manmay Dash

The laser scanning of Srimandir Ratna Bhadar has been completed, informed the Superintendent Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Thursday.

The long-awaited laser scanning of the Ratna Bhandar of Puri Srimandir was started on Tuesday. A 15-member team of the ASI along with architects, and experts in surveillance and photography were part of the laser scanning exercise.

Laser scanning on a total of 45 points of the north side and upper part of the Ratna Bhandar was carried out.

Speaking about the operation, Superintendent Archaeologist DB Garnaik said, “Surface scanning was done today. The images were captured by our technician. The raw images will be converted to another format with the help of software which will facilitate us to examine a particular point of the structure and conduct required repairing.”

“If we find any cracks on the outer walls of the Ratna Bhandar, we will seek the permission to scan the inner Ratna Bhandar too. I have informed the SJTA about the completion of the scanning of Ratna Bhandar and discussed the ways to speed up the scanning of Nata Mandap as well,” Garnaik said.

Asked about the broken and damaged idols in the Temple, another ASI official, Chittaranjan Das said, “The damaged idols will be mended but replaced. The ASI did not have artists during the conservation of Konark Temple, so the damaged idols were replaced with stone slabs. But, now we have artists. So damaged portions of the idols in Srimandir will be mended and not replaced.”

Notably, the temple administration had permitted the ASI for the laser scanning of the outer wall of the Ratna Bhandar to detect suspected cracks through which water is seeping inside.

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