Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

As per the ancient tradition, non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the Srimandir in Puri. However, there are cases where non-Hindu devotees managed to elude the watchful eyes of the security personnel deployed at the gate to enter the 12th-century shrine causing severe headaches for the temple and police administration.

In a bid to check the entry of non-Hindus into Lord Jagannath temple, Pratihari servitors will be reportedly deployed in front of ‘Singha Dwara’. As per the temple administration sources,  as many as two Pratihari servitors each will be initially deployed in front of ‘Singha Dwara’ during ‘Dwara Phita’ rituals in the morning and ‘Sandhya Arati’ rituals during the evening hours starting from Pana Sankranti on April 14. Gradually the service will be extended throughout the day and night on a daily basis for the special purpose.

“Earlier, Pratihari servitors used to guard Srimandir near Singha Dwara. However, the service was stopped gradually and it is only conducted on certain special occasions only. After discussion with the temple administration and Pratihari Nijog, it has been decided that the service will start again to stop the entry of non-Hindus inside Srimandir,” said Ramnarayan Gochhikar, Secretary of Pratihari Nijog.

“The temple servitors are adept in identifying the non-Hindus making unauthorized entry into the temple than the security personnel. A few days back, two Bangladeshi non-Hindus hoodwinked the security personnel to enter into the temple. They were eventually identified by the temple servitors who handed over them to the police,” he added.