In the absence of a rate chart at Ananda Bazaar in Puri Sirmandir, devotees are allegedly coughing up more for the Mahaprasad (offering/prasad).
In the holy Kartik month, Srimandir witnesses a huge crowd. With the increase in the number of devotees, the demand for Mahaprasad also goes up. There is no denying that every devotee has a wish to have Mahaprasad in Ananda Bazaar. But, in the absence of a rate chart and differences in prices, the devotees are often in two minds.
As Ananda Bazaar is yet to get its rate chart, the devotees as well as the servitors blamed the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration.
Notably, the SJTA had taken a decision to put up a chart at a disciplinary committee meeting held at the Temple office in July this year.
“Because of the Kartika month, the price of Mahaprasad is a bit high which should not be the case. With the sellers asking for different prices for the same items, we are getting confused. We can’t decide on which item we should buy. The temple administration should come up with a rate chart,” said Pradeep Sara, a devotee.
Echoing the same, another devotee said if visitors get Mahaprasad for a price suitable to their pockets, they would enjoy having Mahaprasad.
At the same time, the Suara and Mahasuara Nijog of Srimandir have alleged that some outsiders are selling food items in Ananda Bazaar.
They warned of stopping the preparation of Mahaprasad if the temple administration doesn’t take steps to get Ananda Bazaar free of non-servitors.
While only Mahaprasad is traditionally allowed to be sold at Ananda Bazaar, some non-servitors are allegedly selling items like ‘tanka torani’, ‘khua’, ‘peda’ etc.
“We demanded action against non-servitors, but the SJTA is yet to take any steps in this regard. If they don’t streamline this, then we will be left with no option but to stop the preparation of Mahaprasad,” said Narayan Mahasuara, secretary of the Suara Mahasuara Nijog.
“These days, starting from ‘rabadi’ to ‘ladu’ and ‘peda’ are being sold at Ananda Bazar. We have been demanding a ban on these items there,” said Hajuri Krushnachandra Khuntia, a senior servitor.
When contacted, SJTA chief administrator, Ranjan Das said, “Since so many people are involved in it, a change can’t be brought into effect overnight. Streamlining Ananda Bazar is an important thing. Our efforts are on.”