Pradeep Pattanayak

The managing committee of Puri Srimandir will submit a proposal to the Odisha government to take steps for the inventory of ornaments kept in the outer treasury (bahar Ratna Bhandar) and the inner treasury (bhitar Ratna Bhandar) during the coming 2024 Rath Yatra. 

Puri Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb informed this decision taken at the managing committee meeting held on August 4 to OTV in a letter on Wednesday after a delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by party’s senior leader Samir Mohanty met him. 

Further informing about the decisions taken in the meeting, Puri Gajapati Maharaja said the state government will be given a proposal to carry out the inventory of the ornaments of the outer and inner treasuries and the repair work of the Ratna Bhandar during 2024 Rath Yatra. 

The Rath Yatra will be the most appropriate time to carry out the inventory of ornaments and repair work because there is no observance of any important festivals in Srimandir for some months after Rath Yatra. The number of visitors and devotees is also comparatively less during the period, he said. 

Also read: Odisha BJP delegation meets Puri King over Srimandir Ratna Bhandar issue

It wouldn’t be advisable to open the Ratna Bhandar at the present time or in the coming months. If it is done before the 2024 Rath Yatra, it may affect the rituals. This apart, it may also affect the devotees’ darshan of the devotees, he added. 

A proposal for laser scanning of the Ratna Bhandar’s will from the inner side wall by the superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will be given to the government. For the inventory of the ornaments kept in the Ratna Bhandar by a committee under the chairmanship of a retired judge of either the High Court or the Supreme Court, a proposal will also be given to the government, he informed. 

He also informed that the managing committee also decided that it would request the government to issue a directive on the opening of the Ratna Bhandar under Section 06 of the Sri Jagannath Temple Rules 1960. 

In his letter, he also stated that the High Court also adjudged the decision of the managing committee with respect to the inventory of the Ratna Bhandar during the 2024 Rath Yatra as appropriate. 

After the meeting with Gajapati Maharaja, senior BJP leader Samir Mohanty said, “Our discussion was on the opening of the Ratna Bhandar. But everything like forming a committee will be done by the government. Gajapati Maharaj is also pinning hope on the government taking early steps to solve the Ratna Bhandar issue.”