Pradeep Pattanayak

Out of the four gates, only Lion’s Gate is opened for the devotees and the remaining three gates are closed on account of the ongoing Srimandir Heritage Corridor Project. Odisha Law Minister Jagannath Saraka said this in a written reply in Odisha Assembly on Saturday. He was responding to a question asked by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA, Kusum Tete.  

The BJP legislator wished to know how many gates of Puri Srimandir are closed and since when they are closed. She also wished to know why the closed gates are not opened and, while Lord Jagannath is the Lord of the Universe, why specifically Puri people are allowed to enter the shrine through a particular gate. 

In his reply, Minister Saraka said all four gates were shut from March 20, 2020, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. As of now, the three gates are closed because of the ongoing Srimandir Heritage Corridor Project. In order to lessen the rush at Lion’s Gate, the western gate has been opened for Puri residents, he said. 

MLA Tete also wanted to know how much time it takes for devotees in the queue to have darshan of deities.   

Replying to the query, the Minister said except when darshan is restricted for devotees due to some rituals, it takes comparatively less time to have darshan of deities.