Odishatv Bureau

Puri: The inspection of Puri Srimandir's treasure trove Ratna Bhandar concluded with the team finding cracks in the roof of the outer Bhandar. Conducted amid tight security, the 16-member team, including the Chief Administrator and Rituals Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), inspected the two outer Bhandars while the inner Bhandar could not be inspected.

Tadau Karan Himanshu Pattnaik said the inspection was carried out as per the traditions and rituals. He further informed that cracks were observed in the roof of Ratna Bhandar.

All the members were given entry after a thorough frisking by the SP. All the officials, as per the permission, wore 'Gamuchha', a typical towel used by servitors inside the temple, before getting inside the Ratna Bhandar.

The team included Tadau Karan and Deula Karan, Pattajoshi Mohapatra, Bhandar Mekap, representative of Puri Gajapati, Orissa High Court representative Justice NK Mohanty, Puri Collector and SP, three engineers of ASI, two officials of ASI’s technical core committee – GC Mitra and NC Pal, two members of Ratna Bhandar sub-committee, SJTA Chief Pradeep Jena and Chief Administrator (Rituals) Pradeep Kumar Das.

The President and Secretary of Chhatisa Nijog witnessed the opening of the Ratna Bhandar from Mukti Mandap.

The team was scanned as per the Satwalipi (record of rights). They were not allowed to take anything inside other than the equipment meant for inspection. The inspection was reportedly carried out with help of search light. The whole process was videographed. The team was again frisked by police after completion of inspection.

Later, the inner gate of Ratna Bhandar was locked and the key was handed over to Puri Treasury, while the main gate of the treasure trove was locked in presence of SJTA authorities.

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The SJTA had decided to stall the Jagamohan repair work for today in view of the inspection. Similarly, other rituals of the temple remained suspended after Madhyana Dhupa.

Elaborate security arrangements had been put in place for the occasion. Four platoons of police force were deployed both inside and outside the temple to avoid any untoward incident. Besides, four DSPs were also engaged at four gates of the temple. Personnel from the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and fire services were also present to address any emergency.