Odishatv Bureau

Puri: After nearly four days of harrowing experience, devotees and tourists visiting Puri Srimandir can now heave a sigh of relief as their much revered Mahaprasad will be made available in the temple.

With the Orissa High Court expressing displeasure on the State Government over delay of temple rituals and unavailability of Mahaprasad, the protesting ‘Suara’ & ‘Mahasuara’ Nijog informed that the ‘holy food’ which has been unavailable for devotees since last four days will be released from today.

Meanwhile, normalcy returned to the conduct of rituals as ‘Sakala Dhoopa’, ‘Jatarangi Mahasnana’ and ‘Madhyana Dhoopa’ of deities were carried out on time on Thursday.

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Coming down heavily on the temple administrator, Puri district collector and SP, the president of Suar Mahasuar Nijog, Damodar Mahasuar said “It is very saddening to note that we have been blamed for wrong reasons. Putting false allegations against us saying that we have not offered Kotha Bhoga to the Lords in the four days is an ill attempt by the temple administration to belittle our image."

“Even though we suffered huge losses to tune of Rs 50 lakh, they tried to appease by offering us few thousands which is quite shocking,” Damodar said.

After the High Court’s criticism, we have decided to stand down from our protests and instead cooperate in restoring normalcy in rituals and preparation of Mahaprasad according to temple's Satwalipi.

It is to be noted that rituals to be performed ahead of Puri Srimandir’s Jagamohan opening on April 16 got delayed after the ‘Palia’ servitor supposed to perform the puja failed to turn up due to ill health.

This led to delay in serving of morning bhog to the deities that was served around 4 pm leading to the wastage of the afternoon bhog.

Irate over the development, servitors of Sura and Mahasuar nijog staged protests seeking compensation for the wastage.

However when the matter intensified, it stoked widespread resentment in all quarters, and as an alternative, the Nijog distributed ‘Khechudi bhog’ among devotees free of cost after offering ‘Kotha Bhog’ to the deities.