Sharmili Mallick

Sambalpur: A restaurant in Sambalpur reportedly serving 'Abadha' is alleged to have hurt the sentiment of the devotees of Lord Jagannath in and outside Odisha.

A video which went viral on various social media platforms on Tuesday purportedly shows anna (rice), dalma, sabji and kheer being served to customers at the restaurant, named 'Odia Abadha'. It is located at Charbhati in Sambalpur district.

According to reports, the food at the hotel is served from earthen pots (kodua) on banana leaves, mimicking the storage and serving procedure of the revered 'Mahaprasad' at Ananda Bazaar inside the Jagannath temple complex.

Moreover, the namesake 'abadha' at the hotel could be seen served by the waiters on dining tables with customers consuming while sitting on chairs. This has not gone down well with devotees who termed it a as blatant insult to the revered Mahaprasad.

As per tradition, the 'abadha' of Srimandir has to be spread on banana leaf and consumed while sitting on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Administrator (Development) of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Ajay Kumar Jena said serving abadha in a hotel is definitely an insult on the Lord Jagannath temple Mahaprasad and it tantamount to hurting the sentiments of people following the Jagannath culture.

"We will urge the Sambalpur district and police administrations to initiate strict action against the owners of the restaurant. Mahaprasad should not be consumed on table and chair. This is an insult to the holy Prasad (food). Besides, using the name- abadha- for commercial gains is demeaning," said Jena.

Earlier in June this year, a viral photo showing some policemen consuming abadha while sitting on chair near Gundicha temple in Puri had invited wide-spread protests and criticism from across the State.