Puri Srimandir’s Jagamohan reopens after 2 years

Puri: Jagamohan, the sanctum sanctorum of Puri Sri Jagannath Temple (Srimandir) reopened after a gap of over two years on Monday following the Orissa High Court order.

The Jagamohan was closed for repairs by Archeological Survey of India (ASI) since January 28, 2016. The Orissa High Court had directed ASI and the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to complete the renovation and repair works and reopen the Jagamohan by April 16, 2018.

“After a long wait we could have a darshan of the deities from the Bhitar Katha,” said a devotee.

However, there were mixed reactions among devotees on the reopening today as the rituals inside the 12th century shrine were delayed by almost five hours due to restriction on entry inside the ‘Garbha Gruha.’

The servitors’ alleged that the rituals were delayed mostly due to restrictions on the entry inside the ‘Garbha Gruha’ and confusion over who will conduct the daily rituals in place of the ‘Palia’ servitor as he was not purged to conduct the service today.

Darshan of the deities in the temple by devotees, including the VIPs, has now been relaxed only up to ‘Bhitar Katha’. Nobody except the servitors who have to conduct rituals inside the ‘Garbha Gruha’ on any particular day will be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum.

Though the matter was resolved only with the intervention of Puri Collector and SP, the servitors’ blamed the SJTA for such deviations in the conduct of the daily rituals in the temple today.

Several devotees expressed resentment as they could not have a darshan of the deities despite waiting for several hours at the temple.

“The authorities should at least inform about the timings so that the devotees do not have to wait for so long. But we had to return without a darshan,” said another devotee.

If the restrictions on entry of ‘Palia’ servitors are not reconsidered, it may adversely affect the conduct of rituals during Snana Jatra and Rath Yatra this year, said sources.

“Nothing can be more unfortunate than servitors being barred from carrying out the rituals in a smooth manner,” said Senior Daitapati servitor, Binayak Dasmohapatra.

Puri Collector Aravind Agarwal on the other hand informed that all the problems including delay in conduct of rituals have been sorted out and the court’s order was executed.

“We will try to ensure that all cooperate and work united to conduct the rituals of the Lord,” Agarwal added.

IG (Central Range) Soumendra Priyadarshi stated that “There might be some resentment over some aspects but it will not affect the overall functioning.”