Ramp inside Jagannath temple invites ire of Puri seer

Puri: Construction of a ramp for the physically challenged inside Shri Jagannath temple has been criticized by the temple servitors and the Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth.

Expressing resentment over the construction of the ramp, Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati said the Odisha government must define its rights of jurisdiction.

“The traditional rituals of the temple are done as per rules of the temple. If the temple administration wants any change in the system, it must take my suggestion”, he rued.

Commenting on the issue, senior servitor and Badagrahi of Goddess Subhadra, Ramachandra Dasmohapatra said the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), which had deprived the devotees to mount the chariots for the darshan of the deities during Rath Yatra as per the suggestions of Shankaracharya, should have sought the suggestion from him before taking a decision on construction of a ramp inside the temple.

On the other hand, the Trust Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities has welcomed the decision of the state government.

“By the grace of God, there was no dispute or protest as the state government and the temple administration have done the work smoothly. The ramp will help the physically challenged devotees to have a smooth darshan of the Lords”, said Tailor Kannubhai Patel, president of the Trust.