Sakhigopal Temple servitors, administration dispute over darshan fees ends

Puri: The controversy surrounding darshan fees at Sakhigopal Temple in Puri ended a day before ‘Anla Nabami’ after a successful meeting between the district administration and the servitors today.

The controversy surfaced earlier this month after the temple administration had disallowed devotees from touching the feet of the idol of goddess Radha. Subsequently, servitors, who used to take fees from devotees for helping them to touch the idol, had demanded fees for them from the administration.

According to sources, the Endowment department of the temple will take a final call on the fee to be given to the servitors.

Earlier today, servitors had staged protest before the temple after the ‘Gopal Balabh’ ritual demanding Rs 5 lakh as fee and ban on VIP tickets.

The administration has decided that there will be no CCTVs and barricade inside the ‘Garba Gruha’ of the temple.

While there will be 1800 VIP passes in total, servitors will have 1500 passes and administration will keep 300 passes, informed Puri district collector, Jyoti Prakash Das.

‘Anla Nabami’ is observed during the month of Kartik when devotees have a darshan of goddess Radha’s by touching the idol’s feet and worship the amla tree seeking blessings. This is the only day when devotees can see the feet of the goddess.