No Decision Yet On Opening Puri Jagannath Temple Ratna Bhandar, Clarifies Minister

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha state government has not yet decided to open the Ratna Bhandar (treasury) of the Puri Jagannath Temple, Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan clarified today.

The statement comes after an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official revealed plans to open the 12th-century shrine’s treasury on July 8.

“The state government has made no decision regarding opening the Ratna Bhandar. The Chhatisha Niyog, the apex decision-making body of the Jagannath Temple, is yet to deliberate on this matter,” Harichandan said. He added that the ASI official’s statement about the July 8 opening was incorrect, and stern action would be taken against the official.

Earlier, D.B. Garnayak, Superintendent of ASI’s Puri circle, had informed that the Jagannath Temple’s Ratna Bhandar would be opened on July 8 in the presence of core and technical committees. According to Garnayak, the inspection aimed to assess the structural status of the treasury, as reports suggested cracks had developed on its walls over the years.

The Jagannath Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracts millions of devotees annually. Its Ratna Bhandar, believed to house invaluable jewels and artefacts, has been a subject of controversy, with demands from various quarters to open and inspect its contents.

Keywords: Jagannath Temple, Ratna Bhandar, Odisha government, Law Minister, Archaeological Survey of India, Puri, UNESCO World Heritage Site, temple treasury, Chhatisha Niyog.

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