Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri/Bhubaneswar, Aug 13:
A final decision on the location where the presiding deities of the Shree Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s holy town Puri will be shifted from the Ratna Simhasana (bejeweled throne) to facilitate major repairs of the sanctum sanctorum and Jagamohana (audience hall) will be taken within a month, informed Suresh Mohapatra, chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) today.
The Chhattisha Nijog (apex body of temple servitor bodies) and the temple management committee will be meeting on August 17 and August 22 respectively to decide on the relocation site of the deities, the SJTA chief said.
After the approval of the management committee, the SJTA will grant permission to ASI to undertake the repairs at the two places.
“It will take around six to eight months to complete the entire repair work. A final decision will be taken after issues like where the deities will be relocated, how rituals can be conducted smoothly and smooth darshan by devotees during the repair period are discussed. We will definitely take a decision within this month in this regard. Most likely the deities will have to relocated beyond the bahara katha limits to the Nata Mandir (dancing hall),” said Mohapatra.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has written a letter to the SJTA recently asking for relocation of the presiding deities as soon as possible as repair works were urgently needed. The ASI director general has asked the SJTA for evacuating the Jagamohana area of the temple, which is in need of immediate repair.
The ASI had undertaken temporary repairs of the Jagamohana during the Rath yatra of the Lords. Two stone blocks which have got dislodged from their position in the ceiling of the Jagamohana have been reinforced using steel brackets as a temporary measure.
Meanwhile, the paint removal work is being carried out on the south-eastern gate of the Jagmohana.
On the other hand, tomorrow is Chitalagi Amamasya, the Lords will wear their gemstone studded chitas (head bands) on their foreheads.
These chitas have been repaired using 1.8 kg of pure gold after a long gap of many years. .
Tomorrow being Chitalagi Amamasya, the Lords will wear the chitas on their foreheads after these are consecrated by Pati Mohapatra servitors.
After consecration by the Pati Mohapatra servitors, Daitapati servitors will fix the chitas on the foreheads of the Lords.
“Maximum quantity of gold has been utilised in the chita belonging to Lord Jagannath which is around 1.2 kg, remaining 600 grams has been used for the chitas belonging to Lord Balabahadra and Devi Subhadra,” informed Pradip Dash, niti prashasak (ritual administrator) SJTA.
“The Lords wear the chitas on their foreheads from Chitalagi Amamasya till Snana Purnima day when it is removed from their foreheads when the Lords go to the anabasara gruha. Chita is considered as a body part of the Lords,” said Ramachandra Das Mohapatra, mukhya badagrahi of Devi Subhadra.