Puri: A ten-member team including experts from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will inspect the Ratna Bhandar (store house/repository of valuables) of Sri Mandir, the 12th century shrine in Odisha’s pilgrim town-Puri to assess its structural stability and safety.
The decision was taken at the Chhatisa Nijog meeting held here this evening after it arrived at consensus over opening of Ratna Bhandar for inspection by ASI.
However, no decision was taken on the date on which the Ratna Bhandar will be unlocked for inspection.
The ten-member team as decided in today’s meeting of the Chhatisa Nijog will be led by Puri King Gajapati Maharaj Dibya Singha Deb.
The other members of the team are Patajoshi Mahapatra, Bhandar Mekap, Tadhau Karan, Deula Karan, two engineers of the ASI, two members of ASI Core Committee- G C Mitra and N C Pal and engineer-turned-advocate NK Mohanty, who has been appointed Amicus Curiae by the Orissa High Court to inspect the ongoing Jagamohan repair works.
“The Chhatisa Nijog at today’s meeting opined that none other than those five mentioned in the record of rights (ROR) and are associated with the Ratna Bhandar should be allowed to enter it. They are Bhandar Mekap, Gajapati Maharaj, Patajoshi Mahapatra, Tadhau Karan and Deula Karan. From the engineering side two engineers from ASI, ASI Core Committee members G C Mitra and N C Pal and High Court appointed Amicus Curiae will be the other members of the team,” informed Pradip Kumar Jena, Chief Administrator, Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) after the Chhatisa Nijog meeting.
Jena said those who will enter the Ratna Bhandar will change their dresses and wear gamchas (towels) provided by the temple administration.
They will be frisked by the police before and after changing dress and then allowed to enter Ratna Bhandar and on their return they will be frisked again, he added.