Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Nov 24:
Apprehending a possible caving in of the Jagamohana (audience hall) of the Shree Jagannath temple, the 12th century shrine in Odisha’s holy town Puri with the removal of stone slabs having larger cracks, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has decided to go for repairing of the fissures using ‘carbon wrapping’ technology.
With repairing of fissures using ‘carbon wrapping’-a foreign technology, there will be no threat to the Jagamohana arising out of the cracks that have developed in its ceiling.
Archaeologists world over are heavily relying on ‘carbon wrapping’ technology to conserve heritage monuments.
A three-member team of experts from the ASI that had visited Shree Jagannath temple recently has opined that this technology can be applied to conserve the Jagamohana, sources revealed.
The technical advisory expert committee has also discussed on the proposal. It has been claimed that ‘carbon wrapping’ has been very successful in repair and conservation of ancient monuments in the country, the sources added.
Sources said the technology apart from bonding fissures in stones restores them to their original strength. The technology is currently in use at Red Fort in New Delhi for its conservation.
According to the plan, stones slabs of the Jagamohana’s ceiling having cracks will be provided with support from under using scaffolding and then ‘carbon wrapping’ will be applied. The chemical for the purpose is being imported from abroad. That apart it has been planned to replace old cracked stone slabs which are not posing any danger with new ones, sources pointed out.
Therefore it has been decided to conduct repairs of the Jagamohana without relocation of presiding deities from the Ratnasimhasan (bejeweled throne).
Preparations are afoot to begin repair works as per schedule fixed for the same earlier.
Experts of ASI from New Delhi are expected to arrive in Puri in the first week of December. Prior to this a temporary ceiling will be erected inside the Jagamohana, design of which has been procured from Kolkata, the sources informed.
It will be worthwhile to mention here that the ceiling of the Jagamohana rests on four stone columns. The stone column capital on the North-West side on which the Jagamohana’s ceiling rests has developed a crack and a stone block is hanging out of it dangerously, posing the risk of a major accident.
This stone column capital is five feet in length, four feet in breadth and is three feet thick. It approximately weighs around 4.5 tonnes. In case of this stone column collapsing, it’s apprehended that the entire Jagamohana will cave in.
This apart during removal dead plaster four stone blocks have got dislodged from their position in the ceiling of the Jagamohana. Cracks have been observed in the ceiling wherefrom lime plaster have been removed.
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.
The entire ceiling of the Jagamohana needs immediate and full-fledged repair, feel experts.