Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Sept 12:
The Shri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee has decided to make a list of precious ornaments and gem-studded jewellery of the Lords stored inside the temple in Puri, the pilgrim town in Odisha, very soon.
The temple managing committee would constitute a sub-committee for the task.
On the advice of the sub committee, a special committee comprising senior journalists and eminent persons would be formed to ensure transparency in the listing of these ornaments.
A proposal to this effect mooted by the chief administrator of Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Arabinda Padhi was unanimously accepted by members of the managing committee at a meeting presided over by the Puri Gajapati king Divyashingh Dev at his royal palace here on Thursday.
As per available information, the first listing of the temple ornaments was made in 1905 during the British era. Later, a re-listing was made in 1952-53 during the preparation of Records of Rights of the temple. In 1978, the Odisha government conducted another round of listing of these ornaments and published it in its gazette
However, the meeting yesterday revealed that listing of the ornaments made earlier was not comprehensive. Keeping this in view, the meeting decided to form a sub committee for an exhaustive listing of the ornaments and record them.
Nine sub committees on finance, rituals, temple treasury, appeal, research on Jagannath cult, publications, propagation, land and pension trust board for the temple staff were formed at the meeting. The newly formed sub committees were advised to take decisions with regard to Nabakalebara festival next year.
The temple administrator informed that the SJTA had requested the director general of Union Tourism department Usha Sharma to allow the display of a tableau on the Nabakelabra festival of the deities in Puri at the Republic Day parade next year, which would help in propagation of the world famous festival at the national level.
“Apart from this, the Union Tourism department has also been requested to include major tourist destinations of Odisha like Chilika lake, Sun Temple at Konark, Dhauli Shanti Stupa, Chandipur beach, Bhitarkanika mangrove sanctuary, Jain caves in Khandagiri, Udayagiri, Similipal, Deomali, Debrigarh and Tikarpada, and popular dances of the state such as Odissi, Sambalpuri and Ghumura in the Atulya Bharat Calendar,” Padhi informed the meeting.
The meeting was apprised of the talks between the SJTA chief administrator and the director general of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for conservation and maintenance of Shri Jagannath temple and the assurance made by the latter to complete all repair and renovation works of the temple by December this year.
Among others, sevayats’ welfare, construction of hospital and Mediclaim insurance for the sevayats also figured in the discussions at the meeting.