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Historic Opening of Ratna Bhandar at Shree Jagannath Temple On July 8

Bhubaneswar: The Ratna Bhandar (treasure trove) of the revered Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri is set to be opened for inspection on July 8, marking a significant event in the history of the 12th-century shrine.

Speaking to the media, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Superintendent DB Garnayak announced that the inspection will be conducted in the presence of the core committee and Technical Committee members of the ASI. The aim is to assess the condition of the Ratna Bhandar and undertake necessary repair works based on the findings.

“As per the inspection carried out in 2018, cracks were detected, and some stones and iron rods were missing. The condition was not good. Further, the laser scanning conducted in November 2023 also showed cracks in the outer wall and joints. Rainwater may be seeping inside the Ratna Bhandar through the cracks,” Garnayak stated, emphasizing the urgent need for conservation efforts to ensure the well-being of the temple and its treasured contents.

Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Vir Vikram Yadav noted that the state government has constituted a committee to oversee the inspection and subsequent conservation measures. “Based on the recommendation, necessary steps will be taken accordingly,” Yadav assured.

The decision to open the Ratna Bhandar was previously considered for the Ratha Yatra 2024. The Ratna Bhandar, an integral part of the temple’s heritage, comprises two chambers: the inner chamber, which holds precious ornaments used on rare occasions, and the outer chamber, which stores ornaments needed for daily rituals and special festivals. The inner chamber was last opened on July 14, 1985, nearly 39 years ago. The last inventory of the temple’s precious ornaments was conducted in 1978.

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