Puri:30/3/18; People entering the Ratna Bhandar, the treasury of Lord Jagannath at the famous temple in Puri in Odisha, for inspection, would have to do it wearing only “gamcha”, the traditional cotton towel, a temple official said.
This is one of the conditions laid down by the Odisha government before the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) while granting permission to open the Ratna Bhandar after 34 years for inspection by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Precious jewellery and ornaments of the deities are kept in Ratna Bhandar, which was last inspected in 1984 when only three of its seven chambers were opened.
No one knows exactly what was stored in the other chambers.
“The people entering the Ratna Bhandar will be subjected to frisking both at the time of entry and exit. They will not be allowed to carry any of their personal belongings inside, not even clothes. We will provide them with traditional gamchas,” SJTA chief administrator P K Jena said.
The state government’s law department yesterday granted conditional permission to open the Ratna Bhandar for inspection by experts of the ASI to assess its structural stability and safety.
Jena said the SJTA will ensure that nothing other than the walls and roof of the Ratna Bhandar is inspected and the video-grapher will be instructed not to take snaps of valuables inside the Ratna Bhandar.
The SJTA is also mulling to involve members of Snake Helpline, an organisation that helps catch snakes for their release in their natural habitat later.
R N Mishra, who was the administrator of the temple in 1984, said that those who had entered the Ratna Bhandar that year for inspection had heard hissing sounds inside the area.