ASI team inspects Ratna Bhandar from outside at Jagannath Temple

Puri: A five-member team of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Monday inspected the structural condition of the Ratna Bhandar (treasure trove) from outside at the Jagannath Temple in Puri.

The team members examined the structural condition of the treasury trove from Jagamohan and Navikata Mandap sides.

However, the team members did not enter the inner chamber of the Ratna Bhandar.

According to sources, the inner part of the Bhandar will be opened only after a prior approval of the state government.

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration has already sought the permission of the state government to open the Ratna Bhandar.

Notably, the Orissa High Court on Thursday directed the ASI to examine the structural condition of the secret chambers at Jagannath Temple in Puri on March 26 and 27.

As per Shree Jagannath Temple Act 1955, certain procedures have to be followed prior to the opening of the Bhandar and the process will take some time to complete.

Sources said the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) will hold a meeting on the Ratna Bhandar issue on Monday evening.

After meeting of the Rata Bhandar Sub-Committee, the SJTA will hold a meeting with the Chatisa Niyog to discuss the future course of action as resentment is brewing among devotees against the eagerness of the ASI and SJTA to examine the Ratna Bhandar in a hurried manner.

A few rooms of the Bahar Ratna Bhandar are being opened where daily used articles of the deities are stored and the rest of the rooms of the Bhandar (Bhitara bhandar) have not been opened so far.