Odisha Law Minister Clarifies Plans for Opening Puri Srimandir’s Ratna Bhandar

Decision on Ratna Bhandar Imminent

Amid widespread speculation, Odisha Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan has addressed rumors regarding the opening of Puri Srimandir’s Ratna Bhandar, a revered treasure trove. On Wednesday, Harichandan announced that a decision on this matter is expected to be finalized within a day or two.

“High-level discussions about the opening of Ratna Bhandar have already been conducted,” Harichandan stated. “A formal decision will be made shortly. We will soon inform the people of Odisha about the detailed process for the opening of Ratna Bhandar.”

Harichandan emphasized the importance of avoiding rumors, assuring that the government will transparently communicate its decision to the public.

Committee Confidence and Preparations

Sudarsan Pattnaik, a member of the Puri Srimandir Managing Committee, expressed confidence that the government would make a decisive move regarding the Ratna Bhandar this time. “Unlike previous instances, I am quite certain that the government will make a firm decision about the opening of Ratna Bhandar,” he remarked.

According to sources, a meeting of the supervising committee, consisting of 12 members, is scheduled for July 5 to finalize the decision. The committee, led by Justice Arijit Pasayat, will oversee the inventory of the valuables within the Ratna Bhandar. Justice Pasayat is expected to visit Odisha on July 4 to oversee preparations for the inventory work.

Historical Context and Future Plans

Puri King Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb expressed his satisfaction with the recent developments. “It’s a matter of great joy that Ratna Bhandar will soon be opened. We have been advocating for this in the managing committee for a long time,” he stated. The inner Ratna Bhandar has remained sealed for 45 years, and previous attempts to open it in 2018 were unsuccessful due to the need for repairs identified by an expert team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

“The first priority is the repair work for both the inner and outer Ratna Bhandar, for which ASI is responsible,” Gajapati continued. “The second priority is conducting an inventory of the valuables. As recommended by the managing committee, a high-level panel, headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat, has been formed to supervise this task. The supervising committee’s meeting on July 5 will finalize the decision regarding the opening of Ratna Bhandar. This is a very delicate task, but we are confident that with Lord Jagannath’s blessings, the work will be carried out successfully.”

The opening of the Ratna Bhandar is a significant event for the devotees of Puri Srimandir and the people of Odisha, promising transparency and careful management of the temple’s revered treasures.

(With inputs from agencies)

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