August 12, 2022
The Superintendent, Archaeological Survey of India, asked the Chief Administrator of Srimandir for the opening of Ratna Bhandar. ASI has issued a letter regarding this to the Chief Administrator Shri Vir Vikram Yadav.
While the opening of Lord Jagannath’s treasury is gathering loads of political and societal smoke, ASI plans to inspect the treasury.
In the official notification, the ASI Superintendent has asked the Sri Mandir administration to take adequate measures & safety precautions before opening the Bhitara Ratna Bhandar or the inner chamber of the treasury citing the poor structural condition of the temple.
An official notification regarding the same also has been also forwarded to the ASI DG and the State Law Department.
On March 22, 2018, despite the Orissa High Court’s order, the special team formed to inspect the Ratna Bhandar wasn’t successful in its venture as the keys which were supposed to be used to access the inner section of the treasury were missing.
The team though couldn’t access the inner section of the Ratna Bhandar but found the structure to be weak in the inspection which was conducted at the exterior part.
The Gajapati of Puri has also raised the issue of repairing and maintenance of the Ratna Bhandar on various occasions. Last time, he expressed his wish to see the Ratna Bhandar to be opened as soon as possible along with the earliest sanctions to be passed for the repairing of the same.
As per the records the Ratna Bhandar was last open in the years 1978 & 1982. The Ratna Bhandar is believed to be the soul essence of the Lord Jagannath Temple, as it contains all precious ornaments of him and trinity since the ages.