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Home / India / Jagannath temple opposes laser scan on sanctum sanctorum

Jagannath temple opposes laser scan on sanctum sanctorum

The administration felt that the exercise would destroy the sanctity of the Garva Gruha and might expose its many secrets that have been hidden from the public
The temple is an Archaeological Survey of India protected monument and the agency has been in charge of its conservation since 1975.

Subhashish Mohanty   |   Bhubaneswar   |   Published 15.07.21, 03:43 AM

The Puri Shree Jagannath Temple administration has opposed the ASI’s move to conduct laser scanning of the sanctum sanctorum of the 12th century shrine.

The temple administration and the servitors feel that the exercise would destroy the sanctity of the sanctum sanctorum (Garva Gruha) and might expose its many secrets that have been hidden from the public.

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The temple is an Archaeological Survey of India protected monument and the agency has been in charge of its conservation since 1975.

“We had decided for complete documentation of the temple including its sanctum sanctorum using the modern advanced laser technology. This is required considering that it is an old monument. We have deliberated on it and it was also decided in one of the meetings of the temple management committee. But as there is stiff opposition to the move from various quarters, we have been asked not to go do the scanning of the sanctum sanctorum,” said a senior official of ASI.

The SJTA has allowed the ASI to conduct the laser scanning work of only the interior and exterior parts of Jagmohan (the audience hall facing the sanctum sanctorum), Natamandap (dancing hall) and Bhogamanadap (dining hall where the prasad is placed) during the Rath Yatra period from Tuesday to July 22. The exercise can be conducted smoothly during this period as the deities are out on a sojourn to Sri Gundicha shrine, the abode of their aunt. 

“We have started work from this morning. This is the right time to inspect the sanctum sanctorum as the presiding deities of the shrine have left for a nine-day sojourn with the beginning of the car festival on July 12.

We have our own system of carrying out conservation activities inside the sanctum sanctorum. The sanctum sanctorum will also be cleaned. However, we will not go for laser scanning of this area as per the order of the SJTA,” superintending archaeologist, ASI (Bhubaneswar Circle) Arun Mallick told The Telegraph.

The SJTA has asked the ASI to submit all the processed data and analysis relating to the laser scanning of the interior and exterior parts of the Jagmohan, Natamandap and Bhogamanadap after the completion of the exercise.

“All the data and analysis should be shared with the temple office and it should be kept confidential. It should not be shared with any other organisation and agency,” the SJTA has directed the ASI in a letter.

The SJTA has also made it clear that the instructions of the temple commander (a commander is the supreme authority inside the temple. He is a part of the Shree Jagannath temple administration) should be strictly followed.

Chief administrator, SJTA Dr Krishan Kumar said, “The temple administration will consider allowing the ASI to carry out the laser scanning inside the sanctum santorum next year. However, this time they conduct scanning of Jagmohan, Nata Mandap and other parts.”

The ASI team will also find out whether there is any seepage of water in any part of the temple.

“We apprehend that there are some sources of possible leakage. We will examine this and take necessary remedial steps. In the wake of the havoc caused by cyclone Fani in Puri in May 2019 there is special focus on ensuring that the temple remains fully safe,” said a member of the temple management committee.

Meanwhile, the three deities — Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra — on Tuesday entered the Shree Gundicha temple where they will remain till their return to their original abode in what is called Bahuda Yatra. Their chariots (Nandighosh of Lord Jagannath, Taladwaja of Lord Balabhadra and Darapadala of Goddess Subhadra) are now parked outside the Shree Gundicha temple, the abode of their aunt.

The “darshan” of the deities in the Adapa Mandap (believed to be their birth place) inside the Shree Gundicha temple is considered to be particularly auspicious.

“The belief is that by setting eyes on them inside the Adapa Mandap one is liberated from all ones’ sins. However, due to Covid restrictions no one is allowed inside the Shree Gundicha temple,” said senior servitor Ram Krushan Das Mohapatra.



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