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Odisha Govt To Disallow Darshan Of Deities From Inside Sanctum Sanctorum Of Puri Jagannath Temple

16 December 2017


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Bhubaneswar: In a bid to implement the recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of Shree Jagannath Temple in true letter and spirit, Law Department of Odisha Government has henceforth banned ‘darshan’ (divine glimpse) of the deities inside the ‘Garva Gruha’ (sanctum sanctorum) even during ‘Paramanik Darshan’ and ‘Sahana Mela Darshan’.

As per the recommendations, “Violators should be heavily fined.”

Accordingly, Odisha Law Department has written to the Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Home Department Principal Secretary and Puri Collector on November 11, 2017 mentioning, “The relevant recommendations made in the Interim report dated 20.4.2017 of the Commission of Inquiry Into the affairs of the Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri as approved by the Government, you are requested to take necessary steps for execution of the said recommendations at the earliest concerning your part, viz, Point No. 3(K) under intimation to this Department.”

Point 3(K) reads: “Darshan of the deities in the Temple by the devotees including the VIPs shall be restricted only upto Bhittar Katha. None except Sevaks having actual Seba in the Garvagruha on any particular day should be allowed into the sanctum sanctorum. Entry into the sanctum sanctorum during Paramanik Darshan and Sahana Mela Darshan should be stopped. Violators should be heavily fined.”

In the same Point No 3(K), it has futher been recommended: “The area ranging from the place wherefrom the devotees have to go bare-foot upto Singhadwar should be painted with heat-resistant white paint as would be chosen by technical experts.”

On the other hand, the State Government’s decision has sparked off a strong wave of resentment among the Sebayats (temple priests).

Senior temple servitor Biswabasu Binayak Das Mohapatra has even tweeted to CMO official twitter handle to “Reconsider of Darshan in Jagannath Temple Garva Gruha: Sir, it’s requested that, Garva Gruha Darshan is one of the Jagannath temple rituals and we are requesting to discuss with all sevayats in Jagannath temple and allow this darshan for one hour for public.”

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Biswabasu Binayak Das Mohapatra, Senior Sebayat, Sri Mandir, Puri