01 December 2017
Puri: Within a week after the missing crown of Goddess Mahalaxmi created a flutter among devotees at the Jagannath Temple here, Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) initiated an exercise to take control over assets of the deity.
On Friday, an eight member team of the SJTA started enumeration of gold ornaments of the Mahalaxmi Shrine located inside the Jagannath Temple complex.
Earlier on Sunday, Chief Administrator SJTA, Pradip Kumar Jena had informed that the apex governing body is closing in on framing guidelines for the management of Mahalaxmi Temple.
“We have been asked to prepare an inventory in the first phase. The assessment, verification and evaluation of the ornaments will be taken up later,” a member of the SJTA team said.
The Mahalaxmi Temple is the only shrine in the complex which was not under the direct authority of the SJTA, and the servitors were responsible for the day-to-day affairs, including the handling of precious ornaments, gemstones and crown.
The assessment of the ornaments by the SJTA holds significance as it will bring an age-old practice of servitors’ discretion over management of the shrine, said sources.
The issue came to the fore, when a group of devotees noticed that the bejeweled crown on the forehead of Mahalaxmi was missing.
Upon inquiry, it was revealed that since the crown was damaged, the servitors and SJTA are taking a call on whether to cast a new crown or repair the existing one.
However, the matter threw light on differences between the servitors of the Mahalaxmi Temple and the SJTA over controlling the assets of the shrine.