Puri: Jagannath Sena activists stage protest against SJTA’s decision to open the ‘Ratna Bhandar’ of Srimandir for inspection by ASI. Jagannath Sena allege it as an attempt to explore the treasure trove of Lord Jagannath .
It should be noted that SJTA decide to open ratna bhandar. It will be the fourth attempt by the temple management in the last 40 years to open the inner chambers of the treasury. The first attempt of the recent past was made in 1978 and subsequent attempts were made in 1992 and 2014. However, all the attempts had ended in a failure.
During the first attempt in 1978, workers feared to enter inside the chambers hearing hissing of snakes. The other two attempts could not be successful due to protest of the servitors. The treasury has seven chambers. Of these, the temple management uses only two – the bahar bhandar (outer treasury) and the bheetar bhandar (inner treasury). The remaining five have remained locked since time immemorial. No one knows the exact amount of gold and other ornaments stored there.
In the two chambers of the treasury, which have been opened, there are 150 items of gold, including three gold necklaces, golden feet, golden hand and gold crowns, and other ornaments studded with precious stones. The wealth lies in the outer treasury.
The inner treasury contains 180 items of jewellery, which include 74 items of pure gold ornaments, silver articles, pearls, diamonds and corals.