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Puri Jagannath Temple's Ratna Bhandar

  • 23 Oct 2023
  • 3 min read

Source: IE

Why in News?

Recently, the demand to open the Ratna Bhandar (treasure room) of the Jagannath Temple is growing louder again. The treasure room at the temple has not been unlocked for three decades.

What is Jagannath Temple’s Ratna Bhandar?

  • About:
    • The precious ornaments of sibling deities, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, given by devotees and erstwhile kings over centuries, are stored in the Ratna Bhandar of the 12th century shrine.
    • The Ratna Bhandar consists of two chambers: the Bhitar Bhandar (inner chamber) and the Bahara Bhandar (outer chamber).
      • While the outer chamber is opened regularly to fetch ornaments for the deities during important rituals and festivals, the inner chamber has not been opened in the past 38 years.
  • Demands for Opening the Ratna Bhandar:
    • The demand to open the Ratna Bhandar has gained momentum due to concerns over the chamber's structural integrity.
      • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the custodian of the temple, requisitioned the chamber for repair and conservation due to apprehensions of cracks in its walls, which could endanger the priceless ornaments stored within.

Jagannath Temple

  • The Jagannath temple located in Puri, Odisha is a sacred temple devoted to Lord Jagannath along with his brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra.
    • It was constructed by a famous king of Ganga Dynasty Ananta Varman Chodaganga Deva dating back to 12th century.
    • It is known as the “White Pagoda” and one of the four pilgrimage sites of Char Dham Pilgrimage.
  • It is an outstanding example of Kalinga architecture, featuring distinctive curvilinear towers, intricate carvings, and ornate sculptures.
    • It is enclosed by a high wall with four gates, each facing a cardinal direction.
  • It is also called as ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death, has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
  • Associated Major Festivals: Snana Yatra, Netrotsava, Rath Yatra, Sayan Ekadasi.

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