The Orissa High Court today directed that the Ratna Bhandar (storehouse of the deities’ ornaments) of the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri would be inspected on March 26 and 27.

Representatives of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee, and the amicus curie will jointly inspect the Ratna Bhandar and report to the court whether it needs any repair work, a division bench headed by Chief Justice Vineet Saran ordered.

The Orissa High Court is monitoring the repair work undertaken by the ASI in the 12th century shrine since 2016, while adjudicating over a PIL seeking judicial intervention for an effective repair and renovation of the temple.

Earlier, chief administrator of the temple Pradeep Kumar Jena told the court that the newly-formed managing committee has recently decided to go for an urgent inspection of the Bhandar as it is located adjacent to the Jagamohan (prayer hall).

Precious jewellery and ornaments of the deities are kept in the Ratna Bhandar which was last inspected in 1984 and only three of its seven rooms had been opened then.

The high court also ordered the managing committee to inform the court by March 29 as to when the Jagamohan would be made accessible to the devotees.

Meanwhile, a cultural organisation today demonstrated in Puri demanding that the closed rooms of the Ratna Bhandar should not be inspected as they were considered secret.

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