Heritage corridor plan won’t affect rituals of Jagannath temple
Bhubaneswar: The proposed heritage corridor plan in the holy city of Puri will not affect the existing rituals or practices at the Jagannath temple, Krishan Kumar, Shri Jagannath Temple Administration’s (SJTA) chief administrator, said on Tuesday.
A discussion with key stakeholders was held under the chairmanship of Puri Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb.
The stakeholders raised their concerns regarding the draft Puri Heritage Corridor plan released last month by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
There were primarily three assumptions raised by the representatives of the families residing near the temple and the families of servitors and persons connected with the temple rituals.
“Today we had a focused discussion with all the stakeholders about the Heritage Corridor plan. The concerns of the affected families and all the stakeholders were heard and discussed. We will form a small team to assess and analyse all the suggestions and see how to incorporate them in the plan,” said Kumar.
The families residing close to the Jagannath temple as well the servitors had anticipated that once the structure in front of the temple is completed, they would not be permitted to perform one of the practices of last rites which involves exhibiting the deceased person’s body in front of the temple.
Kumar stated that the families will be allowed to continue the practice as has been done for last many years.
Similarly, the servitors of the temple had anticipated that because of the beautification structures in front of the temple, there would be difficulty in performing many rituals of Rath Yatra and other festivals.
Kumar assured them that these traditions and rituals will be taken into account while constructing the proposed structures.
Dibyasingha Deb suggested that the upcoming structure must include a place for ‘Janja’ ritual performance for incoming devotees.
Padmashree awardee sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra, who participated in the discussion, stressed that the new structures must include sculpting practices of ancient Utkal region.