Cracks on beam of Shree Jagannath Temple’s Nata Mandap must be repaired on priority, Orissa High Court’s Amicus Curiae tells Archaeological Survey of India

N.K. Mohanty’s report urges court to monitor the repair work every one or two months

Updated - August 16, 2023 04:13 pm IST

Published - August 16, 2023 04:00 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

Devotees are seen milling in front of the Shree Jagannath temple in Puri on January 1, 2023.

Devotees are seen milling in front of the Shree Jagannath temple in Puri on January 1, 2023. | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

An Amicus Curiae appointed by the Orissa High Court has found evidence of wear and tear in the structures of the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri, an Archaeological Survey of India–protected monument. The structure dates back to the 12th Century.

N.K. Mohanty, the Amicus Curiae, expressed concern over cracks appearing on a beam in the Nata Mandap (dancing hall) of the Shree Jagannath Temple complex. The observation comes even as the ASI has informed the temple administration that the repair work in the Jagamohana (the hall facing the sanctum sanctorum) and the Nata Mandap had been completed.

Also read | Project Puri: Odisha government’s ‘project of the century’ to renovate Lord Jagannath’s abode

He said that if the cracks were not attended to, it might lead to an accident., and asked the ASI to commence repair work on priority rather than submit an affidavit in a routine manner.

According to the Amicus Curiae’s report, many distressed locations were observed in the second pidha of Jagamohana — the sloping corbelled zones — mostly in the form of wide structural cracks, localised dislodgement of stone blocks and detached weak lime plasters, and extensive corrosion of the existing wrought-iron clamps.

These distressed locations were on the eastern and south-eastern corner of Jagamohana and were visible from the rooftop of Nata Mandapa, it pointed out.

According to Mr. Mohanty’s report, the ASI had constituted an expert team which had advised their local ASI office to take up de-plastering and conservation work on the exterior of the Jagamohana’s sloping roof after the completion of structural repair in 2017.

“The safety of the Puri Jaganath temple is very important in nature and this court may kindly take stock of the work every one or two months for monitoring the same so that the works could be expedited by concerned authority like ASI and Puri Jaganath temple Administration,” said Mr. Mohanty in his report.

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