NATIONAL

Experts inspect damage to sacred wheel atop Puri temple tower

BHUBANESWAR, JUNE 1. The members of an expert committee today inspected the damage to the `Neelachakra,' the sacred `blue wheel' atop the 13th century Lord Jagannath temple in Puri.

After inspecting the damage, the members said that there was no immediate danger to the sacred wheel, but it needed to be repaired at the earliest.

The committee will submit its report to the Orissa Government soon.

On Thursday last, the servitors of the temple had prevented the expert committee members from climbing up the temple to physically verify the damage to the sacred wheel. The servitors had earlier accused the Archaeological Survey of India of having chiselled a part of the sacred wheel made of eight metals.

The ASI officials, however, refuted the charges saying that the damage had been caused due to corrosion and constant tying of flags by the servitors who climb up the temple at least four times a day.

An old, crumbling `Neelachakra' was replaced in the late 18th century with the present one.