Cuttack, Aug 10: Forty kg of silver ornaments and utensils are missing from the treasure chest ('Ratna Bhandar') of Sri Jagannath RTemple in Puri.. This was revealed from the affidavit filed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the Orissa High Court.
The Ratna Bhandar had over 149 kg of gold ornaments and 258 kg of silver ornaments and utensils, according to a list prepared by the temple administration 45 years ago during the opening of the treasury in 1978. This was informed by then Law Minister Pratap Jena in the Odisha Assembly on April 26 in 2018 during the Budget session.
The inner and outer chambers of the 'Ratna Bhandar' were opened and the inventory was conducted between May 13, 1978 and July 23, 1978.
Over 12,831 bharis(one bhari is equivalent to 11.66 gram) of gold ornaments fitted with precious stones and 22,153 bharis of silver utensils and other items were kept in Ratna Bhandar of Lord Jagannath, the minister had stated in a written reply.
The recent affidavit submitted by SJTA in High Court revealed that around 218 kg of silver ornaments and utensils are kept in the Ratna Bhandar, which is 40 kg less than the 1978 inventory. Besides, the affidavit also revealed 152 grams less gold ornaments as compared to the last inventory report.
This has raised suspicion over the safety of ornaments of the Trinity kept in the treasury chest.
The SJTA affidavit further said that there are three chambers in the Ratna Bhandar. The ornaments kept in the current chamber are used for the daily rituals of the deities while the ornaments of the outer chamber are used on special occasions and festivals. However, the ornaments of the inner chamber are never used.