All Jagannath Temple gates opened after 4 years in line with BJP’s poll promise | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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All Jagannath Temple gates opened after 4 years in line with BJP’s poll promise

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Jun 13, 2024 10:39 AM IST

The Jagannath Temple administration shut down all four gates of the 12th-century monument when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in 2020

All four gates of Puri’s Jagannath Temple were on Thursday opened for devotees for the first time since 2020 in line with the poll promise of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which swept to power in Odisha this month after 24-year Biju Janata Dal (BJD) rule. Chief minister Mohan Majhi and his council of ministers were present at the temple when the gates were opened a day after they were sworn in.

Only the Singhadwara (Lion Gate) was opened for devotees post Covid. (HT PHOTO)
Only the Singhadwara (Lion Gate) was opened for devotees post Covid. (HT PHOTO)

The Jagannath Temple administration shut down all four gates of the 12th-century monument when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in 2020. Only the Singhadwara (Lion Gate) was later opened for devotees. Ashwa Dwara (Horse Gate), Vyaghra Dwara (Tiger Gate), Hasti Dwara (Elephant Gate) remained shut until Thursday leading to difficulties for the devotees. In its poll manifesto, the BJP promised to open the remaining gates as soon as it came to power.

A devotee said the gates should have been opened long ago. “I am happy that the new government has kept its promise.”

At his first Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Majhi cited the rush and inconvenience caused to the devotees and said all four gates would be opened on Thursday. “The decision has been taken to facilitate smooth pilgrimage,” he said. Majhi announced 500 crore for the temple saying there was no proper allocation of funds for its management, beautification, and repair.

The Jagannath Temple emerged as a key issue during the just-concluded election. The BJP raised the issue of the missing keys of the temple’s Ratna Bhandar (treasury). Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top BJP leaders promised to let the people know about the status of the valuables in the Ratna Bhandar, which have not been audited for four decades.

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