Demolition of Sikh’s Mangu Mutt in Puri begins, sanctum sanctorum to be spared
In September this year, Punjab chief minister Amarinder had opposed the move to demolish the Mutt visited by Guru Nanak Dev to spread his message of the oneness of God.Updated: Dec 09, 2019 00:36 IST
Odisha government has started the process of demolition of a part of Puri’s Mangu Mutt, which has a historic significance for the Sikh community, more than two months after Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh requested it be spared.
Puri additional district magistrate Binay Kumar Dash said the mutt’s deities and its sanctum sanctorum will be saved and only the portion used for commercial activities will be demolished.
“We will preserve the mutt’s deities, its sanctum sanctorum, gaadi, samadhi and other relics,” Dash said.
Mangu Mutt is located in front of the main entrance of the 12th-century Jagannath temple and is within the 75-metre perimetre of the temple’s boundary wall. The two-storied building, constructed with mortar and limestone powder over 100 years ago, was declared unsafe by the administration a decade ago. A hotel, nine shops and a restaurant operate from the unsafe structure.
Priests of the Mangu mutt have been asked to vacate the structure for smooth demolition.
In September this year, Punjab chief minister Amarinder had opposed the move to demolish the Mutt visited by Guru Nanak Dev to spread his message of the oneness of God.
“It was shocking that while the whole world was getting ready to commemorate the 550th ‘Prakash Purb’ of the first Sikh Guru, the historically important Mutt, a symbol of the connection between Sikhism and the Jagannath Temple, was sought to be demolished by the Odisha government,” Amarinder Singh had said in a statement.
The Mutt was built in 1615 by Bhai Almast, a Sikh preacher and head of Dhuari of the Udasi sect. The verses used by Guru Nanak while praying and conducting aarti of Lord Jagannath are recited in the Mutt. The eldest son of Guru Hargobind, Baba Gurditta, had also chosen Bhai Almast to disseminate Guru Nanak’s message.
The district administration is also planning to demolish the Punjabi mutt near the temple. Recently, the district administration had sealed the Punjabi mutt following seizure of narcotics substances from its premises.