Missing or not, Jagannath temple keys add twist to Odisha battle | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Missing or not, Jagannath temple keys add twist to Odisha battle

ByDebabrata Mohanty, ​puri
May 23, 2024 04:49 AM IST

On Monday, addressing a public meeting in Angul, PM Narendra Modi alleged that the “missing keys” of the treasury had gone to Tamil Nadu.

On the afternoon of April 4, 2018, a 16-member team comprising members of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), state government, district administration and temple servitors stood inside the sanctum sanctorum of Puri’s Jagannath Temple, one of the four “dhams”, or sacred sites, of Hinduism in India. In front of them was the storied Ratna Bhandar, the temple’s treasury, last opened in 1984, and last audited in 1978. In their hands, they carried keys to the giant padlock that faced them. Except, as Odisha watched what was meant to be the culmination of a four-decade old controversy, the keys did not match. The Ratna Bhandar has not been opened for 40 years. And the treasury now finds itself in the middle of a raging political debate with simultaneous elections underway for Odisha.

The Jagannath temple has long been central to both the state’s religious identity and its politics. (Arabinda Mahapatra/ HT photo)
The Jagannath temple has long been central to both the state’s religious identity and its politics. (Arabinda Mahapatra/ HT photo)

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