Odisha: Jagannath temple committee meeting on July 28 to resolve Banakalagi row

Bhubaneswar: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) will hold a meeting of its sub-committee on rituals to resolve the row over Banakalagi ritual of Lord Jagannath and his siblings at Srimandir in Odisha’s Puri city.

The Banakalagi (facial) ritual of the deities has not been conducted since July 1 due to a dispute between the SJTA and Dutta Mohapatra Nijog of the 12th century shrine.

As per the temple tradition, Banakalagi ritual of the deities should be conducted once in a week. The SJTA has been asking the servitors associated with the Dutta Mohapatra Nijog to perform the ritual on Wednesday of every week. But, the Dutta Mohaptra Nijog has been pitching for Thursdays to conduct the weekly ritual, sources said.

The SJTA had issued a stern warning to the Nijog to conduct the ritual yesterday (Wednesday). But, the servitors defied the warning, sources added.

Subsequently, the SJTA has threatened to initiate disciplinary action against the Dutta Mohapatra Nijog. The shrine authorities have also planned to engage Sudha Suar Nijog, another group of servitors, to perform the weekly ritual, sources said.

The SJTA is of the view that several other rituals of the deities will be delayed if Banakalagi ritual is performed on Thursday.

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