Shree Jagannath Puri, one of the four pilgrimage sites of the Char Dham pilgrimage, holds the honour of having a kitchen ‘Rosha Ghara’ as one of the biggest kitchens in the world. In an unfortunate incident, the kitchen of Shree Jagannath Puri Mandir was vandalized by some miscreants.
Shree Jagannath Puri and its Royal Kitchen
Anyone who has visited the Jagannath mandir will be well versed with the breath-taking scriptures and the beauty of the mandir. Jagannath Puri is one of the four pilgrimage sites of the Char Dham pilgrimage, which is dedicated to a form of Lord Vishnu.
Not only the Mandir, and its architecture, but its kitchen called Rosha Ghara is the source of the main attraction and is regarded as the biggest of any shrine in the country. The Rosha Ghara comprises 240 earthen hearths on which 56 types of food items called the Mahaprasad are prepared every day. It is a belief that the Rosha Ghara was established in the 12th century.
The kitchen is spread over an area of 15,000 sq. feet and has the capacity to accommodate more than 500 ‘sevayats’ belonging to ‘suara’ and ‘mahasuara’ (cook) are involved in the preparation of Mahaprasad, which is made available for the devotees after offering to deities- Bhagwan Jagannath, Bhagwan Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra. Outsiders are not permitted inside the kitchen premises, and they are only allowed to have a glimpse of inside structures through small holes.
‘Chullahs’ vandalized at Jagannath Puri
Reports claim, that almost dozens of chullahs have been damaged by some ‘miscreants.’ The damage was caused to the kitchen on Saturday night, despite the fact that outsiders are not allowed in the kitchen.
The number of chullahs damaged varies from 40 to 100 in different reports. According to Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), the clay stoves were found broken after the doors of rosha ghara were opened on Sunday morning. It is also suggested that these vandalized stoves catered to 15000 devotees using firewood.
According to Puri Collector Samarth Verma, a joint inquiry has been ordered to look into the incident. He said, “We are examining footages of closed-circuit television cameras to ascertain involvement or one or more than one persons. Strict actions will be taken against the culprits.”
It has been said that the daily rituals have been affected due to damage to the chullahs. The incident has instigated outrage throughout India. Some media reports claimed that alleged rivalry between two groups led to the incident, but the facts are still to be verified.