Arpan rice cooking in Puri shrine from today

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Arpan rice cooking in Puri shrine from today

Monday, 05 February 2024 | SAROJ KUMAR MISHRA | PURI

The rice collected from the devotees across the State during the visit of Arpan Rath has turned to be a headache after Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) permitted cooking of the rice in the shrine kitchen.  


Preparation of offerings with that rice in the kitchen will commence from Sunday after the core committee of SJTA allowed permission following checking its quality.  


“We have checked the rice and found it fit for the kitchen.  We found the rice was good in quality after checking,” said Suar Mahasuar Nijog secretary Narayan Mahasuar of Jagannath Temple.


Mahasuar said that they will prepare Bhog as per a supply from the administration.


In the meantime, opposition came from a section of cooking servitors pertaining to the quality and sanctity of the rice. They raised eyebrows over the sanctity of the rice which was collected from several places and reached Puri in an unholy condition. “We will never allow cooking of the rice unless we check them properly. There is doubt of mixing of boiled paddy. There may be a mixture of various sizes of rice as well, ” said Damodar Mahasuar. 


Mahasuar opined that the rice should be better sent to Public Distribution System (PDS) and in return the money accruing from it be given to them for buying new food for the kitchen.


Worthy to remind here that tons of rice with betel nuts and money donations have been collected from the public during visits of Arpan Rath across the State. Now only rice and betel nuts are gradually reaching the Sri Gundicha Temple, where the SJTA is storing them in the premises. While the SJTA is worried over its preservation and how to use it before damage, a section of the cooking community has challenged the decision to cook the rice apart from raising doubts over its sanctity.

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