After Emar, Puri to lose Bada Akhada mutt

Sep 3,2019

PURI:  After a two-day break, the demolition drive along Jagannath temple will resume on Tuesday. The administration has planned to demolish the Bada Akhada mutt, located on the Badadanda facing south of the temple. The administration had asked mahant of the mutt, Mahant Harinarayan to vacate the structure by August 31. All the 85 rooms of the double-storey building including 27 shops would be razed, sparing the temple with idols of Sita Ram, Gadi (seat of the founder), an idol of Guru Gopal Das, temple kitchen and the room of the mahant.

Speaking to media persons, Mahant Harinarayan welcomed the Chief Minister’s rehabilitation package for those displaced by the demolition drive. He said the Puri administration has assured him that a new mutt having the same architecture would be constructed after demolition of the old one.

Recounting the history and importance of the mutt, Mahant Harinarayan said following Muslim attacks on Hindu temples, the council of Panch Akadha of Naga Sadhus who were working for religious security of Hindu shrines, decided to protect the Jagannath temple which is one of the four dhamas for Hindus. 

The akhada was established in 1352 AD by Guru Gopal Das and hundreds of Naga Sadhus were deployed. They fought the attackers for 14 years and pushed them away from Puri, said Mahant Harinarayan, the 16th mahant in the line of succession. In 1954, the Naga Sadhus clashed with police and many were killed. Following the incident, Naga Sadhus stopped coming to Puri.

Mahant Harinarayan, the sixth Odia to head a mutt in Puri, said in last 18 years local goons assaulted many sadhus for extortion but none came to their rescue despite taking up the issue with top police and administrative officers. At last, he had to allow Simhadwara police station to operate from the mutt so that he would get some protection, he said. Under these circumstances, the Mahant said he has no alternative but to follow the Government direction.

Source : Indian Express

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