A Commission Wants Reform At Jagannatha Temple, Especially In The Way Pandas Behave

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5:11 pm 28 Oct, 2016

On July 21, the Justice Bimal Prasad Das commission was formed by the Odisha government to find out if the temple administration at Puri’s Jagannatha Temple can be reformed to allow for some changes, including in the conduct of the pandas (servitors).

The commission is looking into the improvement in security of the temple, and, particularly, the behaviour of the pandas, who are often accused of harassing pilgrims.


In fact, the commission itself was set up after some unruly pandas disrupted a Lord Jagannatha’s rath yatra by making their family members climb on the chariot defying a court ban.

Pandas are integral to the temple. They often charge the devotees for ensuring that the devotee gets to enter the garbhagriha and touch the platform on which is placed the idol of Lord Jagannatha.

And though the idols of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balbhadra and Devi Subhadra are placed side-by-side in the garbhagriha, the devotee is not allowed to touch the platform of the deity.

According to the temple’s system, the price the devotee pays for the prasad would determine which deity’s platform the devotee can touch.

Another matter of debate is the entry of all devotees irrespective of caste.

A Twitter user posted a few suggestions:


The pandas often charge money at almost every corner of the temple.

On October 5, the commission had installed drop boxes asking the people to give their suggestions. But the feedback has been poor; the commission has not received an adequate number of suggestions.

The deadline for the sending in the suggestions is November 4, but the commission might extend the same due to the cold response.


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