Demolition of Mangu Mutt near Puri Jagannath Temple begins


Puri: The Puri district administration on Monday began demolition of Mangu Mutt, which has a historic significance for the Sikh community, amidst tight security arrangements, barely two months after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh requested his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik to spare the religious institution.

However, the mutt’s sanctum sanctorum will be spared and only the portion used for commercial activities will be razed. Mangu Mutt is located in front of the Lion’s Gate of the Jagannath Temple. The structure next to the main religious structure of the mutt will be demolished.

The mutt falls under the 75-metre radius of the 12th century shrine’s Meghanada Pacheri (boundary wall).

It is pertinent to mention here that, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder had requested State Government to spare the mutt visited by Guru Nanak Dev to spread his message of the oneness of God.

The Mangu Mutt was set up by Bhai Almast, the Sikh preacher and head of the Dhuari of the Udasi sect sometime in 1615.  He had been deputed to the eastern provinces by Baba Gurditta, the eldest son of Guru Hargobind, to preach the message of Guru Nanak Dev in the eastern provinces. The image of Baba Shri Chand, the son of Guru Nanak is kept in the shrine inside the mutt.

The Gajapati Raja of Puri had also granted the right of Chamar Seva or Mayur Pankhi Seva to be rendered by the Mahant of the mutt, historians said.

The Puri district administration is also planning to demolish the Punjabi mutt near the temple. Recently it was sealed by the administration following seizure of narcotics substances from the premises of the religious institution.

In August this year, the district administration had started demolishing all structures –private, Government  and religious – within a 75-metre-radius of the Jagannath Temple for its security and for developing its peripheral areas as part of the Odisha Government’s plan to turn Puri into a world heritage city.

The proposed security zone of the 12th century shrine housed some centuries-old heritage mutts. So far, Languli, Emar and Bada Akhada mutts near the Jagannath temple have been demolished.

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