Jagannath temple in Puri (Wikipedia)
The Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri owns 60,426 acre of land in Odisha and about 150 kg of gold besides many precious stones.
Odisha Law Minister Pratap Jena said this in a written reply to questions in the state Assembly on November 26.
The 12th-century temple at Puri also has 395.252 acre of landed properties in six other states, the minister said.
On the Lords landed properties in six other states, Jena said maximum of 322.930 acre of land is in West Bengal followed by 28.218 acre in Maharashtra, 25.110 acre in Madhya Pradesh, 17.020 acre in Andhra Pradesh, 1.700 acre in Chhattisgarh and 0,274 acre in Bihar.
Lord Jagannaths land is spread over 24 of the 30 districts of Odisha, the minister said, adding that of the total 60,426.943 acres of land identified so far within the state, the temple administration could prepare final Record of Rights (RoR) over 34,206.734 acre of land.
Meanwhile, the minister said that the temple has already lodged 386 encroachment cases in different tehsils of the state as the Lords land remain in illegal possession of different people and institutions.
"Encroachment case has been made to recover 96.269 acre of land. These land encroachment have been detected in the districts of Cuttack, Puri, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Khurda and Balasore districts," the minister said.
This apart, the minister also informed the House that the temple administration has so far sold 341.308 acre of land and recovered about Rs 10.64 crore. The amount earned from the land sale has been deposited in the temple corpus fund, the minister said, adding steps are being taken to dispose of more such land after their recovery.
Apart from landed properties, the Lord Jagannath too owns gold, silver ornaments which are stored in the 'Ratna Bhandar' of the shrine at Puri.
"... last time, the inner chamber of the Ratna Bhandar was opened on July 14, 1985. The inventory made between May 13, 1978 and July 23, 1978 revealed that 12,838 bhari of gold ornaments along with precious stones and 18,815 bhari silver ornaments were stored in the Ratna Bhandar," he said.
One bhari is equal to 11.6637 gm.
The minister said the state government has no such immediate plans to open the Ratna Bhandar now.
Jena claimed that the gold, silver and other valuable items of the state are "safe" inside the Ratna Bhandar.