To streamline the sale of Parimanik tickets at Jagannath Temple in Puri, the shrine administration has decided to sell those in different colours. Parimanik ticket holders are allowed to go inside the sanctum sanctorum.
While the ‘paid’ darshan facility is available eight times a day, the tickets would be available in eight different colours for separate time schedules. Each Parimanik tickets costs Rs 25. The move to sell the proposed colourful tickets is aimed at curbing sale of tickets on black market by some unscrupulous priests and their assistants in the temple.
“At present the tickets are available in a single colour. Touts are purchasing these in large numbers and selling those to devotees at exorbitant prices throughout the day. If we print the tickets in different colours, black-marketing can be checked,” temple’s chief administrator Arvind Padhee told TOI. “If possible, we will also introduce bar coding on the tickets to prevent tampering,” Padhee said.
The temple sells nearly 400 Parimanik tickets on a given day. The sale of tickets touches nearly 2,000 on important days, sources said. There is no limit on ticket sale now.
“We will ensure that only Parimanik ticket-holders gain entry inside the sanctum sanctorum. There were complaints in the past about entry of devotees, who paid the money directly to priests. We will stop it,” Padhee said.
Though the Temple Administration in 2011 had planned to restrict the entry of pilgrims into the sanctum sanctorum, it was forced to drop its plan owing to stiff opposition from priests.
Temple officials said an overcrowded sanctum sanctorum often led to inordinate delay in completion of rituals of the deities. The administration wanted to enforce the restriction in compliance with the recommendations by Justice P K Mohanty inquiry commission that was set up to probe the November 4, 2006 stampede inside the Jagannath Temple.
The commission then found that the stampede stemmed from the huge presence of pilgrims in the sanctum sanctorum, sources said. Four pilgrims were killed and scores injured in the mishap.