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Miscreants damaged nearly 40 chullahs (earthen hearths) in the Rosha Sala , the holy kitchen, of 12th century Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri.

The kitchen — an important structure of the temple which is regarded as the biggest of any shrine in the country — is prohibited for outsiders. However, someone had caused partial damage to the earthen hearths on Saturday night.

Inquiry ordered

“A joint inquiry has been ordered to look into the incident. We are examining footages of closed-circuit television cameras to ascertain involvement of one or more persons. Strict action will be taken against the culprits,” Puri District Collector Samarth Verma said over phone on Sunday.

He said, “The daily rituals have, however, not been affected due to partial damage to the chullahs .”

Jagannath Temple’s massive kitchen room has 240 chullahs . More than 500 sevayats who are suara (cooks) and mahasuara are involved in the preparation of 56 types of food, including different varieties of rice, cake and sweets. These are offered to deities — Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra.

It is alleged that rivalry between two groups led to the incident.

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