Pune: An ambitious restoration initiative is poised to commence at the renowned Khandoba Fort in Jejuri, home to two revered sanctum sanctorums. Starting from August 28, both sanctums are scheduled to remain closed for approximately six weeks to facilitate crucial repair work. Throughout this period, devotees will still have the opportunity to seek blessings from a distance.
Popatrao Khomne, the Chief Trustee of the temple, has confirmed that the regular ritual activities on the fort will continue without disruption. The repair project is set to extend from August 26 to October 5.
With the intention of preserving the historical significance of Khandoba Fort, the state government is spearheading a range of developmental efforts, with the restoration endeavors being overseen by the archaeological department. An allocated budget of ₹107 crore will cover multiple development projects within the fort premises.
A comprehensive meeting was convened, involving priests, villagers, temple staff, and social workers, to formulate a detailed development plan. Key figures such as Chief Trustee Popatrao Khomne, Ad Pandurang Thorve, Dr Rajendra Khedekar, Anil Soundane, Mangesh Ghone, Ad Vishwas Panse, Abhijit Devkate, Manager Rajendra Jagtap, and Pramod Chavan participated in the meeting. Their valuable suggestions have propelled the development strategy forward.
While the main sanctum sanctorums undergo repairs, specific rituals will be conducted at the Panchling Bhuleshwar temple. An appeal has been made to ensure that once the repairs are completed at the main sanctum sanctorum and while the Panchling Bhuleshwar temple undergoes restoration, rituals should be shifted back to the main temple.
Throughout the restoration of the sanctum sanctorums, devotees can continue to perform rituals on the fort premises without interruption. Continuous worship of Lord Khandoba will persist, though entry into the sanctum sanctorums will be restricted to preserve the sanctity of the restoration process, as confirmed by the board of trustees.
The repair project has been meticulously planned to accommodate the convenience of both priests and devotees. The board of trustees has also issued an appeal, inviting devotees to contribute to these developmental initiatives.