The bureaucrat is now a staunch devotee of Jagannath

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Sarbbajibasya Jibaschha Gopati Mrarutang Pati Hi. Manobbrudhi-Ra-Hankara Kamidi-Kroddhanasana. Mahamurti Biswamurti-Mahabruddhhi Parakrama. Sarvabitha-Chari cha Drwsta Debapati Sada ”.

These are the Sanskrit Slokas in honor of Lord Jagannath cited by no scholar or saint. These stanzas were circulated among people across the world by an MBBS graduate, who reached the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 2002.

This is Dr. Krishan Kumar, the sweet and pious IAS officer of Odisha-Cadre, whose spiritual spirit has opened a new chapter in the state. In addition to being the Secretary of Works, he is also the Chief Administrative Officer of the Shree Jagannath Temple (SJTA).

He also has two other missions to manage. Despite his busy 24/7 schedule, Dr. Kumar, during his tenure as the head of SJTA, carved out a place for himself in the divine world by being an ardent devotee of Lord Jagannath. Born in Rothak, Haryana, Dr Kumar preferred IAS to become a doctor. The SJTA assignment is an additional burden for him officially. But the way the young Mandarin gets involved in the affairs of the Jagannath Temple is unprecedented. “It’s almost a full-time job for him,” said a senior shrine servant.

When there was uncertainty as to whether the Rath Yatra would be held last year due to the Covid pandemic, Dr Kumar had a firm belief that the big annual festival would certainly take place amid restrictions without worshipers.

While a petition was pending before the Supreme Court for a final judgment on the case, he kept the three tanks ready for use on the Grand Road. Finally, the Rath Yatra took place as the court permitted. This year, in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic, many people began to circulate false news that carpenters engaged in the manufacture of tanks were infected with Covid-19.

However, Dr Kumar declared the Rath Khala (tank building yard) a bio-bubble zone and no Covid-positive person was allowed in. Construction is now in full swing and the tanks should be ready well ahead of schedule.


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