Gokarna, October 18: The administration of the Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna has come up with a rigid dress code banning jeans pant, trousers and Bermuda shorts for all its devotees. Only men wearing dhoti will be allowed to enter the temple and would be denied an entry if they wear shirts, tee-shirts and vest. Women devotees visiting the temple are allowed only in salwar suit and saree and won't be allowed if they come wearing jeans pant. The executive officer of Gokarna Mahabaleshwar temple H Halappa was quoted by PTI saying that the restrictions were already there but we implemented them a month ago.
“For men, only dhoti is allowed. They can’t enter temple wearing shirts, tee-shirts and vest. Women are allowed only in salwar suit and saree. They can’t come in wearing jeans pant,” Halappa said. The dress code order, however, did not go well with G K Hegde, former administrator of the Ramachandrapura Mutt near the Gokarna temple. He said such rules will trouble the visitors as Gokarna also happens to be a major tourist destination.
Hegde claimed that the dress code was only for men that they should not enter the temple wearing shirts and without taking bath and there was no restriction for women. “The dress code should have been introduced by discussing with the devotees and temple priests who have been performing rituals for ages”, Hegde said. Hindu Group Files PIL in HC Seeking Direction to Govt Enabling Women to Enter Mosques.
The Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna is a popular pilgrimage centre which was built by Mayur Sharma of Kadamba dynasty in 4th Century AD. The temple is considered as one of the seven “Muktikshetras or Muktistala (“places of salvation”) in Karnataka. It is located near the Karwar beach facing the Arabian sea has made it a tourist’s delight.
According to a PTI report, a similar restriction has been imposed at Virupaksha temple in Hampi, sources in the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment department informed. The Virupaksha temple is among the oldest temples where the rituals have been going on since 7th century AD without break.