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Jun 05, 2023

Uttarakhand Temples Will Now Only Allow in Women Who Cover '80%' of Their Bodies

'Scantily-clad men and women' will not be allowed into temples in Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh.
The Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir in Dehradun.

New Delhi: Temple authorities in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehradun districts have imposed a ban on the entry of devotees not wearing “appropriate” clothing, PTI reported. For women, this means “80%” of their bodies should be covered.

Mahant Ravindra Puri, secretary of the Mahanirvani Panchayati Akhara, said a formal ban has been imposed on the entry of “scantily-clad men and women” into the Daksh Prajapati Mandir (Haridwar), Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir (Dehradun) and the Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir (Rishikesh).

“Only women who have their bodies covered up to 80% can enter these temples,” PTI quoted Puri, who is also president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, as saying.

“Sometimes people entering the temples are so skimpily dressed that one feels ashamed to even look at them,” Puri continued.

The ban will reportedly come into force immediately. According to Outlook, there are plans to extend this rule to akhara-affiliated temples nationwide.

“Every Monday, the temple receives a stream of devotees. Today’s youths come to the temple wearing clothes that reflect their total disregard for its sanctity,” Puri said.

This “hurts the sentiments” of the devout devotees, he continued, some of whom have complained.

Katha Vyas Madhusudan Shastri, a professional narrator of mythological stories in Haridwar, supported the ban. “The sanctity of the temples must be maintained, and people inside their precincts should conduct themselves accordingly. The ban is in accordance with Sanatan Dharma,” he said.

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