A rigid dress code banning jeans, pants, trousers, and Bermuda shorts has been put in place at the Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna in Karnataka, a popular pilgrimage center, by its administration.
"We have already implemented the dress code in Gokarna. The restrictions were already there but we implemented them a month ago," the Executive Officer of Gokarna Mahabaleshwar temple, H Halappa, said today.
Only dhoti for men, saree and salwar suit for women
Halappa said shirt, pant, hat, cap, and coat are also not allowed. "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 pants," Halappa added.
Ramachandrapura Mutt's former administrator not happy with the order
The dress code order has, however, upset GK Hegde, former administrator of the Ramachandrapura Mutt near the Gokarna temple.
He said such rules will trouble the visitors as Gokarna is a major tourist destination.
"The dress code was only for men that they shouldn't enter the temple wearing shirts and without taking bath. There was no restriction for women," Hegde claimed.
Dress code should have been discussed with temple priests: Hegde
The dress code should have been discussed with the devotees and temple priests who have been performing rituals for ages, Hegde said.
The Mahabaleshwar temple in Gokarna was built by Mayur Sharma of Kadamba dynasty in 4th century AD.
Considered one of the seven 'Muktikshetras or Muktistala' (places of salvation) in Karnataka, its location near the Karwar beach has made it a tourist's delight.
Virupaksha temple in Hampi to also have similar restrictions
A similar restriction is in the offing at Virupaksha temple in Hampi, sources in the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Department said. The Virupaksha temple is among the oldest temples where the rituals have been going on since 7th century AD without break.