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Guruvayoor relaxes dress code for women

The new dress code, to be effective from Friday, will allow women to enter the temple in salwar kameez, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2007 02:11 IST
Ramesh Babu

The Guruvayoor Shri Krishna temple on Thursday amended its strict dress code for women devotees. Now, women dressed in

salwar kameez

can also enter the temple. Earlier, only those in

saris

and traditional full skirts were allowed inside.



"We have decided to make necessary changes in the age-old dress code. This will be effective from Friday," Guruvayoor Devasom Committee chairman Thottathil Ravindran said after a two-day meeting of the management.



This has been a long-standing demand of women devotees, especially from the north India. There have been many instances when devotees have been forced to buy new clothes so as to be able to enter the temple.



A similarly strict dress code for men also exists. Trousers are a no no and only those dressed in the traditional

mundu

are allowed in. All men have to take off their shirts before entering the sanctum sanctorum. There is no change in the code for men.



Though the temple's high priest Chenas Raman Namboodiripad had initially resisted the move, the committee members managed to convince him about the "need to change with the times". The committee has also decided to hold an

asta devamangala prasnam

(divination ritual) to know the will of the presiding deity, in three months.



On plans to open the temple to all devotees, the chairman said the board had already spoken to 24 Hindu organisations. "Except a miniscule section, all supported the move. We will try to evolve consensus on this," he said.



The dress code change comes after the controversy over the purification rite conducted after Union minister Vayalar Ravi's son entered the temple. Ravi's wife Merci is Christian and since non-Hindus are barred, the temple had performed a

punyaham

.