Foreign tourists dressed in short western attires will now have to drape a sari or a dhoti and ‘anga vastram’ before entering the sanctum sanctorum and premises of the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Though the temple trust has issued an order in this regard, the authorities insisted that there won’t be a dress code, but foreign visitors clad in shorts or knee-length clothes would be advised to take these clothes at the entrance.
“I want to clarify that there is no dress code. We have just decided to provide ‘anga vastram’ and dhotis to men and saris to women. The clothes will be provided free of cost,” Pandit Prasad Dixit, one of the trustees of Kashi Vishwanath Mandir trust, said.
Dixit further said that the temple administration will put up display boards in various languages, including English, French, German and Italian, asking foreign tourists to wear these clothes. The temple authorities will also hold a meeting in this regard with travel guides, who bring hundreds of foreign visitors to this temple on a daily basis.
Dixit further said, “Foreigners will be given these clothes before offering prayers at the sanctum sanctorum and later, they can return the clothes.”
He further clarified that the move was merely to spread awareness about traditional puja attire. He claimed that such an arrangement is already effective in some temples in south India.
Dixit said, “There are certain rules that have to be followed while offering prayers. One of them is wearing traditional attire. While men should wear an ‘anga vastram’ and dhoti, women should wear a sari.”
The authorities of the temple, Dixit assured, had held a discussion with divisional commissioner Nitin Ramesh Gokarn, who is also the chairman of the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Executive Committee during the latter’s visit to the temple on Saturday.
When contacted, Gokarn said, “No dress code has been imposed.”