Visitors at the Kapaleeswaran temple in Chennai’s Mylapore, on the first dawn of the new year, were greeted with a notice asking people to be dressed appropriately before entering the temple.
The new dress code for temples in Tamil Nadu, which was enforced on Friday. The dress code as ordered by the Madras High Court bars devotees from wearing jeans, lungis, tight leggings and bermudas in temples.
In Tamil Nadu, people visit temples early in the morning to usher in the new year and start work after the prayers. Tamil Nadu government has declared a holiday on Friday.
Leniency was observed at some temples, but in most temples, the rule was strictly enforced.
A priest at Mylapore temple said, “We have received the government circular and it is under implementation. Most devotees voluntarily follow it. The circular is for those who are ignorant of our culture.” He said awareness will help the visitors.At Sri Parthasarathy temple in Trplicane, the dress code was strictly enforced, with several visitors being turned away.
Srilakshmi Narasimhan, a thirdyear Stella Maris college student, was asked to leave as she was wearing jeans. “Jeans and long kurta are dignified and proper and in fact are in no way different than salwar kameez. They should not blindly enforce the rule,” she said. However, there were no reports of any protests over the enforcement.
Saravanan, a devotee at Vadapalani Murugan temple, said he came early in the morning to pray. “I did not want to take the risk of being sent out of the temple for not following the dress code, so I opted for a traditional dress.”